Premier Li meets HKSAR chief executive, fully recognizes his work
Published: Dec 22, 2022 09:24 PM
John Lee Ka-chiu

John Lee Ka-chiu

Premier Li Keqiang met with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Thursday in Beijing. Lee traveled to the capital for his annual duty report this week, and the Chinese leader fully recognized Lee's work of leading the HKSAR government in responding to the public's needs, fixing its social woes and helping the city regain its economic vitality. 

Since Lee took office as CE of the HKSAR government, it has actively responded to the concerns of Hong Kong society, and the central government fully recognizes the work of Lee and the HKSAR government, hoping that it will unite and lead the public to integrate into the overall development of the country, Li was quoted as saying in Hong Kong media reports. 

Fully implementing the full governance of the central government over the HKSAR and implementing the principle of only patriots administering Hong Kong with full support for the CE and HKSAR government in rolling out policies is aimed at maintaining the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong, Li said. 

Lee was elected as the sixth CE of the HKSAR government in May, which was also the first CE election since the implementation of electoral reform which aims to ensure only patriots govern Hong Kong. After restoring order from chaos, it's also high time that Hong Kong starts a new chapter of development, and in his first policy address in mid-October, Lee highlighted the need to improve local governance, enhance the city's competitiveness as an international business hub and fix its social and economic woes. 

"Premier Li acknowledged Hong Kong's governance and development under the principle of only patriots administering Hong Kong, and there are clear instructions from the central government on the future development of the city," Lau Siu-kai, a consultant from the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies who is also a senior policy advisor, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Hong Kong needs to further enhance and fully use its advantages and cooperate with the country's development strategy, especially in promoting high-quality domestic demand with industrial innovation as well as creating synergies with the overall Asian region, Lau noted. 

"Only when the city accelerates its integration into the country's development plan can both the country and Hong Kong effectively counter the US-led West's containment," he said. 

Analysts believed that during Lee's annual duty report, a number of matters that topped the agenda include the reopening of checkpoints between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. The report would also focus on the city's restoration of social order following the introduction of the national security law for Hong Kong and post-COVID economic recovery.

Since taking office, Lee has made progress in handling the land and housing issue, improving local governance and promoting national education, which will all be affirmed by top leaders, they said. 

Over the past few years, the city has consolidated its achievements in restoring order, and the situation has constantly improved as the central government brought up new requirements for the local governance team.

Lee said during the meeting with Premier Li that he appreciated the central government's care and support for Hong Kong, and understood there's a long way to go and that he must perform his duties with diligence. The CE said he and his team share the same ambition and are united as one on the principle of taking practical actions, aiming to develop the economy and improve people's livelihoods. 

In order to enhance Hong Kong's international financial center status and promote its core strengths, Lee said earlier during the policy address that Hong Kong must drive development through innovation, grow its real economy and seize the opportunities offered by the Greater Bay Area as part of aligning Hong Kong with the country's domestic and international "dual circulation" strategy and serving as a bridge that interconnects the mainland with the rest of the world.

Lee is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday for the annual duty report, according to Hong Kong media reports.