HK can persevere with central govt support: official
Connections with mainland will boost jobs, prosperity
Published: Sep 10, 2019 08:28 PM

A young man sits by the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, China in August. Photo: VCG

China's central government has shown strong backing for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to help the city get through its difficulties, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan said on Tuesday, while vowing to support Hong Kong's local authorities in ending the violence, restoring order and punishing the perpetrators.

The central government implements the "one country, two systems" principle and supports rule of law in the HKSAR government. With the support of the central government, "we believe that Hong Kong will get through the difficulties," Wang said at a meeting of the Mainland China-Hong Kong Belt and Road Business and Professional Service Council on Tuesday, Hong Kong-based media outlet reported. 

Support from the Chinese mainland can help Hong Kong resist headwinds and expand business opportunities, Wang explained. He also said that the Ministry of Commerce will help Hong Kong give full play to its advantages under the "one country, two systems" principle. 

"In developing the Belt and Road Initiative [BRI], relevant departments will keep in close communication to strengthen cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, and Hong Kong can play an important role in promoting the BRI," Wang noted.

He also condemned the recent riots in Hong Kong, which he said not only seriously hurt Hong Kong's rule of law, social order and international prestige but also affect its prosperity and stability.

"The Chinese mainland supports Hong Kong in a comprehensive way, not only in terms of providing economic stimulus but also in helping end riots in the city," Liang Haiming, an economist at Hainan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "We have 1.4 billion people whose hearts are aligned with the Hong Kong police and other law-enforcers. And that's where our confidence in ending the Hong Kong violence comes from."

Deeper economic integration with the Chinese mainland, which offers more employment opportunities and better career prospects, can also alleviate social and economic problems in Hong Kong amid the ongoing protests, observers said. 

Liang stressed that Hong Kong has thrived on deeper connections with the Chinese mainland for decades, and will continue to benefit from policy dividends from the mainland, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and BRI. 

"The Greater Bay Area is home to about 70 million people, which could bring a market that is 10 times the size of that of Hong Kong for local entrepreneurs," Liang said. He noted that Hong Kong enterprises can also benefit from the BRI drive to expand into overseas markets. 

Dong Shaopeng, a deputy managing editor of the Securities Daily, said that months of chaos have dented Hong Kong's business environment but the vast market of the mainland will offer advantages Hong Kong can tap, adding that Hong Kong has advantages not enjoyed by many other regions in the world.  

In terms of policies that can be taken by the central government, Dong listed financial facilitation, trade facilitation and technology sector cooperation.

However, stability remains a prerequisite for Hong Kong to tap mainland resources, Dong told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Months of protests in Hong Kong have escalated into violent attacks. From tourism to retail to services, almost all the major industries have been seriously crippled by the unrest.