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Central government continues to support HK, premier says

By CAO YIN (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2015-03-15 15:21:35


The central government will continue to support Hong Kong, and hopes to have closer exchange between the special administrative region and the Chinese mainland in various industries, Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference after the closing session of China's top legislature.

There is no need to worry that the central government will tighten policies toward Hong Kong, and the "one country, two systems" principle should not be changed at will, Li said after the third session of the 12th National People's Congress.

He highlighted the importance of the principle, saying that he will continue to insist on it and enforce it.

"The principle is also the will of the country and the people, and cannot be changed," he said.

The central government will give stronger support to Hong Kong for it to play its unique role in China's opening-up and modernization, he said.

"I hope the mainland and Hong Kong continue to strengthen economic, cultural and business ties, and people from both sides can benefit from the ties," he said.

In January, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced the start of the second round of public consultation on constitutional reform which aims to realize the election of its next chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017.

Following a blueprint arranged by the NPC Standing Committee, the consultation paper looks for feedback on remaining options to refine the nomination process and ballot counting.

Hong Kong will not bear illegal moves or intentions to pressure the central or local authorities to accept any proposal that is not in accordance with the Basic Law, Leung said.

Lawmakers are not allowed to deprive the city's 5 million eligible voters of the right to universal suffrage in 2017, he said.