AUS­PI­CIOUS FU­TURE SEEN FOR HK

Pres­i­dent says op­por­tu­ni­ties lie ahead, calls for con­fi­dence in SAR and coun­try

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Hong Kong an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn Shadow Li in Hong Kong con­trib­uted to this story.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called on Fri­day for Hong Kong peo­ple to have con­fi­dence in them­selves, the gov­ern­ment of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion and the coun­try, ahead of the 20th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to the moth­er­land.

Hong Kong peo­ple have made tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try’s re­form and open­ing-up in the past decades, which will never be for­got­ten by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and the whole na­tion, Xi said while de­liv­er­ing a speech at a ban­quet hosted by the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion Gov­ern­ment to wel­come the pres­i­dent.

Xi pointed out that Hong Kong has many ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing an open and free econ­omy, free flow of tal­ent, cargo and cap­i­tal, an ad­vanced ju­di­cial sys­tem and clean gov­ern­ment.

Hong Kong also has pol­icy ad­van­tages, as some pi­lot projects take place in Hong Kong un­der the frame­work of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, the pres­i­dent said, adding that such projects will bring more op­por­tu­ni­ties for the de­vel­op­ment of the Hong Kong SAR.

As long as Hong Kong strength­ens those ad­van­tages, it will def­i­nitely con­tinue to at­tract in­ter­na­tional cap­i­tal and tal­ent, Xi said.

Not­ing that China has be­come the largest con­trib­u­tor to global eco­nomic growth, Xi said the coun­try’s rapid de­vel­op­ment means great op­por­tu­ni­ties for Hong Kong. The coun­try’s pros­per­ity will help Hong Kong re­sist risks and boost de­vel­op­ment, he said.

Satur­day, July 1 marks the 20th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn from Bri­tish rule and the es­tab­lish­ment of the Hong Kong SAR. Xi will at­tend the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the fifth-term gov­ern­ment of the Hong Kong SAR to­day (Satur­day).

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” proved to be a great suc­cess in Hong Kong in the past two decades, Xi said. He reaf- firmed that the prin­ci­ple will not be changed.

It’s a his­toric move that China cre­ated “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, to im­ple­ment so­cial­ism in the main part of the coun­try while prac­tic­ing cap­i­tal­ism in some spe­cial re­gions, Xi said, adding that such an in­no­va­tive path had never be­fore been cre­ated in any other coun­try.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s sup­port for him and the Hong Kong SAR Gov­ern­ment. The countr y has at­tached great im­por­tance to Hong Kong’s func­tion and needs and has spared no ef­forts to sup­port Hong Kong, he said.

Say­ing he was con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of Hong Kong, Le­ung also ex­tended best wishes for the next term of the Hong Kong SAR Gov­ern­ment, which will be led by Chief Ex­ec­u­tive-des­ig­nate Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor start­ing from to­day.

David Wong Yau-kar, a Hong Kong deputy to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress and chair­man of the Manda­tory Prov­i­dent Fund Schemes Au­thor­ity in Hong Kong, said Xi’s speech gives Hong Kong con­fi­dence to pur­sue a brighter fu­ture by ac­tively join­ing the na­tion’ s de­vel­op­ment, such as through the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the Guang­dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong’s suc­cess­ful trans­for­ma­tion from a small fish­ing vil­lage to a metropo­lis is built on abun­dant op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment, a wellestab­lished sys­tem un­der the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple and its own ef­forts, he said.

Irons Sze Wing-wai, a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence, said Xi’s speech has pointed a clear di­rec­tion for the city’s com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial sec­tors in ex­plor­ing its fu­ture.

“AS LONG AS HONG KONG STRENGTH­ENS THOSE AD­VAN­TAGES, IT WILL DEF­I­NITELY CON­TINUE TO AT­TRACT IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CAP­I­TAL AND TAL­ENT.”

ED­MOND TANG / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping joins the cho­rus after the grand va­ri­ety show on Fri­day at the Hong Kong Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre as part of the event cel­e­brat­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to the moth­er­land.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­poses a toast at a ban­quet on Fri­day night.

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