Vice foreign minister says overseas Chinese have benefited in past two decades and HK’s global status lifted
The safety and lawful rights and interests of all Chinese nationals overseas, including compatriots in Hong Kong, are protected in line with the responsibilities of the Foreign Ministry and its Commissioner’s Office in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui pledged on Sunday
He also vowed that the ministry and the commissioner’s office will “resolutely safeguard” national sovereignty, security and development interests, and actively facilitate and help Hong Kong’s engagement and cooperation with the rest of the world in various sectors, and support the SAR in contributing to what the country needs and what the city excels in.
Zhang was speaking at a reception marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Commissioner’s Office in the HKSAR. The event was attended by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Vice-Chairmen of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chunying, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR
Zhang Xiaoming, incumbent Commissioner Xie Feng, Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison Tan Benhong and more than 400 guests.
Zhang said since the commissioner’s office was set up on July 2, 1997, it has been going all out in carrying out its duties, and this has brought fruitful results.
As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong’s exchanges with foreign countires, external influence and international participation have continued to expand, and its status as a global financial, trading and shipping center has been consolidated. Hong Kong people are finding it more convenient when traveling abroad, and the city’s international prestige as a modern metropolis has kept rising, he pointed out.
According to Zhang, more than 10,000 consular cases involving tens of thousands of Hong Kong compatriots had been properly handled in the past two decades, while the number of foreign consular missions in Hong Kong has grown from 88 to 121. HKSAR passport holders are now granted visa-free access or visas on arrival in 158 countries and regions, compared with just 44 in the past. Hong Kong is member of 80 intergovernmental organizations and had attended more than 1,800 international events as a member of the Chinese delegation and more than 27,800 international meetings in the capacity of Hong Kong, China. The SAR has further entered into 133 bilateral agreements with foreign entities.
Zhang said the country’s sustained growth and growing standing and influence in the world will guarantee Hong Kong’s prosperity and development, and create more opportunities for international cooperation for the city
He said greater efforts will be made to help Hong Kong people know more about the international landscape and the nation’s diplomatic endeavors so that Hong Kong will have a deeper understanding of the motherland and its diplomacy and give more support to the diplomatic work.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam thanked the Foreign Ministry and the commissioner’s office for their support and assistance in ensuring Hong Kong fully benefits from “one country, two systems” and helping the SAR raise its global competitiveness and profile by participating in international
Number of countries and regions that grant visa-free access or visas on arrival to HKSAR passport holders, compared with just 44 in the past. The country’s sustained growth and growing standing and influence in the world will guarantee Hong Kong’s prosperity and development, and create more opportunities for international cooperation for the city.” Zhang Yesui, vice minister of foreign affairs
. organizations and conferences in appropriate capacities, and through engagement and cooperation with global partners in business, financial, cultural, tourism and other fields.
Hong Kong people are also grateful for the comprehensive consular services and protection provided to Hong Kong people and businesses, Lam said. The Hong Kong SAR Government looks forward to working together with the commissioner’s office to further consolidate Hong Kong’s competitiveness and international status, and foster its enduring prosperity and stability.