Hong Kong should turn over a new page

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-19 23:13:30

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-Ying, announced Friday that he would submit an appropriation proposal to the Legislative Council (LegCo) on June 26. The proposal covers 11 items on public welfare and the local economy. If approved, an Innovation and Technology Bureau(ITB) would be established.
Observers believe the proposal addresses the immediate concerns of Hong Kong. The LegCo rejected the proposal when it was first raised three years ago. But the declining competitiveness of Hong Kong’s technological innovation has sparked wide attention. The city’s competitiveness has been sliding in several global rankings. The proportion of technological investment in the GDP is lower than many peer inland cities, such as Shenzhen.
For the past 20 months, Hong Kong had spent too much time debating political reform. Leung called on Hong Kong society to put aside political disagreements and prejudice, and focus greater attention on Hong Kong’s livelihood.
The day after Hong Kong’s political reform proposal was vetoed by LegCo, Leung raised the initiative. It deserves respect from both Hong Kong and mainland societies. Though positioned as one of the developed metropolises in Asia, Hong Kong is plagued by various social problems.
Politics should be in tune with social progress. Advancing social development and allowing the public to enjoy prosperity more fairly should be the goal of politics. There are societies that overly politicize social woes. But instead of finding solutions, they have been falling into economic stagnation and political gridlock.
As one of the developed first-tier cities of the world, Hong Kong is a global hub of high-quality resources including capital and manpower. As long as the city can maintain its entrepreneurial spirit and confidence, its ability to improve will guarantee its global competitiveness.
In stark contrast, the mainland lags behind Hong Kong in its ability to accumulate social wealth. But due to strong resolve, its quest to promote the people’s well-being has been greatly boosted. Blessed by a solid foundation in social development, support from the mainland and will of the Hong Kong administration, the city has sufficient resources to take further concrete steps.
Some people argue that Hong Kong’s advantages will be offset by the mainland’s rapid development. Concerns like this shouldn’t be played up as reducing disparities among different regions is a global trend. Hong Kong’s distinction is an irreplaceable status in China. By maintaining its competitiveness, Hong Kong will not be marginalized.
Leung’s proposal, which focuses on people’s livelihood, the city’s economy and technological innovation, should be praised as it can turn a new page for the city. It reflects Leung’s responsible leadership under current circumstances.
Hong Kong is at a crossroads. Its next step requires the wisdom and determination of Hongkongers, insights from the city’s administration, and constructive engagement between its society and the government. Hong Kong needs to look forward and focus on reinforcing its capabilities in an increasingly competitive world. On this road, “democracy” shouldn’t be its Achilles’ heel.

Posted in: Editorial

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