Leung pays another visit to Beijing liaison officials
Chief elective-elect Leung Chun-ying made another high-profile visit to the central government's liaison office yesterday, his second since his election victory in March.
The visit was a chance to exchange views on closer economic partnership, Leung said. But one observer said his frequent visits to the office, which has found itself in the spotlight for its role in local affairs, may be an attempt to numb the public's sensitivity to his contact with Beijing officials.
'The two-hour visit was to discuss some final work and preparation on the enhancement plan [for economic co-operation],' Leung said.
His first visit to the liaison office, just 24 hours after his election, led to claims that he was there to thank officials, who were rumoured to have canvassed votes for him. Leung denied the rumours and said he was discussing his visit to Beijing to receive his formal appointment.
'I cannot rule out the possibility that Leung is trying to make everybody get used to his visits to the liaison office by doing it in a more frequent and high-profile way,' Chinese University political scientist Ma Ngok said yesterday.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows Leung's popularity is on the increase - while Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's rating slumped to another new low. The survey by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme gave Leung a rating of 56.5 marks out of 100 - the highest since the March 25 election.
His popularity has risen since he announced that mainland women without Hong Kong husbands would not be allowed to give birth in private hospitals in the city next year.
'Leung has done nothing concrete so far, but he may have created a good impression ... whether the support will last will rest on how he implements his policies,' Ma said.
Tsang's rating fell 2 points to 42.9 - the lowest since he took office in July 2005. The programme surveyed 1,044 people between May 3 and May 10.
Leung Chun-ying's public opinion poll rating out of 100 when he was elected on March 25