Principle called bedrock of prosperity
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.