Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

China’s finance minister backs Hong Kong ‘broadening international cooperation’

China’s finance minister backs Hong Kong ‘broadening international cooperation’

Chinese finance minister Liu Kun also says Hong Kong’s economic vitality has been revived under Chief Executive John Lee and hopes to ‘also learn’ from city leader.

China’s finance minister has pledged his full support for Hong Kong’s “extensive broadening of international cooperation” and further integration into the national development plan, as he spoke highly of the city’s leader during a meeting in Beijing.

Liu Kun, a key official recently retained by China’s legislature to oversee the country’s macroeconomic policies, on Tuesday said President Xi Jinping had “highly recognised” the work of Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu during their last exchange in December. Liu said he would “also learn” from Lee.

“The Ministry of Finance fully supports Hong Kong, according to the planning of the [Communist] Party and central government, to utilise its unique advantages, extensively broaden international cooperation and better integrate into national development plans,” he told Lee.

The pledge echoed Xi’s words of support to Lee last December during his first duty visit to the nation’s capital as chief executive.

Chief Executive John Lee (second right) during his meeting with Minister of Finance Liu Kun (first left) in Beijing.


The high-level exchange on Tuesday was the first between Lee and leaders of cabinet-level departments during his week-long stay in Beijing, taking place a day after the conclusion of China’s “two sessions”, the annual meetings of the nation’s legislature and top political advisory body.

Liu, 66, kept his role in the recent cabinet shake-up despite reaching the official retirement age of 65, a decision seen by observers as an emphasis on continuity to confront financial headwinds.

His remarks also aligned with those of newly promoted Premier Li Qiang, who on Monday highlighted the central government’s support for Hong Kong to increase its “international competitiveness” and underscored the city’s status as a financial, trading and shipping hub.

China has set an economic growth target of around 5 per cent for the year ahead, which Li conceded was “not easy to achieve”, adding that “high-quality” development was a priority.

According to a three-minute video released by Hong Kong authorities, the finance minister spoke highly of the chief executive’s leadership, quoting Xi’s compliments that Lee’s government “has the courage to take responsibility, delivers work pragmatically and unifies different sectors”.

“[The local government] steadfastly safeguarded national security, significantly boosted the city’s economic vitality, and proactively responded to people’s concerns. Hong Kong is steadily progressing on the right path for the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Liu told Lee.

“From the general secretary’s assessment of you, we shall be here to learn. I shall also learn from you,” the country’s finance minister added, referring to Xi by his title as head of the Communist Party.

Xi was spotted looking for and pointing at Lee after the opening ceremony of the two sessions earlier this month. Lee, who bowed back, told the media afterwards that Xi had always shown his care and encouragement which motivated him to work harder and do more.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Lee was joined by two bureau chiefs – financial services minister Christopher Hui Ching-yu and mainland affairs chief Erick Tsang Kwok-wai. All present wore masks, except Liu and Lee.

The city leader also thanked the ministry for its long-running support of efforts to consolidate Hong Kong as an international financial hub, noting that the sector accounted for more than 20 per cent of the city’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and 7 per cent of its workforce.

“We have been focusing on the building of a regional hub for bond issuance. In this aspect, we have achieved results that we regard as satisfactory,” he said.

Starry Lee Wai-king, who was appointed as the city’s sole representative to the nation’s top legislative body on Saturday, praised mainland authorities’ quick follow-up on her proposal to expand tax concession schemes in the Greater Bay Area, which she made during the two sessions. She said the swift response was an example of Beijing’s firm support of Hong Kong’s role in bringing mainland enterprises to the world.

City leader John Lee (second left) met with members of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in China on Monday in Beijing.


The bay area is Beijing’s plan to link up 11 southern Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, to tap the development potential of its combined of 86 million-strong population.

But she also warned that Hong Kong needed to tread carefully in its efforts to strengthen international connections amid struggles between superpowers.

Basic Law Committee vice-chairwoman Maria Tam Wai-chu said Hong Kong was in a strategic position for attracting talent from overseas and the mainland, especially as the number of fresh university graduates across the border was estimated to soar to 11 million this year.

Veteran political observer James Sung Lap-kung, of the Hong Kong Progress and Perfection Research Institute, said Liu’s warm words to Lee, as well as the city leader’s packed itinerary in Beijing, indicated that mainland officials had attached great importance to his visit.

He said he believed Xi’s gesture to Lee at the annual parliamentary session’s opening ceremony had helped to set the tone for the standard of treatment the city leader had received during his visit.

“Hong Kong’s importance is high on Beijing’s agenda ... they know how profoundly important it is to maintain the one country, two systems principle and the global connectivity of Hong Kong to break the siege conducted by the United States,” he said. “Hong Kong is expected to see stronger support from the central authorities in future.”

Political commentator Professor Sonny Lo Shiu-hing noted that Liu’s remarks underlined Hong Kong’s dual mission to integrate into the national economy under the bay area initiative and consolidate the city’s international standing.

He also pointed to Liu’s mention of national security at the meeting, which he said suggested that the issue remained a priority, despite perhaps not currently being seen as a pressing problem in Hong Kong.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lee and cultural minister Kevin Yeung Yun-hung visited the Palace Museum in Beijing and met with its director Wang Xudong.

Lee said he looked forward to the institution utilising the Hong Kong Palace Museum as an East-meets-West platform for international cultural exchange and amplifier for the country’s voice on the global stage, according to a government press release.

Meanwhile, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po will visit Guangzhou on Wednesday to meet provincial leaders and officials from the mainland city to discuss cooperation over high-quality development and economic integration in the bay area.

Chan will also visit a tech company and meet Hong Kong people living in Guangzhou during his one-day trip.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×