Li­ai­son chief en­sures two ses­sions mes­sage clear

David Wong notes that Wang’s pub­licly broad­cast sem­i­nar was first such event, un­der­lin­ing im­por­tance of HK’s role in new era

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - David Wong The au­thor is an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the New Peo­ple’s Party and for­mer civil ser­vant.

Iwas priv­i­leged to be in­vited to a sem­i­nar on April 6 in which Wang Zhimin, di­rec­tor of the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, gave an in­spir­ing talk — “New Era, New Op­por­tu­nity, New De­vel­op­ment — Shar­ing on the Spirit of the 2018 Meet­ings of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress and Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence”. If I re­call cor­rectly, it is the first time a pub­lic shar­ing, with live broad­cast, was made by the di­rec­tor on the two ses­sions.

Pre­vi­ously, it was of­ten up to the me­dia who only re­ported the gist of the meet­ings and was in­evitably sub­ject to some bias. Since the two ses­sions spanned two weeks with nu­mer­ous speeches by many of­fi­cials and in­di­vid­u­als and many events and note­wor­thy mo­ments, it is nec­es­sary and timely to have an au­thor­i­ta­tive re­cap of what had hap­pened and what the peo­ple of Hong Kong should pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to.

More im­por­tant is that our coun­try has en­tered a new era led by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping who em­pha­sized that Hong Kong should be part of the na­tional de­vel­op­ment, which is an im­proved path for the city to con­tinue to de­velop under the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” frame­work. It has been more than 20 years since Hong Kong re­united with the moth­er­land but there are still doubts and de­bates on how Hong Kong should move for­ward. Back in the 1990s, the Bri­tish were adamant that Hong Kong should keep its unique­ness and main­tain its dis­tance from the Chi­nese main­land. The op­po­si­tion have been echo­ing this view for years, call­ing for sep­a­ra­tion of Hong Kong and the main­land. Any­one with a sound mind would know that Hong Kong’s fu­ture lies with the main­land’s and the first chief ex­ec­u­tive Tung Chee-hwa has been fre­quently quoted as say­ing: “When the coun­try is do­ing well, Hong Kong will do well”, but the re­cent new na­tional poli­cies make this idea all the more clear and con­crete for ev­ery­one to see.

The rise in our coun­try’s com­pre­hen­sive na­tional power, es­pe­cially af­ter the 18th Party Congress, is clear to the whole world. The na­tional econ­omy con­tin­ues to grow and is set to ex­ceed that of the United States in about a decade. For­eign­ers liv­ing on the main­land were sur­veyed. They re­garded the high-speed rail, bi­cy­cle-shar­ing, on­line shop­ping and elec­tronic pay­ment as the four great re­cent in­ven­tions of China. Our naval power was on plain dis­play dur­ing the re­cent large naval pa­rade in the South China Sea, in­clud­ing the air­craft-car­rier bat­tle group, long-range bombers, nu­clear sub­marines and de­stroy­ers. We are also lead­ing the world on many tech­no­log­i­cal fronts, such as quan­tum satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions, quan­tum com­put­ers, fifth-gen­er­a­tion telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­works, ex­trac­tion of com­bustible ice and are home to the world’s fastest com­put­ers. Ask any of the 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple liv­ing on the main­land and they will tes­tify to these re­mark­able achieve­ments and the huge rise in their stan­dard of liv­ing.

The con­tin­u­a­tion of the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy in the new era will cre­ate fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties and strate­gic sup­port for Hong Kong to join in as part of the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment. Af­ter all, Hong Kong has an ex­cel­lent in­ter­na­tional busi­ness net­work and ex­pe­ri­ence as well as a con­ver­gence of top-tier global tal­ent. The city is in prime po­si­tion to con­tinue its role as a “su­per-con­nec­tor” be­tween the coun­try and the world.

I be­lieve the best pos­si­bil­ity for Hong Kong is the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area de­vel­op­ment. This Bay Area is the most dy­namic and open re­gion of China and is home to more than 60 mil­lion peo­ple. At present, it al­ready in­cludes the his­tor­i­cal com­merce hub of Guangzhou, tech­no­log­i­cal hub of Shen­zhen, ad­vanced­man­u­fac­tur­ing city of Foshan, global fi­nan­cial cen­ter of Hong Kong and world-class en­ter­tain­ment city of Ma­cao. This year three ma­jor in­fras­truc­ture projects — the high-speed rail ter­mi­nal in Hong Kong, the Hong KongZhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge and Liantang/ He­ung Yuen Wai Bound­ary Con­trol Point — are set to be com­pleted, giv­ing the Bay Area a huge boost. With such a strong back­ground and re­mark­able re­cent achieve­ments, the fu­ture of the Bay Area can­not be over­es­ti­mated.

As noted by Wang, none of these ac­com­plish­ments would be pos­si­ble with­out the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China. For many years and for var­i­ous rea­sons, many peo­ple in Hong Kong have re­mained ei­ther un­fa­mil­iar with or have many mis­con­cep­tions for the na­tion’s rul­ing party. It is now time for Hong Kong so­ci­ety to com­pre­hen­sively un­der­stand the CPC and its poli­cies since the city’s de­vel­op­ment and peo­ple’s well-be­ing hinge on it. More­over, it is also cru­cial to the con­tin­ued suc­cess of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” for decades to come.

Xi has re­peat­edly noted that we are closer than ever be­fore to achiev­ing the great re­vival of the Chi­nese na­tion. How­ever, the road ahead will not be easy and some coun­tries and peo­ple will try to stop us.

We need to be de­ter­mined and do our jobs well, no mat­ter how in­signif­i­cant these may seem. Last but not least, we need to have faith in our na­tion, the rul­ing party and our­selves.

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