HK backed in fight against sep­a­ratists

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU YONGQI and AN BAIJIE

The cen­tral govern­ment firmly sup­ports Hong Kong au­thor­i­ties in curb­ing sep­a­ratists who seek “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence”, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Fri­day.

Xi met with Le­ung Chun­y­ing, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, who came to Bei­jing to re­port on the SAR’s an­nual work.

The cen­tral govern­ment fully ac­knowl­edges Le­ung’s work in lead­ing the Hong Kong govern­ment to con­tain the sep­a­ratists and deal with vi­o­lent street ac­tiv­i­ties in line with the Ba­sic Law, Xi said.

In Oc­to­ber, two leg­is­la­tor-se­lect, Le­ung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, used deroga­tory lan­guage in­sult­ing the Chi­nese na­tion and dis­played ban­ners when tak­ing oaths at a swear­ing-in cer­e­mony.

Hong Kong’s High Court ruled last month that the two must be dis­qual­i­fied as law­mak­ers.

Xi told Le­ung that the “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” pol­icy is in line with na­tional in­ter­ests and also ben­e­fits Hong Kong peo­ple, and the pol­icy should be firmly im­ple­mented and safe­guarded.

Mean­while, in a meet­ing with Fernando Chui Sai-on,

chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Ma­cao Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, Xi urged him to push for­ward the One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems pol­icy.

Premier Li Ke­qiang separately met with the two chief ex­ec­u­tives on Fri­day.

The cen­tral govern­ment firmly ad­heres to the “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” pol­icy and sup­ports the Hong Kong govern­ment and chief ex­ec­u­tive in rul­ing the city based on the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ba­sic Law, he told Le­ung.

Bei­jing will also con­tinue to pro­mul­gate poli­cies to sup­port Hong Kong’s de­vel­op­ment and strengthen com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion and the main­land, Li said.

Le­ung, who said early this month that he will not seek re-elec­tion next year, told Li that Hong Kong will align it­self with na­tional strate­gies, es­pe­cially the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, as well as the coun- try’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

Zhu Li­jia, a pro­fes­sor of public ad­min­is­tra­tion re­search at the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, said the coun­try’s top lead­ers are send­ing a clear mes­sage to safeguard na­tional unity and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion of Hong Kong and Ma­cao Stud­ies, a think tank, said Xi reaf­firmed the cen­tral govern­ment’s po­si­tion to in­clude Hong Kong in the coun­try’s over­all de­vel­op­ment blue­print.

Since Hong Kong’s fu­ture is closely linked with the coun­try’s ad­vance­ment, those who ad­vo­cate “in­de­pen­dence” in Hong Kong will carry lit­tle weight and are doomed to fail, Lau said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping (right) meets Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying in Bei­jing on Fri­day. Le­ung briefed Pres­i­dent Xi on the lat­est eco­nomic, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Hong Kong.

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