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Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 13:57
Liaison Office opens its door to all HK lawmakers
By Li Bingcun
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 13:57 By Li Bingcun

HONG KONG - With a more open approach to interact with all sectors of Hong Kong, the central government’s top liaison body in the special administrative region will open its door to the city’s legislature for the first time.

The invitation is seen as being in return for hospitality by the LegCo, which held a luncheon last April, inviting some representatives of the office - including its director Wang Zhimin

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR has invited all legislators and president of the Legislative Council to attend a spring reception at its complex in Sai Ying Pun on Feb 19, according to an invitation letter it issued on Friday.

The invitation is seen as being in return for hospitality by the LegCo, which held a luncheon last April, inviting some representatives of the office - including its director Wang Zhimin

READ MORE: Liaison Office backs HK in reform and opening-up

Information about the office’s spring reception with all lawmakers was first hinted at the office’s Spring Festival reception on Jan 29. While addressing some 4,000 cross-sector guests, Wang invited lawmakers to “dine together and have a chat”.

Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole deputy to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, said this was a good chance for the Liaison Office and LegCo to communicate.

He said it would be a “casual” occasion suitable for discussing some non-political issues.

In future, Tam said he hopes the Liaison Office could help strengthen the connection between the city and the mainland by offering more opportunities for Hong Kong lawmakers to visit the mainland.

Lo Wai-kwok, chairman of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, the city’s second largest political party, said that such a formal reception invitation issued to all lawmakers was “very rare to see”.

Amid a backdrop of international political and economic uncertainty and the upcoming blueprint of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, Lo predicted Hong Kong’s role in the trade war between China and the United States and future Bay Area collaboration would be popular topics at the reception.

Apart from closer ties with the LegCo, Lo also hopes the Liaison Office can help Hong Kong’s business leaders and professionals seize more opportunities offered by the Bay Area vision as well as the Belt and Road Initiative.

ALSO READ: Liaison Office pledges assistance in tackling hurdles in Bay Area

In recent years, the office has adopted a more open approach to interact with the Hong Kong public and local organizations. Followed its first public open days in last April, which attracted some 1,500 participants, it also invited about 600 educators to visit its complex at the teacher’s day on Sept 10. 

In addition, the office has also conducted eight Cantonese classes for its staff from May to October last year, in a bid to integrate them more into the city.

Its official WeChat public account was launched on Jan 1.

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