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'Seeking change, maintaining stability'

Updated: 2012-04-11 14:26
( Xinhua)


'Seeking change, maintaining stability'

Leung Chun-ying, newly-elected Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), gestures during an interview with Xinhua, April 11, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]


HONG KONG - "People's expectation is my obligation. In the next five years, I'll be hand in hand with seven million Hong Kong citizens to turn the city into a more prosperous, righteous and progressive society," Leung Chun-ying, newly-elected Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.  

Government's Role

The HKSAR held the election for the fourth-term chief executive on March 25. In the first round of the voting, Leung garnered 689 votes, a majority of the 1,132 votes cast by members of the 1,200-member Election Committee.

Born in 1954, Leung is the son of a police officer. He went to Britain to study in 1974 and returned to Hong Kong as a surveyor in 1977.

In the 1980s, Leung was appointed member of the Basic Law Consultative Committee. After the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, he was appointed convenor of the Non-Official Members of the Executive Council.

In his political platform, 57-year-old Leung emphasized that Hong Kong does not need radical reforms. Instead, he would introduce some changes in the midst of stability.

Leung explained to Xinhua that smooth development is key to Hong Kong's future. To this end, changes must be introduced to create a harmonious environment for growth.    

According to Leung, the "big market, small government" policy makes Hong Kong depend too much on market. Guaranteeing fair competition as the precondition, the Hong Kong government "should help its enterprises jump at the chances of China and Asia's vigorous development, keep a rapid and continuous growth rate, create job opportunities, and improve people's livelihood," he said.    

With regard to the housing issue, Leung pointed out while keeping the housing price at a proper and stable level, the government should bear in mind the people's need of owning a property by themselves.

Talking about social welfare, Leung said he was determined to help ease grass-roots poverty by resetting the anti-poverty commission. He proposed subsidies for low-income families to reduce the working poor and double allowances for eligible elderly.

Leung told Xinhua that in his early months in office which will begin on July 1, he will make efforts on the implementation of the central government's supporting policies towards Hong Kong, prescribed in the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the 12th Five-Year Program, and the 36 supporting measures introduced by Vice Premier Li Keqiang last year. All these preferential policies are beneficial to Hong Kong's economic and social development.

Leung said he is also considering the ways to handle the relationship between the HKSAR and the central government, including the relationship between "one country" and "two systems".

People Oriented

In his political platform, Leung mentioned "uniting all people, upholding Hong Hong's core value". Leung said that after taking office on July 1, he will continue to immerse himself into the masses in order to make sure that government policies fit in people's needs.

Leung told Xinhua that reaching out to the grass roots provides him not only deeper understanding of his hometown Hong Kong, but more ideas and solutions to existing problems. "My team and I will be people-oriented, introducing policies and measures to meet people's need," Leung said.

"My team and I will continue to go and visit the general public, listening to people's concerns, enhancing the level of policy studies, and strengthening investigations on social and economic issues," he said.

Leung said business circles have made great contributions to Hong Kong's prosperity. Therefore, "We should meet their needs for enterprise development." And at the same time, improving people's livelihood will help build a stable and harmonious society, which is essential to an ideal business environment.

"The interest of business people is consistent with the interest of the whole society. Only stable and harmonious circumstances can guarantee sustainable growth," he continued.

Leung emphasized that upholding the core values of Hong Kong, including the rule of law, human rights, integrity, clean government and freedom of the press, is part of Hong Kong people's life and an important element of the principle of "one country, two systems", and "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy.  

Immediately after the election, Leung called for solidarity among people. He said, "Now the contest is over. It's time to reunite. We must work in unison and be inclusive."

"Hong Kong will succeed as long as we are of one heart and one vision," he stressed.

Concluding his remarks of the interview with Xinhua, Leung repeated his commitments to the citizens. "In the place I live, I hope I can work together with Hong Kong people, by seizing opportunities and facing challenges, to turn Hong Kong into a more prosperous, righteous and progressive society."