HK to start first session of dialogue next week

By Lu Wenao, Zhao Juecheng in Hong Kong, and Zhang Hui in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/17 12:14:07 Last Updated: 2019/9/17 19:25:34

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor holds a press briefing on Tuesday. Photo: Zhao Juecheng/GT

The Hong Kong government will start its first session of open dialogue in communities next week, during which people from all walks of life will be invited to participate, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced at Tuesday's press briefing. 

After three months of social unrest, people now realize that Hong Kong's problems go well beyond the extradition bill. It is important for government to listen to people's views. Concerns include some deep-seated problems such as housing, land shortages and less diversity in the economy, Lam said. She explained that communication is far better than confrontation. 

The dialogue platform proposed by the Hong Kong government in late August will follow principles including widespread participation from people of different levels and with different political views, and openness and transparency. 

The dialogues will be held in different communities and residents can apply to participate. Each session will include around 100 to 200 people, and the government will also randomly select people of different age groups for the dialogue, according to Lam. 

Lam has condemned the latest violence at MTR stations, and said that resorting to force will only make problems more complicated, further tear the society apart and make reparation work more difficult. 

Lam said that she has made clear that she condemns all forms of violence, that the condemnation is not politically driven, and that she rejects all speculations about the government or the police for being selective, as it's not acceptable in Hong Kong which is proud of its rule of law.

In response to Moody's latest rating that downgraded Hong Kong's outlook to negative, Lam said that she did not agree with the negative rating, as Hong Kong's foundation remains very strong. 

Despite this, Lam also said that the continued instability and social unrest in Hong Kong will evidently undermine and affect international perceptions about Hong Kong's business environment. 

As for some civil servants of Hong Kong participating in the ongoing protests, Lam stressed that the government will not allow any violations from civil servants, and will take actions against those who resort to violence.


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