Officials: Central govt 'unswervingly' supports Hong Kong maintaining international role
Hong Kong's multiple advantages will be further strengthened with the nation's backing and under the "one country, two systems" principle, and the central government will "unswervingly" support the special administrative region in maintaining its international role, officials said on Monday, giving a shot in the arm to public confidence in the city's international character.
They made the remarks at the International Forum on Progress Through Collaboration - Connecting the World: Hong Kong's New Opportunities and New Future. The event was held both online and in-person by local think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation.
Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, sounded a resolute note on Hong Kong's contribution to the nation's modernization, pointing out the city's unique advantages in geography and the "one country, two systems" principle.
"Hong Kong's significant advantage of being backed by the motherland and connected to the world will be further emphasized and enhanced as China promotes high-standard opening-up to the outside world," he said.
The central government "fully supports" Hong Kong's maintaining the common law system and a close connection with the world's rule of law governance and market systems, Zheng said.
"Regardless of how the times and global landscape changes, our steadfast adherence to 'one country, two systems' is unwavering. Our determination to support Hong Kong in maintaining its unique status and advantages is unwavering," he added.
The remarks came as the financial hub's business environment was traumatized by its since-lifted stringent rules to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and by the anti-government protests of 2019-20, leading to a talent exodus. The HKSAR government is ramping up efforts to restore its international-friendly image on the global stage.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu delivered an opening speech, saying that the "'one country, two systems' principle is Hong Kong's inspired means of making an indispensable contribution to the country as well as the international community".
Hong Kong will continue to enhance its status as "an international financial center that includes building on our strengths as the world's largest offshore renminbi center, international asset management center and risk management center", he added.
The city's leader said that the latest endeavors made by the HKSAR government to facilitate cross-border capital flow include adding foreign companies' shares under the southbound trading of the Stock Connect, along with the issuance of offshore renminbi local government bonds in Hong Kong by the governments of Shenzhen and Hainan province.
While offering traditional investment opportunities to enterprises around the world, Lee pledged to develop a carbon market and fintech, injecting new blood into the vibrancy of the city's financial sector.
Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said, "Hong Kong's overall advantages are evident, such as the common law system, the 'one country, two systems' institutional framework, the position of being backed by the motherland and connected to the world, and internationalization advantages."
If all these potentials could be unleashed, Hong Kong's attractiveness to high-end talent will continue to increase, and eventually, it will win the competition for talent, she said.
"Today's Hong Kong fully enjoys the development dividends brought by Chinese modernization and its own internationalization," Lu said.
Officials of Central and Hong Kong SAR governments and other guests attend the International Forum on Progress Through Collaboration - Connecting the World: Hong Kong's New Opportunities and New Future held by Our Hong Kong Foundation in Conrad Hong Kong on Monday. [Photo by Andy Chong / China Daily]