Beijing committed to ‘one country, two systems’
Recently, China celebrated the 25th anniversary of re-control of Hong Kong. During this, Xi Jinping emphasized China’s control of Hong Kong under the One Country, Two System (OCTS).
History of ‘One country, Two systems’
- It was originally proposed to unite China and Taiwan. But, Taiwan rejected it.
- The idea came to the fore when China began talks with Britain and Portugal. Britain and Portugal were the colonial rulers over Hong Kong and Macau respectively.
About One Country, Two Systems (OCTS)-
- According to China, Hong Kong and Macau may have different economic and political systems under this system, even though they are part of mainland China.
- Both regions became special administrative regions of China. They have their own different currencies and economic and legal systems. However, China takes decisions on defense and foreign affairs.
- In addition, Hong Kong has freedom of assembly and expression. Also, there are some democratic rights, which are not available in mainland China.
- These freedoms are protected by the Basic Law. The Basic Law is a mini-constitution. It guides the relationship between Hong Kong and China.
- The Basic Law is valid for 50 years. It will be valid till the year 2047 for Hong Kong and till the year 2049 for Macau. But, it is not clear what will happen after this period.
Hong Kong and Macau
- Hong Kong was taken over by the British in 1842 after the First Opium War. In the year 1898, Britain and China signed an agreement. Under this, the islands around Hong Kong were leased to the British for 99 years.
- On the other hand, Macau was ruled by the Portuguese from 1557 AD. In the 1980s, China began negotiations with Britain and Portugal to achieve both areas.
- Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997. The sovereignty of Macau was transferred in the year 1999.
Source- The Hindu