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'Over-focus on politics to harm HK's interests'
( 2003-07-16 09:03) (China Daily HK Edition)

Extreme pushes in the political direction will do harm to Hong Kong's stability and hinder an early economic recovery, warned Gao Siren, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong, yesterday.

"Hong Kong is a city of business, not of politics. I hope it will enjoy social stability for the benefits of economic development and improvement of people's livelihoods," he said while attending a meeting in preparation for the National Day celebrations on October 1.

He called on Hong Kong people to stand united and strive for "unity, stability, development and progress".

Although he did not elaborate on what the "extremely politicized" acts are, he was obviously referring to the recent moves by the democrats to oppose Article 23 legislation and call for early implementation of universal suffrage.

Gao said that the "understanding-trust-and-unity" call made by Premier Wen Jiabao during his recent visit to the city also aims to help maintain social harmony and stability.

Stability has made it possible for Hong Kong to become an international finance, trade and shipping centre, and has a bearing on the benefits and interests of every Hong Kong citizen.

"Economic development is the lifeline of Hong Kong and the common aspiration of all citizens. Any words or deeds that affect economic development are not in accord with the fundamental interests of Hong Kong," he said.

He noted that Hong Kong people have the responsibility and obligation to safeguard national reunification and security.

The past year's experience in Article 23 legislation reflects the spirit of Hong Kong people as masters of the nation, he said, expressing confidence that with more communication and consultation between the government and citizens, the legislative process will surely be completed.

Gao's words were echoed by Henry Fok, vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who called on Hong Kong people to be united in face of difficulties.

"Unity begets stability, and stability prosperity," he said, while calling for more concerted efforts on economic development.

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