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HK's rule of law remains robust

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. With continuous efforts and resilience over the years, our country has overcome countless challenges to steadfastly march to transform into a prosperous and strong nation. The international community has been impressed by all these remarkable achievements.   China has set up the two centennial goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and building China into a great modern socialist country. These goals play an important role in fulfilling China's dream of national rejuvenation. As remarked by President Xi Jinping, with the continuous efforts of the populace, China has achieved the first centenary goal - building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, bringing about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty. According to the World Bank's international poverty standard, more than 770 million of China's rural population previously living below the current poverty line have already been raised from poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period. China has won the battle against extreme poverty by care and devotion and achieved the poverty alleviation goal set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, earning critical acclaim internationally.   At the same time, China has made rapid advances in technology along with economic development. President Xi once pointed out that "core technologies may not be available when needed, cannot be purchased when needed, and are not always available on demand. Only by grasping key and core technologies within our own hands can we fundamentally guarantee national economic security, national defence security, and other securities." Our country has successfully enhanced the capacity for independent innovation, allowing the spread of the spirit of science and patriotism, improving our preparedness in the battle of core technologies. The completion of the first crewed mission for space station construction of the country's manned space programme by the three astronauts of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft demonstrates the continuous efforts of our country in breaking new ground in aerospace technology, making proud Chinese people the world over.   Upholding law-based governance provides safeguards and is fundamental to the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Therefore, President Xi has called for advancing overall law-based governance, supporting the development of the rule of law for the country as well as promoting the rule of law in matters involving foreign parties. Hong Kong shall render our full support in this area. Since the return to the motherland, Hong Kong has been making progress in international rankings on rule of law. According to the Worldwide Governance Indicators project of the World Bank Group, Hong Kong's percentile rank in respect of the rule of law was 69.85 in 1996 before the return to the motherland. With the full implementation of "one country, two systems" and safeguards provided for by the Basic Law after the return to the motherland, Hong Kong's scores in respect of the rule of law reached 74.75 in 2000, and has been consistently above 90 since 2003. Hong Kong still achieved the score of 91.35 in 2019, where we went through a spate of violence and riots. The indicators published last week revealed that Hong Kong attained the score of 91.83 in 2020, demonstrating again that the city's rule of law has a solid foundation, and our efforts in the maintenance of the rule of law are recognised internationally.   Under the principle of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and dual circulation, our country is taking forward the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the 14th Five-Year Plan in order to establish a new system for a higher-level open economy. To actively participate in national development, Hong Kong must bring out the best of its strengths in order to integrate with the needs of the country, manifesting the principle of joint development, shared prosperity. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice will continue to be committed to developing an international legal talent hub to assist our country in exploring different legal systems and promoting the rule of law internationally with an aim to achieve the goal of overall law-based governance by 2035.   Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote this article and posted it on her blog on October 1.
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