China Daily (Hong Kong)
Polls a promising sign for long-term prosperity
Hong Kong business leaders and economics experts hailed on Monday the Election Committee elections as a promising sign that the special administrative region is on the right track to long-term prosperity and stability under governance by patriots.
The polls, the first to be held under the revamped electoral system in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, went smoothly on Sunday, as about 4,380 registered voters cast their ballots at five polling stations.
The newly elected Election Committee is due to nominate candidates for the Legislative Council’s Dec 19 elections and the chief executive race on March 27.
Sunday’s elections ensured that only people who earnestly love the country and Hong Kong, abide by the constitutional order, and are rational and pragmatic can lead Hong Kong to sustained social, political and economic prosperity and stability, said Allen Shi, president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong.
Having experienced devastating economic contraction over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest, with many industries badly hit, Hong Kong can’t afford to suffer “internal strife” anymore, which endangers national security and jeopardizes the region’s economic development, Shi said.
Shi said he is convinced that the elections, also the first since the enactment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong in June 2020, have placed Hong Kong on solid grounds in terms of social, political and economic development, helping the city “emerge from the current predicament”.
Chong Tai-leung, executive director of the Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the best part of the elections is the selection and convergence of patriots from all walks of life, whose future developmental proposals for their sectors will be made for the best interests of Hong Kong.
He said the elections fixed a loophole in the past elections where strict screening was lacking. “That’s why the composition of the previous committees included candidates with the intent to hamper the SAR governance, and sabotage and disrupt Hong Kong’s integrity and stability.”
For the upcoming elections, Chong is confident that the committee will choose the right chief executive candidates who will serve and lead Hong Kong with an unwavering dedication to Hong Kong’s “prosperity, development and stability”.
Moreover, as the Election Committee members are all leaders in their respective sectors, they will voice their concerns for their industries and formulate developmental proposals, Chong added. Their proposals will be input for the central government when it considers Hong Kong’s unique status in national development, he said.
The inclusion of Chinese mainland enterprises reflects the importance of their contribution to Hong Kong’s economy, said Henry Ho, founder and chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, based in Hong Kong. It will also facilitate “Hong Kong’s further integration to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development,” he said.
Witman Hung Wai-man, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress and principal liaison officer for Hong Kong, Shenzhen Qianhai Authority, said that the chief executive and legislators elected by the committee will align their governance with the needs of the Hong Kong society, in which the economic integration of Hong Kong into the Greater Bay Area is one of the highest priorities.
“The fifth sector of the Election Committee comprising members of national bodies will further ensure the synchronization of the SAR with the central government,” Hung said.
The best part of the elections is the selection and convergence of patriots from all walks of life.” Chong Tai-leung, executive director of the Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong