HK chief vows zero tol­er­ance of se­ces­sion­ists, more land sup­ply

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByBy LUIS EDITH LIU LU and and EDITHLUIS LIU LU in in Hong Hong Kong Kong

Car­rie Car­rie Lam Lam Cheng Cheng Yuet­ngor, Yuet­ngor, chief chief ex­ec­u­tive ex­ec­u­tive of of the the Hong Hong Kong Kong Spe­cial Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, Re­gion, said said on on Wed­nes­day Wed­nes­day that that the the govern­ment govern­ment will will “fear­lessly” “fear­lessly” move move in in ac­cor­dance ac­cor­dance with with the the law law against against acts acts that that ad­vo­cate ad­vo­cate “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence”.

In sum­ma­riz­ing this year’s Pol­icy Ad­dress to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil, Lam em­pha­sized the govern­ment’s firm stance on na­tional se­cu­rity.

Lam said nei­ther she nor the govern­ment will tol­er­ate any ad­vo­cacy of “in­de­pen­dence” for Hong Kong or acts that threaten na­tional se­cu­rity, sovereignty or de­vel­op­ment.

She also an­nounced an am­bi­tious plan to greatly in­crease the city’s land sup­ply to ad­dress its hous­ing is­sues.

In dis­cussing no fewer than 250 new ini­tia­tives this year, Lam men­tioned hous­ing 84 times, com­pared with 45 times a year ago, mak­ing it the most fre­quently used word in her speech. Land was brought up 71 times, more than dou­ble the 34 times last year. Lam made land sup­ply and hous­ing a sep­a­rate sec­tion of her speech, plac­ing it be­fore econ­omy and peo­ple’s liveli­hoods.

“The pur­pose is to omy demon­strate and peo­ple’s clearly liveli­hoods. that the short­age “The pur­pose of land is to not demon­strate only di­rectly clearly leads that to a the short­age short­age of of hous­ing, land not but only also di­rectly af­fects leads peo­ple’s to a short­age qual­ity of of life,” hous­ing, she said. but also Lead­ing af­fects Lam’s peo­ple’s plans qual­ity was of a life,” recla­ma­tion she said. project dubbed Lan­tau Lead­ing To­mor­row Lam’s plans Vi­sion. was The a recla­ma­tion new, long-term project project dubbed aims to Lan­tau de­velop To­mor­row ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands Vi­sion. with The new a to­tal long-term area of 1700 project hectares aims east of Lan­tau Is­land.

It is es­ti­mated it could pro­vide res­i­den­tial units for 700,000 to 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple, with 70 per­cent be­ing pub­lic hous­ing, she said. The recla­ma­tion’s study and de­sign work will start soon, with the aim of start­ing the first phase in 2025.

Lam said the SAR govern­ment will per­se­vere in de­vel­op­ing new land and build­ing a land re­serve. “The de­ter­mi­na­tion will never wa­ver in the face of short-term fluc­tu­a­tions in the econ­omy or the rise and fall of prop­erty prices,” she said.

Lan­tau, the city’s largest out­ly­ing is­land, which hosts Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, is seen as be­com­ing a gate­way to the world and other Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area cities af­ter the com­mis­sion­ing of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge.

Also planned are de­vel­op­ment of brown­field sites and af­ter re­vi­tal­iza­tion the com­mis­sion­ing of in­dus­trial of the build­ings. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Ma­cao In Bridge. ad­di­tion, Lam un­veiled other Also poli­cies planned such are as de­vel­op­ment im­prov­ing women’s of brown­field rights sites and and re­vi­tal­iza­tion in­no­va­tion. of in­dus­trial build­ings. The Demo­cratic Al­liance for the In Bet­ter­ment ad­di­tion, Lam and un­veiled Progress other of Hong poli­cies Kong, such the largest as im­prov­ing city po­lit­i­cal women’s party rights in the and leg­is­la­ture, in­no­va­tion showed its sup­port for land and hous­ing mea­sures. Starry Lee Wai-king, the party chair­woman, said the speech re­sponded to the pub­lic’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

The Hong Kong Gen­eral Cham­ber of Com­merce called the speech “vi­sion­ary” in a way that will ad­dress the city’s dif­fi­cul­ties.

The Uni­ver­sity Grants Com­mit­tee, re­spon­si­ble for ad­vis­ing the SAR govern­ment on the fund­ing and de­vel­op­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion, wel­comed the new re­search ini­tia­tives.

Yang Zekun con­trib­uted to this story.

Con­tact the writ­ers at edithlu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

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