Mr President, Honourable Members and fellow citizens,
I. Foreword: A New Era
1. Today I present the fifth Policy Address in my term of office, which is also the last one of the current-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s five-year tenure. Despite this, my team and I attach great importance to this Policy Address. I have personally chaired 40 online and offline consultation sessions, attended live programmes and visited school campuses, meeting with over 3 500 members of the public from different sectors of the community. Coincidentally, some participants who spoke at the sessions shared my view that the double safeguards of The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the National Security Law) and the improved electoral system of the HKSAR have ushered in a new era whereby it is time for us to strive ahead with renewed perseverance and plan for the future of Hong Kong.
2. At the same time, we must bear in mind that this favourable era has come a long way. In contrast to two years ago on the same occasion when the Legislative Council (LegCo) Chamber was disrupted and paralysed by Members who were anti-China and even causing chaos in Hong Kong in an attempt to subvert the state power, today I can peacefully stand before you to deliver this Policy Address and all LegCo Members can solemnly perform their constitutional function to receive the policy address of the Chief Executive. This is a clear manifestation that the HKSAR has got back on the right track of “One Country, Two Systems” and that governance has returned to normal under the protection of the National Security Law and the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”. For Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, each and every Hong Kong citizen should have a more comprehensive understanding of “One Country, Two Systems”, safeguard national security with greater loyalty, and take pride in the development of our country and our Chinese identity, while striving hard to bring Hong Kong’s unique strengths into full play to better integrate into the overall national development.