Governance can be strengthened by leveraging the expertise of professionals

A large screen on the roof of a building plays the subtitles of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in Hong Kong, June 17, 2022. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Now that the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” is in place to keep subversives at bay and ensure Hong Kong’s stability, the city’s future success will depend on the ability of John Lee Ka-chiu’s governance team. significantly improve its governance capabilities by recruiting sufficiently professional staff and leveraging their expertise, in addition to staffing the top echelon of the new administration with high caliber civil servants.

On May 13, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held its 62nd bi-weekly consultation session. The meeting, chaired by Wang Yang, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, focused on how to build the capacity to expand the ranks of patriots in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. This reflects the fact that cultivating talent for the two SARs and improving their governance are now on the national governance agenda.

Nurturing talent for governance is not only a matter of national importance, but also a consensus of the Hong Kong community. Faced with an increasingly complex international political landscape as well as a host of deep-rooted domestic issues, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government can no longer maintain its tradition of conservative or positive non-interventionism; it must be more proactive in solving major societal problems. This change in governance style requires a much stronger governance capacity. Without a major boost to the quality and capacity of the governance level, the results-based governance philosophy will remain a pep talk. Having witnessed the large-scale social unrest of recent years, Hong Kong society in general has come to realize that we are all in the same boat and share the same destiny, regardless of our political leanings. The captain who steers the boat and the capacity of the crew are now matters of concern for all members of the community.

The performance or quality of governance correlates with the caliber of its directors. We need to distinguish between administrators and political talent. Political talent is people who play a political role, like members of the traditional pro-establishment camp. Administrators, on the other hand, refer to executives playing administrative roles in the administrative framework, and they perform different administrative functions that should transcend politics. In a broad sense, administrators include not only elected officials, legislators and members of political parties, but also civil servants, advisory bodies, public institutions, communal corporations, think tanks, etc. To cultivate leadership talents in these areas, we must recruit and unite elites from all walks of life.

Professionals are an elite force that we cannot afford to neglect in our efforts to develop governance talent. They include experts practicing law, accounting, architecture, engineering, surveying, medical care, social work, education, scientific research, etc. In November 2018, President Xi Jinping specifically mentioned the important role of Hong Kong professionals in national development at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening-up. For example, they have taken the initiative to introduce international standards, industry best practices and advisory services conducive to the restructuring of the continent’s enterprises and the reform of the land use system in the continent. Chinese. Thus, the central government highly recognizes the positive role of professionals in the development of the country.

Hong Kong professionals, most of whom were born, raised and become accomplished people here, should be more than happy to play a role in the administration of Hong Kong, if given the opportunity. Systemic efforts should be made to attract professionals to participate in the governance of the RAS. In particular, these should allow them to follow training and internship programs that will equip them with the necessary skills required of administrators. Regarding the training of professionals for administrative roles, we can draw useful references from the Chinese Academy of Governance, the Civil Service College of Singapore and the Harvard Kennedy School to design and promote talent training programs in governance for professionals in Hong Kong. And internships for future professional-administrators can be offered by advisory bodies, public institutions, politicians, etc. They will go through the learning-by-doing process and learn how to work with civil servants, politicians and other stakeholders. .

The author is a senior research officer at One Country Two Systems Research Institute.

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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