Commitment to the policy of the Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong and the Macao people governing Macao with patriots playing the principal role in governance is integral to implementing "One Country, Two Systems," Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, wrote in his article published on Saturday.
The article elaborated on the pledge made late October at the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to safeguard national security in Hong Kong through legal means while upholding the principle of "One Country, Two Systems."
The CPC hoped that the central government will improve the mechanism of appointment and removal of the chief executives and key officials of the special administrative regions (SARs) while continuing to exercise its powers listed in the Constitution and the basic laws, said a decision adopted at the session.
Zhang also called for more efforts toward enacting national security legislation in the Asian financial hub.
"Establishing a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security have become prominent issues and urgent tasks for the government of the HKSAR and people from all walks of life," he wrote.
The rise of "Hong Kong independence" activists could be linked to the failure to legislate Article 23 of the Basic Law, Zhang said, adding that the unrest, which has been going on for the past five months, had exposed the need for stronger measures to overcome the risk of the city being used by external forces to split China.
Tan Yaozong, a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, echoed in a radio program on Sunday that it is necessary to legislate Article 23 of the Basic Law and the issue should be solved with wisdom.
He stressed that "One Country, Two Systems" is a long-term national policy and the central government is determined to improve and standardize the system, including national security.
The rise of "Hong Kong independence" will get worse without legal means, he stressed, warning that freedom and space in the "One Country, Two Systems" should not be used by "Hong Kong independence" activists.
"The world is changing and it is necessary to constantly review the system," he added.