Blueprint highlights city's future

Updated: 2011-03-08 07:03

By Li Tao(HK Edition)

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Blueprint highlights city's future

Plan shows strong support under 'One Country, Two Systems': Peng

The emphasis on Hong Kong's place in the nation's blueprint for the next five years reflects the importance attached to the city by the central government and the support it intends to provide, officials said Monday.

Director of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in Hong Kong Peng Qinghua noted that the plan places strong emphasis on the support for Hong Kong under the policy of "One Country, Two Systems".

"The word that appeared most in the 12th Five-Year Program regarding Hong Kong is 'support', rather than 'supersede', which demonstrates the city still owns a high degree of autonomy," said Peng.

"The Five-Year Program is well based on the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems', so the central government will not replace nor supersede the functions of the SAR government. So there is no issue of the central government's setting out plans for Hong Kong," Peng said. He spoke at a meeting with the Hong Kong delegation at the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing Monday.

The blueprint unveiled Saturday highlights Hong Kong's economic role in the nation for the next half decade starting 2011.

"We will support Hong Kong in consolidating and elevating its position as an international financial, trade and shipping center," Premier Wen Jiabao said when delivering the Government Work Report Saturday.

Wen said the central government will unwaveringly implement the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and fully support the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions in developing their economies and improving their people's well-being.

According to the plan, the central government in the next five years will continually support Hong Kong to develop finance, shipping, logistics, tourism, professional services, information and other high value-added services.

It will also back the city's development into a yuan offshore center and international asset management center, as well as a high-end storage management and regional distribution center.

In the newly released plan, there is a separate chapter articulating support for sustaining the two special administrative regions' long-term prosperity and stability.

The country will support Hong Kong's development of priority industries in which it enjoys clear advantages, including environmental industries, medical services, education services, testing and certification, innovation and technology, cultural and creative industries. Cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will be broadened to build up a regional financial cooperation area led by Hong Kong's financial system and supported by the financial resources and services in the Pearl River Delta cities, said the Five-Year Program.

"The central government has been very supportive to Hong Kong's development since the handover. Hong Kong's strengthening role in the country's overall development strategy this time brings great economic opportunities for us," said Yuen Mo, chief of Hong Kong NPC delegation.

"On the other hand, Hong Kong will also play out its advantages, such as its rich resource of professionals and its sound legal system to contribute to the country's overall development strategy," Yuen said.

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-Tai, deputy to the NPC and former president of the Legislative Council, said it stands as a mark of success that the city has been embraced so closely in the development of national strategies.

See commentary, New opportunities for city page 11

China Daily

(HK Edition 03/08/2011 page1)