Everything that was laid out in the “Sino-British Joint Declaration” became the weighty responsibility of an epoch that fell upon all of our shoulders. Shouldering this massive yolk and holding a passionate flame of loving our Nation and Hong Kong burning in our hearts as our motto, we grasped our destiny and established the DAB. 

We are Patriotic, and hold out the hope that China will be stable, prosperous, democratic and progressive.  We propose that Hong Kong and the Mainland should strengthen mutual cooperation, communication and help each other.  We are against division, alienation and confrontation.  Our entire purpose is to implement “One Country, Two Systems” and promote the holistic development of Hong Kong and the Mainland.  For this noble goal we shall strive to the best of our abilities. 

We love Hong Kong and will work in the direction of Hong Kong’s common good by working to ensure a stable, progressive and prosperous society.  Everything that is good for Hong Kong, we shall strive for to the best of our ability.  We believe in working hard to implement “One Country, Two Systems”, develop Hong Kong’s prosperity and improve its links with the Mainland will be an important and practical contribution to China’s own development. 

Manifesto, July 10, 1992

 

Endowed with the Love for our Country and Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been part of China since ancient times.  We are part of the greater Chinese nation and community of a common destiny, with ties of blood, culture and traditions.  We identify with our people’s communality in history, share a deep love for our people’s culture, and wish to see a united China — prosperous and strong — and the people living the good life, for which we stand ready to contribute.  We support the return of Hong Kong to the Motherland, are committed to our continued work in the implementation of  “One Country, Two Systems” and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”, and will spare no effort to safeguard Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, so that Hong Kong people can lead meaningful and rewarding lives.

Solidarity through Thick and Thin

China is our Motherland and Hong Kong is our home.  The interests of the Motherland and Hong Kong are fundamentally and intrinsically aligned.  Hong Kong has always benefited, in social and economic development, from our strong links to the Mainland.  During hard times, the Motherland had spared no expense in helping Hong Kong face challenges. By the same token, Hong Kong people, with love for our country, have supported the development of Mainland China and offered help our Motherland during hard times.  We believe that the continued progress — political, economical, social, cultural, etc. — of our Motherland will facilitate Hong Kong’s development; our continued stability and prosperity will facilitate Mainland China’s progress.

Reason and Tolerance

Our Love for our Country and Hong Kong flows naturally from human instincts of being connected to our families, communities, and society-at-large.  Being a patriot is not being blind to the country’s faults; patriots do not harbour xenophobia attitudes. True patriots can rationally recognise their country’s shortcomings and work hard to correct them. True patriots are tolerant and inclusive, embrace universal values, and are concerned with the broader fate of our common humanity. True patriots can work for the nation’s interests and development without foregoing their moral compasses.

We deeply adore and treasure the cultural heritage of Hong Kong and support its development.  This is an integral part of the original ethos of “Loving the Country and Loving Hong Kong”.  Hong Kong’s culture, a culture shaped by the integration of Western culture with the many different Chinese customs from different parts of the country, is characterised by a cosmopolitan diversity and is an organic part of Chinese culture as a whole.  We believe that by continuing to be receptive to different influences, we can promote the unique culture of Hong Kong to even greater success, adding even more facets  to the rich and colourful Chinese cultural kaleidoscope.

 

We firmly hold on to “One Country, Two Systems”, as this protects our nation’s sovereignty as well as the benefit of Hong Kong.  To connect Hong Kong and the Mainland is our advantage and also our responsibility. 

“One Country, Two Systems,” designed to protect the territorial integrity, security and development of our nation, takes into account Hong Kong’s history and realities and to maintain Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.  The system safeguards the freedoms and rights of Hong Kong residents.  We believe that “One Country. Two Systems” is the absolute best system for safeguarding the interests of our nation and Hong Kong, in fact we believe that not only should it be unchanged for 50 years, it should remain so thereafter.  

Manifesto, Jan 1, 2017

Firmly Safeguard “One Country, Two Systems”

 “One Country, Two Systems” best serves Hong Kong

“One Country, Two Systems,” designed to protect the territorial integrity, security and development of our nation, takes into account Hong Kong’s history and realities and to maintain Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.  The system safeguards the freedoms and rights of Hong Kong residents.  We believe that “One Country. Two Systems” is the absolute best system for safeguarding the interests of our nation and Hong Kong, in fact we believe that not only should it be unchanged for 50 years, it should remain so thereafter.

The implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” has made big strides since the handover and has, on the whole, been a success recognised by the international community; yet, some Hong Kong residents remain skeptical and worried of the future of “One Country, Two Systems”.  We believe that “One Country, Two Systems” is an unprecedented constitutional principle, and without experience to serve as guide,  problems arising from the course of its implementation are inevitable.  Therefore, it is imperative for  all stakeholders to allow a wide berth in tolerance and patience in securing its successful implementation. “One Country, Two Systems” is where Hong Kong’s future lies; we cannot abandon our commitment to “One Country, Two Systems” over temporary setbacks and obstacles as that would bring about tumultuous and disastrous impact to Hong Kong.

Full-fledged implementation of “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”

In accordance with the Basic Law, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy” are implemented in the HKSAR, for which our executive, legislative and independent judicial, including that of final adjudication, powers, are vested.  “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy” are the bedrocks of “One Country, Two Systems” and the key to the success of “One Country, Two Systems” as a whole. The Central People’s Government, the HKSAR Government and the various sectors of society must adhere strictly to the provisions of the Basic Law, spare no effort in the full-fledged implementation of the “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy” principles, respect the values of Hong Kong people, protect Hong Kong’s system and way of life, and help it retain its status as a cosmopolitan world city.  This not only benefits Hong Kong residents, but also that of our nation, as this will allow Hong Kong to continue to contribute to our nation’s reforms, in strengthening its global connections, providing social administrative experience for the Mainland.

Participate in the Development of our nation, respect the Mainland’s system 

As Chinese citizens, Hong Kong residents have the right to participate in national affairs, facilitate national development, and enjoy the same rights as fellow Chinese nationals. At the same time, we understand that the laws and political systems of Hong Kong and the Mainland are significantly different. The intent of “One Country, Two Systems” is to allow these two systems to coexist and develop with mutual respect.

Since the economic reforms, China has made astonishing economic achievements, becoming the second largest economy in the world, and tremendously raising the standard of living for its people. This is a testament to the correct path China has chosen for development.  We respect the social system of the Mainland, and we participate in the administration of national affairs in accordance with its laws, and we support the its continued progress on the reform path to steadfastly increase the strength of the nation, promote democracy and rule of law and improve the quality of life for the people.

Promote Hong Kong-Mainland cooperation, resolve problems with pragmatic solutions

Hong Kong’s greatest advantage in economic development is the large hinterland and the support of the nation. We should, on the basis of mutual benefit and respect, proactively promote more economical, social, cultural, etc. exchanges with the Mainland, participate in our country’s economic strategy such as the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and promote better mutual understanding between Hong Kong people and Mainland compatriots. Nevertheless, increased integration and closer ties bring about problems and areas for friction. For example, some economic activities may have proliferated beyond the capacity of Hong Kong society and adversely affected the daily life of Hong Kong people.  We must recognise and resolve these problems but we must not use them as excuses to sever ties with the Mainland and intensify the polarisation between us.  We advocate for the HKSAR government to put the interests of Hong Kong residents first, seek pragmatic and realistic solutions to problems, and allow the exchange and relationship between Hong Kong and the Mainland to progress in a balanced and gradual fashion.

 

Implementing the universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and Legislative Council is an important part of Hong Kong’s democratic development, but it is not everything.  What is more important is to develop a virtuous democracy within the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” 

Our participation in politics is a positive approach to realizing the concept of “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong”.  Only when Hong Kong citizens actively take part in politics and engage in political debates will the concept of “One Country, Two Systems” be realized successfully. 

Our participation in politics is to put into practice our political beliefs. We will work hard for the maintenance of pluralistic development of Hong Kong society. 

The objective of our political participation is to create for Hong Kong the best possible democratic system which represents, the will of its citizens, monitor the government’s work, protect citizens’ basic rights and guarantee equality for all before the law and independence of the judiciary, and maintain an election system that is open and fair. 

Manifesto, July 10, 1992

Realising Virtuous Democracy

Implement “dual universal suffrage”

The Basic Law states that the ultimate aims are the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures, and the election of all the members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage. The issue of how to implement this “dual universal suffrage” has generated a lot of social flashpoints of contention, and the progress of democratisation has been stalled. We believe only by adhering to the Basic Law can we implement the “dual universal suffrage”, and different sectors in Hong Kong society should proactively work for the goal and create conditions for its realisation.

