Top legislator foresees bright future for SAR

Updated: 2016-05-18 03:18

By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong(China Daily)

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Top legislator foresees bright future for SAR

Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of China's National People's Congress, followed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, arrives for a three-day visit in Hong Kong May 17, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

China's top legislator commended on Tuesday the efforts by Hong Kong's chief executive and its government in faithfully implementing the "One Country, Two Systems" principle and Basic Law, and in successfully promoting the city's economic and livelihood development on multiple fronts.

Foreseeing a bright future for the city and the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, Zhang Dejiang encouraged the special administration region's government to continue to focus on economic development and on improving people's quality of living, to make greater contributions to the city's stability and prosperity.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made the remarks after being briefed on Tuesday afternoon on the SAR government's work, as part of his inspection tour of the city from Tuesday to Thursday.

Zhang acknowledged that the SAR government had introduced many new measures to address social issues, including land, housing, elderly care and poverty alleviation, with some success already.

He said the central government found the work of the SAR government satisfactory, as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang did in December when the chief executive went to Beijing to give the annual SAR government work report to the central authorities.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying thanked Zhang for visiting, saying that the SAR government's achievements are dependent on the central government's support.

Zhang is the first State leader to visit the SAR since 2012.

"I'm here to observe, listen and speak," he said.

The visit has drawn attention at home and abroad as Hong Kong has faced economic and social fluctuations in recent years.

Zhang, who was met by Leung at Hong Kong International Airport, conveyed regards from President Xi and the central government to the people of Hong Kong.

The top legislator, who also oversees Hong Kong and Macao affairs, said he wanted to see for himself the changes that have taken place in the city and in people's daily lives, and to meet "old and new friends" from different sectors.

Zhang said he hoped to hear officials' and the local community's views and suggestions on the implementation of Basic Law, "One Country, Two Systems" and "a high degree of autonomy".

He said he was interested in hearing advice on the SAR's economic development.

Zhang will speak at the Belt and Road Summit on Wednesday morning and at an official banquet in the evening.

Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, is among the few lawmakers and Executive Council members invited to attend a reception with Zhang before the banquet.

Lam said he plans to ask Zhang for the central government's continuous support of the local economy amid the gloomy global economic outlook.

He said he will also propose that Hong Kong be made the treasury center of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Amid growing threats of global terrorism and radical "localism", Hong Kong police raised the security level for the visit.

Various protests have been held in recent years, some even escalating into mass incidents, such as the illegal "Occupy Central" movement in 2014 and the Mong Kok riot this year.