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CE pledges full confidence in the city with nation's backing

By Xi Tianqi and Shadow Li in Hong Kong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-10-01 10:31

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu delivers a speech a reception at the Grand Hall of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, in celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Oct 1, 2022. [ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY]

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiuon said Saturday he has full confidence in the city as it has irreplaceable advantages arising from the nation's strong backing and its connectivity with the rest of the world.

Lee said that in the past two years, the central government has promulgated the National Security Law for Hong Kong, improved the city’s electoral system, implemented principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", and returned Hong Kong from chaos to order.

The central government gave full support to Hong Kong, when it was facing the fifth wave of the pandemic outbreak, the worst-ever wave, by sending experts and medical teams to Hong Kong and supplies directly by rail and water.

A makeshift hospital was built by the central government in just seven days. These are examples of the “Chinese speed” when the nation raced to help the city and get the pandemic under control, Lee said, adding “Hong Kong residents will never forget it".

Speaking at a reception celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR, Lee said the "one country, two systems" has provided institutional safeguards for the city's prosperity and stability and Hong Kong, whether in times of great opportunities or crisis, has strong backing from the country.

Lee said he was glad to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China as the chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and to witness together the nation gets stronger and stronger and people's lives get better and better.

The nation's development has entered a new stage, with its GDP exceeding 114 trillion yuan last year – 18 percent of the global economy. China's comprehensive transportation network exceeded 6 million kilometers by the end of 2021.

Lee said that as a Chinese, he is extremely proud of the achievements of the Chinese people has made on the road to prosperity. At the same time, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the country. He said that Hong Kong has finally turned the corner and entered a new stage of governance and prosperityafterovercoming challenges.

Hong Kong, with a low tax rate and simple taxation system, is the freest economy in the world, an international shipping center, the world's largest offshore renminbi hub and the only city that has five universities among the world's top 100 universities. These are where Hong Kong's confidence and competitiveness lies, Lee said.

Looking forward, Lee said the speech made by President Xi Jinping at the meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government has become the policy blueprint of the HKSAR Government, and he will lead his team to do all they can to live up to the trust and open up new opportunities for Hong Kong.

Lee said preparation for his first Policy Address, to be unveiled on Oct 19, has entered the final stage. "We have visited the community in multiple occasions and have heard a lot of problems through online and offline means," Lee said.

Noting the daunting challenges ahead, Lee said he will stay true to his original aspiration to seek development for the city.

Hundreds of dignitaries from various sectors, including officials from the central government and the SAR government and executive councilors, attended the annual reception.

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