Implementation of “dual universal suffrage” is an important part of democratic development in Hong Kong, but it is by no means its entirety.  The experiences of various places in the world tell us that there are “good” and “bad” democracies and that only virtuous democracy can ensure good governance and improve the quality of life for the people.  The more important goal for Hong Kong’s democratic development is to fight for conditions that ensure the development of virtuous democracy.

Protect the rule of law and the rights of others

Virtuous democracy must be built on the bedrock of the rule of law, and places equal weight to the protection of both individual rights and common interests.   No matter whether we are pushing for or practicing democracy, we must do so with strict adherence to the rule of law, and protect individuals rights as well as the common good of society as a whole.  Without these, we would move closer to anarchy.  The success of Hong Kong was built on our rule of law. We must be committed to the protection of the rule of law at all times, and no objective is worth sacrificing the rule of law to pursue.

Promote deliberative democracy

Elections and votes matter in a virtuous democracy, but they are not sufficient. A virtuous democracy will not reduce the democratic process to simply a referendum or a plebiscite.  Virtuous democracy places emphases on the mutual respect of and by different sectors of society, and informed debates, rational deliberation and discussion on public affairs and policies, whereby consensus can be reached and support of policy decisions strengthened. We believe deliberative democracy will allow citizens to participate in politics in a meaningful way, and enhance the legitimacy of our decision making process. Thus, Hong Kong should pursue deliberative democracy at the same time as it implements “dual universal suffrage”.

 

We are devoted to Hong Kong and have poured our sweat into each district like rivers.  Our work does not depend on the success we achieve, but on the positive results which come from our efforts. 

Parallel with the creation of prosperity and wealth, the overall living quality of society as a whole should also be improved- above all.  A reasonable standard of care for the underprivileged.  Only when a broad spectrum of society can enjoy the fruits of prosperity, with people living and working peacefully, can society as a whole be stable, and further conditions be laid for continuous creation of wealth in our city. 

Millennium Declaration, Jan 1, 2000

Sharing the Fruits of Development

Economic development is the prerequisite for improving people’s quality of life.  Economic development, however, must be balanced so that everybody in society is able to share its fruits. If development does not benefit people generally, it is not only meaningless, but also conductive to social conflicts. Development of this kind is unsustainable. Therefore, the government should ensure that the market is fair and equitable to all, eliminate monopolies and support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  In the process of development, the government should ensure that any adverse effect it may entail on ordinary residents should be ameliorated by fair compensation. The government has the more important task of implementing income redistribution by proactive financial policies in order to solve the problem of poverty in a more effective manner, reduce income disparity, and provide reasonable security for the poor and disadvantaged.

Being market-oriented and also proactive

The success of Hong Kong depends on economic freedom.  We must defend the core principle of the free market and continue to open up to the world so that Hong Kong can remain a vibrant international and cosmopolitan world city. Nevertheless, the market is not invincible, and opening up to the rest of the world comes with challenges; especially with globalisation, with which income disparity is magnified, local SMEs struggle to survive, the middle and working classes lack the opportunities for upward mobility, and the youth see no way forward to achieve their dreams.  In face of these challenges, the government must rely on the power of the market and also be proactive in transforming the economic structure, encouraging technological innovation, entrepreneurship or pursuit of career advancement, and thus, resolve structural social problems.

Serving all sectors of society

The DAB is a cross-sectoral party.  We believe that the common interest of all sectors of the society is to implement “One Country, Two Systems”, “Hong Kong people Administering Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy”,  to maintain Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity while continuously improving our resident’s quality of life.  We will consider the overall interest of Hong Kong as a whole and promote social progress in an orderly manner.  In this process, we will adhere to reason and pragmatism, communicate with different sectors of society, in striving for solidarity, consensus and win-win solutions for all.

Actively monitor the government

Our mission is to ensure that the government not only governs according to the law, but also governs with fairness and justice, meeting the wishes of the people and improving their welfare.  Therefore, we will actively monitor the government by supporting what is right and opposing to what is wrong in its policies. We will advance feasible policy proposals and help the government improve its governance and serve the people better.

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