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Official calls for greater unity in HK

By XI TIANQI and HU YUYAN in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-23 07:16

A view of the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, China. [Photo/IC]

HKMAO director Xia emphasizes need for solidarity to unleash potential, vitality

Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, called for greater solidarity within Hong Kong society under the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", in a bid to forge a wider coalition to support the "one country, two systems" principle and fully unleash the city's creativity and vitality.

He made his remarks during an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies in Beijing.

In Hong Kong, high-level government officials along with the newly elected district councilors heard Xia's speech as it was broadcast online. The district councilors-elect will take office on Jan 1.

Following the success of the seventh District Council ordinary election, there is a solid institutional guarantee that "patriots administering Hong Kong" will be fully implemented, Xia said.

Now is the right time to transform the institutional advantages into tangible governance outcomes, he added.

Addressing the role of the district councils in grassroots governance, Xia urged the councilors-elect to fulfill their responsibilities with determination.

He called on the district councilors to serve the needs of Hong Kong residents and to act as assistants to the SAR government and as problem solvers for the community.

Xia also highlighted the shared aspiration of all Hong Kong residents for a better future and a higher quality of life.

He called on all sectors, groups and individuals to unite with a shared spirit of patriotism and a deep affection for Hong Kong, and to forge a wider coalition supporting "one country, two systems".

Political groups and associations should prioritize the overall interests of the city and the nation and give full support to the chief executive and the SAR government in their law-based administration. They should also do their utmost to fight against anti-China disruptors and mobilize their members to build a better Hong Kong, Xia said.

HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu took to social media to express his belief that the Basic Law clearly defines the role of the District Council as a non-political regional consultative and service organization.

He said that the new term of the District Council is a return to its essence and an important part of improving regional governance.

Lee expects district councilors to have a clear understanding of the new situation, tasks and requirements of "patriots administering Hong Kong," to deeply comprehend their roles and societal expectations, and to carry out their work in the districts, cooperating with the government to implement its policies at the local level.

After listening to Xia's speech, Jeff Yiu Ming, an incoming district councilor for North district, noted that all councilors should make every effort to explain policies and collect residents' opinions on issues ranging from concrete district problems to macro social strategies, and that they should act as effective bridges of communication between the residents and the government.

Henry Ho Kin-chung, founder and chairman of the Hong Kong think tank One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, said that Xia has great expectations for the executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as district council members of the HKSAR. He hopes the administrative bodies will diligently fulfill their duties in the new stage to better serve people's interests.

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