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Prosperous future for HK, Macao seen in report

By WILLA WU in Beijing and LUIS LIU in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-22 07:39
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The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge under construction. [File photo/CHINA DAILY]

The report delivered at the 19th CPC National Congress has received a warm response from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, with political leaders, business heavyweights and veteran analysts enthused about the prosperous future outlined for the two regions.

They said the report shows the Party has regarded the comprehensive and accurate implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, as well as maintaining the lasting prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, as essential elements to realize national rejuvenation.

Both regions should integrate their own development into the overall development of the country and help shoulder the historic responsibility of national rejuvenation, they added.

The report, delivered by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, at the opening session of the congress on Wednesday, emphasized that the Party would ensure both the central government's "overall jurisdiction" over the two special administrative regions and the cities' high degree of autonomy.

It also mentioned the importance of including both SARs in the overall development of the country.

Starry Lee Wai-king, a member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council and chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city's largest political group, said highlighting overall jurisdiction in the report was in line with earlier remarks of Xi, also the Chinese president, during his visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland in July.

Xi's remarks during his visit to Hong Kong identified the main issues confronting Hong Kong society, responded to new situations that had emerged after two decades of implementing "one country, two systems", and pointed the direction for Hong Kong to pursue further development, Lee said.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, a leading think tank, said the report reiterated the central government's unwavering support for the regions.

"Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the country's development and other favorable policies. In return, the city should be responsible for fending off separatism and threats to China's sovereignty and national security," he said.

Lau added that collaboration in development between Hong Kong and the mainland would be the best approach to bridging the gap between different social systems. "Hong Kong should actively contribute to the nation's advancement, and Hong Kong's young people will also enjoy a broader horizon and better opportunities," Lau said.

Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, agreed with Lau.

"Such commitment and concrete measures from central authorities will encourage more Hong Kong people to join in collaborated development with the mainland," Choi said.

Lao Ngai-leong, a Macao SAR deputy to the National People's Congress, the top legislature, said that with closer cooperation with the mainland, Macao will find more opportunities and momentum to tap into its strengths and develop a diversified economy.

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