The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is progressing according to the blueprint issued by the central government. It is expected to achieve impressive results in such areas as infrastructure development, transportation and startup and innovation bases in a number of cities in Guangdong designed to cater to young talents and entrepreneurs. These were some of the highlights revealed at the joint meeting on Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation which began on Thursday in Guangzhou. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is there as head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government delegation to discuss the details of cooperation between the two neighbors with Guangdong provincial government leaders.
Lam told reporters after the morning session on Thursday that the Bay Area development will be focused on eight areas specified in the blueprint, including those mentioned above. She emphasized in her speech at the morning session that Hong Kong’s involvement in the country’s reform and opening-up in the past 40 years started in Guangdong and the city has invested there more than in any other province or city on the mainland. Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui also spoke highly of Hong Kong’s role in the nation’s reform and opening-up, and looks forward to even greater achievements in the Bay Area development through deeper cooperation. We can certainly expect great things to happen in the Bay Area and Hong Kong to benefit tremendously by playing a leading role in it.
For many years a simple fact has been overlooked by some people who put more emphasis on “two systems” than “one country”: Hong Kong was a part of Guangdong province for centuries before 1840 and the two cannot be separated from each other no matter what happens. Given their geographical locations and the family bonds between Hong Kong and Guangdong, it is only natural for the SAR to capitalize on the modernization of where its “roots” are. Furthermore, Hong Kong’s economy is undergoing the most critical structural transformation to date and there is no going back. The best way to accomplish this transformation, as noted by President Xi Jinping, is for Hong Kong to integrate its own development into the nation’s overall development strategy. The Bay Area will be the best launch pad for Hong Kong economy to take off again in the future.
Let no one forget that the Bay Area is not the only great development project happening right now, as it is actually tied to a grander undertaking — the Belt and Road Initiative — which offers Hong Kong a lot more opportunities than the Bay Area can. However, opportunities aside, both are strategic projects that require Hong Kong society — especially the younger generation — to shake off their ideological burdens and face the challenge of making a better future for themselves. Regional governments as well as central government authorities are determined to uphold “one country, two systems” and enhance it through institutional and policy innovation. Hong Kong residents can count on it for as long as necessary, and must also contribute to its continuous success.
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