Vice foreign min­is­ter says over­seas Chi­nese have ben­e­fited in past two decades and HK’s global sta­tus lifted

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DARA WANG in Hong Kong dara@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

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

Briefly

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.

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