Lam pledges to boost HK’s international role
Hong Kong’s leader on Wednesday pledged to leverage the city’s autonomy promised by the Basic Law in international affairs, while extending cooperation with the mainland on all fronts.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor concluded her four-day visit in Beijing, meeting various department heads of the central government.
On Wednesday, she met Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Minister of Culture Luo Shugang and Director of the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television Nie Chenxi.
“The Basic Law has bestowed on Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy in certain international affairs. In the coming five years, Hong Kong should leverage its unique niches in international affairs,” Lam told the foreign minister.
“Hong Kong has maintained its status as an international city and has signed free trade agreements with various countries,” she added.
Wang Yi noted:“The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will support Lam to implement ‘ one country, two systems’, and promote social and economic development of Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong and the mainland signed an agreement in Beijing on Wednesday to boost tourism cooperation as the SAR strives to pull the struggling industry out of the doldrums.
The Agreement on Further Enhancement of Tourism Cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong was signed by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah and China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Vice-Chairman Du Jiang.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Lam and CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao.
Under the agreement, Hong Kong and the mainland will jointly develop Maritime Silk Road tourism products and promote markets linked to the Belt and Road Initiative. It will also enrich multi-destination travel itineraries to attract more visitors, taking advantage of tourism resources in Hong Kong and nearby cities.
Cooperation on cruise travel will also be enhanced, while more Hong Kong travel agents will be allowed to operate outbound travel business for mainland residents under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement framework.
The two sides will also formulate a regular communication and coordination mechanism to study and discuss issues on regional tourism cooperation and regulation.
In meeting with the media industry chief, Lam said private enterprises of Hong Kong and the mainland in the publication and broadcasting industry had cultivated deep business connections.
The country’s media chief Nie highlighted the strong cooperation of filmmakers across the boundary, saying Hong Kong and mainland filmmakers had produced more than 80 films since 2003.