President Xi Jinping said on Friday that the One Country, Two Systems principle has proven to be successful and there is no need to change it, adding that it has been supported and recognised by all.
Delivering a key speech on Hong Kong at the inauguration ceremony of the new government, President Xi said the underlying goal of One Country, Two Systems – which he described as "a great initiative that has no precedent to follow" – is to uphold the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests, and to maintain long-term prosperity and stability in both Hong Kong and Macau.
He said the policy must be implemented fully and faithfully "without being bent or distorted".
"Today I wish to highlight once more that the policy of One Country, Two Systems, having been tested and proved time and again, meets the fundamental interests of the country and the Chinese nation and those of Hong Kong and Macau," he said.
"It enjoys the full support of the more than 1.4 billion people of the motherland, it has the unanimous endorsement of Hong Kong and Macau residents, and it is widely recognised by the international community. There is no reason to change such a good system, and it must be adhered to over the long run."
The president said the rich practice of the system has left people with "much valuable experience and food for thought".
"Twenty-five years of practice tells us that only with a deep and accurate understanding of the rules governing the policy's implementation can we ensure that the cause of One Country, Two Systems keeps advancing steadily in the right direction," he said.
President Xi said Hong Kong must fulfil four requirements, namely the comprehensive and accurate implementation of One Country, Two Systems; ensuring the central government's comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong and the SAR's high degree of autonomy; ensuring only patriots administer Hong Kong; and maintaining the city's unique status and strengths.
"To keep the power to administer the HKSAR firmly in the hands of patriots is essential for safeguarding the long-term governance and security of Hong Kong. At no time should this principle be allowed to be compromised," he said.