Next CE must love na­tion, HK

HKMAO head em­pha­sizes leader’s role as SAR’s con­duit to cen­tral gov­ern­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­

The next Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Hong Kong must love the na­tion and the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion, the head of Beijing’s top Hong Kong af­fairs au­thor­ity said.

The next CE also has to earn the trust of both the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and the sup­port of Hong Kong peo­ple.

In an in­ter­view with Bauhinia mag­a­zine, a lo­cal monthly pub­li­ca­tion, Di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Af­fairs Of­fice (HKMAO) of the State Coun­cil Wang Guangya said the CE should present Hong Kong’s sit­u­a­tion to Beijing com­pre­hen­sively, ac­cu­rately and ob­jec­tively, and im­ple­ment the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies in a man­ner that is ap­pro­pri­ate and in ac­cor­dance with Hong Kong’s ac­tual sit­u­a­tion.

This is the first time that Beijing’s Hong Kong af­fairs of­fi­cial has spo­ken out on the city’s com­ing CE elec­tion next March.

In the in­ter­view, the HKMAO chief listed Beijing’s ex­pec­ta­tions of the next leader of Hong Kong, in­clud­ing “lov­ing the coun­try and the city”, be­ing trusted by Beijing, be­ing ca­pa­ble of gov­ern­ing Hong Kong and win­ning sup­port from Hong Kong peo­ple.

Wang also called on Hong Kong’s fu­ture head of gov­ern­ment to strive to lead the city for­ward and en­hance the well­be­ing of Hong Kong peo­ple.

Mean­while, he stressed the CE must faith­fully im­ple­ment the “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” prin­ci­ple and the Ba­sic Law, or Hong Kong’s mini-con­sti­tu­tion. “Un­der the ‘ One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems’ pol­icy, there is no room for sep­a­ratism in Hong Kong,” Wang said. “Any­one elected to pub­lic of­fice must stand firm on the bot­tom line,” he cau­tioned.

How­ever, Wang said Beijing un­der­stood the po­lit­i­cal dis­cord in Hong Kong in re­cent years, as those were fore­see­able prob­lems due to com­plex so­cial and his­tor­i­cal rea­sons.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive should present Hong Kong’s sit­u­a­tion to Beijing com­pre­hen­sively, ac­cu­rately and ob­jec­tively.” Wang Guangya, di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil

He said he be­lieved Hong Kong will even­tu­ally grow out of the phase as long as the city holds fast to the “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” prin­ci­ple.

So far, three CE hope­fuls — re­tired judge Woo Kwok-hing, leg­is­la­tor and New Peo­ple’s Party Chair­woman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and real-es­tate busi­ness­man Wu Sai-chuen — have an­nounced their bids to con­tend for the city’s top job in the com­ing CE elec­tion in March.

Wang said he hoped the elec­tion will be car­ried out in a ra­tio­nal and con­struc­tive man­ner, in which the can­di­dates’ ap­peal for re­unit­ing Hong Kong can pre­vail and take hold in so­ci­ety.

Ear­lier this month, the in­cum­bent CE Le­ung Chun­y­ing said he will not run for a sec­ond term due to fam­ily rea­sons.

Mean­while, Wang stressed Beijing will con­tinue to keep the door of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open with “pan-democrats”. He be­lieved Hong Kong peo­ple would also like to see closer com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and the op­po­si­tion camp.

In Novem­ber, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment relaxed the en­try re­stric­tions to mem­bers of Hong Kong’s op­po­si­tion camp. A num­ber of “pan-democrats” have suc­cess­fully ob­tained their main­land travel per­mit to pay vis­its across the border.

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