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Policy Address proposals focus on cooperation with mainland

By Gang Wen | | Updated: 2021-10-05 09:47
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The flag-raising ceremony is held at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, in celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Oct 1, 2021. [CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY]

Hong Kong's political groups and organizations expressed the hope that the 2021 Policy Address will help the city better utilize opportunities offered by national development, by releasing the potential of an idle border area and strengthening Hong Kong residents' national identity.

They submitted proposals to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, before she delivers her fifth and last Policy Address during her term of office on Wednesday, which will detail Hong Kong's plan to implement the nation's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) in eight aspects.

The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong proposed that the Hong Kong government make full use of the land resources of the northern part of the New Territories, an undeveloped border area adjacent to Shenzhen.

They said large tracts of land in the area could become a major source of supply for Hong Kong. Given its location, the area also promises to be an intersection for the movement of people and goods in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The alliance envisions turning the area into an ideal location for living, integration, and innovation. It has proposed that the government develop a new business center there and make a detailed plan for establishing an "economic belt" near the border control points. It also advised authorities to develop the area into industry hubs for medical research and artificial intelligence, and to set up a Greater Bay Area artificial intelligence research base.

The Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers' proposed increasing the number of textbooks on national security education and teachers who are familiar with related subjects.

The federation advised the government to set up an education center to offer support, such as organizing training for teachers on national security subjects, and providing diversified educational activities to help students learn more about the Basic Law for Hong Kong.

The federation also proposed the promotion of educational exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to help students increase their understanding of the nation.

For deeper integration into the Bay Area, the New People's Party proposed launching more pilot policies for professionals to practice in mainland cities while the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions suggested extending local welfare benefits to the mainland.

To prepare for the 2021 Policy Address, the chief executive conducted about 40 consultation sessions with various sectors. More than 3,500 residents attended the sessions.

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