Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, clutching a copy of his first Policy Address, meets the media at Central Government Office on Tuesday. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said the report delivered by Xi Jinping at the opening session of the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress can lead the city to seek greater development, and he called on all sectors to unite and strive for new achievements.
To live up to the central government’s expectations, his first Policy Address, which is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday, will focus on land and housing shortages, economic stimulation, livelihood improvements, and plans to further bolster the city’s competitiveness, Lee said.
Speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Lee said Xi’s report at the congress has rich content related to the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and this can serve as an action guide for the work of the HKSAR government. The incisive expounding of “one country, two systems” is also a “stabilizer” for the city’s future development, Lee stated.
Lee said he had read the full text of the report, which he said gave detailed instructions on how to better support Hong Kong and Macao’s economic development, improve livelihoods, and leverage their unique strengths in various industries and rich connections with overseas areas.
To pursue greater prosperity, Xi also instructed Hong Kong in the report to firmly implement and continuously improve the “one country, two systems” principle, enhance the legal system and enforcement mechanism of safeguarding national security, and uphold the central government’s overall jurisdiction over the HKSAR. He also expects the city to further develop patriotic forces and crack down firmly on anti-China forces, Lee added.
Lee said that the country has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country, and Hong Kong has also moved from chaos to stability and is entering a new stage of seeking greater prosperity.
Standing at a new starting point, which is also a critical period for opening a new chapter for the city, the Hong Kong community should be more united and strive harder to create a better future for the city, Lee said.
At Tuesday’s media briefing, Lee introduced the major focal points of his maiden Policy Address in advance, and showed reporters a copy of the Address, which has a green cover. He noted that green represents hope, vitality, harmony and stability. In addition to the Address, there will also be a supplement highlighting major policies.
Local media reported that Lee will unveil a new development blueprint on enhancing the city’s cultural and arts facilities in the Policy Address. The blueprint involves building four more museums, of art, transportation, the promotion of history and culture, and the restoration of cultural relics.
The government will encourage the city’s private development projects to incorporate cultural and art facilities, and increase by 40 percent or more the number of seats in performance venues, according to the reports.
Lee also told the Tuesday news conference that the Hong Kong SAR government will adopt standards from the Chinese mainland in the “closed-loop” arrangement of the “reverse quarantine” plan proposed for travelers heading to Guangdong province.
Under the program, travelers from Hong Kong heading to Guangdong will first be quarantined at facilities in Hong Kong before being transported to the mainland under the closed-loop arrangement.
Lee said that the HKSAR government is actively discussing details of the arrangement with its mainland counterparts. Such details include the COVID-19 cycle threshold (CT) value, an indicator of viral concentration.
He added that local officials are striving to resume normal travel both with the mainland and overseas. They need to ensure that the measures will not bring additional infection risks to the mainland. Hong Kong residents who finish the reverse quarantine in the city before entering the mainland must also meet local requirements of the mainland regions to which they are traveling, he noted.
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