Prin­ci­ple called bedrock of pros­per­ity

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

high de­gree of au­ton­omy”.

Not­ing that a small group of peo­ple had ad­vo­cated for the sep­a­ra­tion of Hong Kong from the na­tion un­der the name of “lo­cal­ism”, Zhang said the rule of law is the foun­da­tion of Hong Kong so­ci­ety and the bot­tom line of free­dom.

“If the foun­da­tion is shaken, and the bot­tom line is com­pro­mised, how can we main­tain Hong Kong’s pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity?” he said.

As so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is of great im­por­tance for im­prov­ing peo­ple’s qual­ity of life and main­tain­ing Hong Kong’s in­ter­na­tional pres­tige, so­ci­ety should shift its fo­cus back to boost­ing Hong Kong’s de­vel­op­ment, Zhang said.

Be­fore the ban­quet, Zhang met with 10 law­mak­ers, in­clud­ing four from the op­po­si­tion camp, along with mem­bers of the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil. Speak­ing to re­porters af­ter the meet­ing, law­mak­ers and party lead­ers ex­pressed their op­ti­mism that the meet­ing would bring pos­i­tive en­ergy to Hong Kong.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, chair­woman of the New Peo­ple’s Party, said she was hon­ored to have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press her views to Zhang on Wed­nes­day. Ip said she found the meet­ing to be very pro­duc­tive and hoped for more such meet­ings in the fu­ture.

Jef­frey Lam Kin-fung, a law­maker from the com­mer­cial sec­tor, said: “The cen­tral gov­ern­ment cares about Hong Kong’s econ­omy, which is fac­ing down­ward pres­sure amid the drop in main­land vis­i­tors. But Hong Kong’s econ­omy can’t sur­vive on its own. It will get bet­ter only when the na­tional econ­omy is do­ing well.”

Starry Lee Wai-king, chair­woman of the Demo­cratic Al­liance for the Bet­ter­ment and Progress of Hong Kong, said Zhang is fa­mil­iar with Hong Kong af­fairs. Zhang, who over­sees Hong Kong and Ma­cao af­fairs, pledged Bei­jing’s full sup­port for Hong Kong to make full use of its ad­van­tages to par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.


Zhang De­jiang (left), China’s top leg­is­la­tor, and Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying visit an in­no­va­tion booth at Hong Kong Science Park as part of an even sur­round­ing the Belt and Road Sum­mit on Wed­nes­day.

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