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Monday, Mar 08, 2021

Lam says she gets 'the most important message from Xi'

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor says maintaining one country, two systems was "the most important message" from President Xi Jinping in his online meeting with her.
"President Xi made it very clear that in order to faithfully implement one country, two systems we need to have somebody who is patriotic, who loves the country and loves Hong Kong to be administering this special administrative region," she said in an interview with CNBC yesterday.

"Whatever we want to see in Hong Kong, if there isn't a stability and prosperity we really couldn't talk about all the other things," she added.

Asked if she would seek reelection next year when her term ends, Lam declined to answer but said: "I just try to comfort myself that very often women are left to do the most difficult job. And I happen to be one of them."

Her remarks came after her online duty reporting to Xi together with Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng on Wednesday.

The president also stressed that "the central government's comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong can only be effectively implemented when Hong Kong is ruled by patriots."

On that, scholar Lau Siu-kai said the central government will ensure "patriots" dominate the political scene in Hong Kong to maintain national security and stability.

Lau, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said Xi's remarks show the central government's policies will be focusing on safeguarding national security and establishing forces that love the country as well as Hong Kong.

"I also expect the central government will make sure patriots dominate the political scene while formulating the electoral process for electing legislative councilors and [chief executive] Election Committee members," Lau said.

"That would make sure patriots will be in total control over Hong Kong and ensure Hong Kong can safeguard national security as well as its own stability."

As the plenary "two sessions" - key annual meetings for state leaders and officials to meet and formulate economic and social plans - will be held in March, Lau said there are more announcements to watch for outside of possible changes to the electoral process in the SAR.

"Not only should we be looking out for reforms to the electoral system of electing lawmakers and Election Committee members," he said, "Beijing might also work with the SAR government to strictly implement an oath-taking system for public officers.

"The central government might also expand and unite patriotic forces in Hong Kong and step up patriotic education in order to embody the principle that Hong Kong should be ruled by patriots, and compress anti-China troublemakers' room to survive."
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