Editorial:Safeguard diversity alongside patriotism

【明報專訊】In a speech that lays out the principles of ''patriots governing Hong Kong'', Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong has suggested perfecting the related systems, especially Hong Kong's electoral system, to prevent a small number of ''anti-China individuals who disrupt Hong Kong'' from becoming part of the SAR's organs of power. In the wake of Hong Kong's anti-extradition storm, the central government is trying to institutionalise the idea of ''patriots governing Hong Kong''. Now that Xia has talked about the major direction and the general principles concerned, Hong Kong people know only that the central government is going to play a leading role in this ''big operation'' and the entire set of rules of the political game will be rewritten. Hong Kong is a diverse and open society. Deng Xiaoping's idea of patriots making up the main body of those ''Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong'' provided the room for the tolerance of people from across the political spectrum and their opinions. The expression ''main body'' is no longer found in the latest statements of the central government. Xia stresses that ''patriots governing Hong Kong'' is definitely not for the sake of pursuing ''uniformity''. How will the diversity and openness of Hong Kong be guaranteed under the system of the ''semi-uniformity'', so that the cycle of ''loosening leading to disorder, disorder leading to tightening, tightening leading to perishing'' can be avoided? This issue needs to be handled with care.