Top lawmaker to ‘inspect’ HK

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016/5/17 0:23:33

China's top legislator began his trip to Hong Kong Tuesday, which analysts said could re-emphasize the "one country, two systems" policy and highlight the significance the mainland attaches to the region in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In a rare reference, the Xinhua News Agency said Zhang Dejiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, will "inspect" the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) during his 3-day trip.

"The trip can re-emphasize the central government's consistent policy on Hong Kong and can help boost Hong Kong confidence in the 'one country, two systems' policy," Tian Feilong, an assistant professor at Beijing's Beihang University, told the Global Times.

This is reportedly the first time a State-level official will visit Hong Kong since 2012, when then-president Hu Jintao attended celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of the SAR's return to the mainland.

According to Hong Kong-based China Review News, Zhang will attend a closed-door conference with all department heads and secretaries of the regional government.

On Wednesday, Zhang is scheduled to attend a Belt and Road Summit sponsored by the Hong Kong SAR government and is expected to speak on Hong Kong's role in the Belt and Road Initiative and how the region can integrate with it.

"Being part of China, Hong Kong will not be allowed to decay, as China's economic policies will benefit Hong Kong, which holds many advantages over the mainland and could be brought into play in the Belt and Road Initiative," Zhang Dinghuai, a professor at the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute of Shenzhen University, told the Global Times.

With its advanced financial and legal systems, Hong Kong can provide services and support as Chinese enterprises eye international markets and cooperation, Tian noted.

Zhang Dejiang will also attend a reception Wednesday evening with local executive council members and 10 legislative council members. Four pro-democracy lawmakers are also among those invited, but Cyd Ho Sau-lan turned down the invitation, Hong Kong-based newspaper Ta Kung Pao reported.

During the meeting, the top legislator may reiterate the importance of safeguarding national security and Hong Kong's role on this aspect, as the local society lacks a correct concept of mainland-Hong Kong relations, according to Zhang Dinghuai.

"Hong Kong should be aware that the central government remains committed to developing democratic politics in Hong Kong, and the Basic Law has demonstrated a clear path to Hong Kong's political reform. The mainland is also aware of the problems Hong Kong faces, and those will certainly be raised at the meeting," Zhang Dinghuai said.

Hong Kong's biggest advantage is having mainland support, Zhang Dejiang said at a discussion with national legislators from Hong Kong during the annual two sessions in March.

Posted in: HK/Macao/Taiwan

blog comments powered by Disqus