Hong Kong’s leader plans ‘bold’ mea­sures to bol­ster econ­omy hurt by protests

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Canada & World -

Hong Kong’s chief ex­ec­u­tive said the govern­ment is con­sid­er­ing “bold” mea­sures to shore up the fal­ter­ing econ­omy, in a news con­fer­ence that gave no new pol­icy de­tails or con­ces­sions to pro­test­ers.

The mea­sures would cover a va­ri­ety of liveli­hood is­sues in­clud­ing hous­ing, Car­rie Lam said Fri­day after meet­ing busi­ness lead­ers, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

She is due to de­liver her an­nual pol­icy ad­dress in Oc­to­ber.

Mean­while, Hong Kong’s air­port bol­stered se­cu­rity Fri­day as pro­test­ers be­gan a three-day sit-in at the ar­rivals hall of its main ter­mi­nal, kick­ing off a 10th straight week­end of anti-China demon­stra­tions.

Weeks of protests over the govern­ment’s ex­tra­di­tion bill have hit con­fi­dence, re­tail spend­ing and busi­ness ac­tiv­ity hard at a time when the econ­omy was al­ready slow­ing. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct con­tracted in the sec­ond quar­ter. Lam said the eco­nomic down­draft caused by the protests is worse than that dur­ing the SARS epi­demic and the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

She ad­mit­ted that while many peo­ple are un­sat­is­fied with the govern­ment, it doesn’t mean they should tol­er­ate vi­o­lence.”

“Dis­sat­is­fac­tion to­ward the govern­ment is not jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to tol­er­ate vi­o­lence. We must stop the vi­o­lent protests. Hong Kong can­not have large-scale, spon­ta­neous protests that obstruct traf­fic and daily op­er­a­tions.”

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