Support vowed for SARs' integration with national development plan
President Xi Jinping voiced his commendation for the work of the governments of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions on Monday as he called on the two SARs to foster new strengths and achieve new developments.
Xi made the remark during meetings in Beijing with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Hong Kong SAR chief executive, and Fernando Chui Sai-on, chief executive of the Macao SAR.
Over the past year, the Hong Kong SAR government, led by Lam, stood firm in safeguarding the policy of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law, and it carefully planned the long-term development of Hong Kong, Xi said.
The regions' governments have actively taken part in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the joint building of Belt and Road, prioritized efforts to solve problems that touch on the interests of citizens and created conditions for the growth and development of young people, he said.
Xi said he met with a delegation from the two SARs last month. China's process of reform and opening-up is a process of Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland offering one another complementary strengths and achieving joint development. It is also a process of the transformation of "one country, two systems" from scientific concept to successful practice, he said.
The country will unwaveringly uphold the principle of "one country, two systems" and support the greater integration of the two SARs with the national development plan so they can achieve new developments and make new contributions.
In the meeting with Chui, Xi also lauded the efforts of the Macao SAR government in promoting the diversified development of the economy, boosting the public's livelihood and stepping up development of disaster prevention systems.
Xi said he believes Macao people will seize opportunities, cultivate new growth engines and welcome the 20th anniversary of the region's return to China next year with new development outcomes.
Lam and Chui were in Beijing on Monday to report to the central government about their work.
After hearing their reports, Premier Li Keqiang said that Hong Kong's stable economic growth under the complicated international circumstances did not come easily.
He said he hopes Hong Kong will continue to seize opportunities with the country's new round of reform and opening-up, prevent and control financial risks, make continuous efforts to improve livelihoods and keep improving the region's competitiveness.
While meeting with Chui, Li encouraged the Macao SAR government to keep moving forward with adjustments in economic structure, foster key industries such as leisure tourism and exhibitions, and improve the business environment.
Xi's remarks in the meeting with Lam already have evoked positive responses in Hong Kong.
Nancy Ip Yuk-yu, a neuroscientist and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that in the next year, Hong Kong will continue its strong efforts in the development of the Bay Area by deepening cooperation in scientific research with the mainland. By doing so, the city can fulfill its ambition of becoming an innovation and technology center and contribute to development of an innovation-driven country, she said.
Thomas Cheung Tsun-yung, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, said more breakthroughs in policies and institutional systems are needed for development of a world-class bay area.
Stanley Ng Chau-pei, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said the city can connect its research findings with domestic industrial chains in Guangdong province to facilitate transformation of scientific products.
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