Wen urges CY Leung to tackle social problems

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 1:42pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 1:43pm

China’s outgoing premier urged Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to address problems in such areas as housing, poverty and Hong Kong’s ageing population, during Leung’s maiden duty visit to Beijing.

On Friday morning, the second day of Leung’s visit, he met Premier Wen Jiabao – who is set to step down in March – in Zhongnanhai, Beijing’s leadership compound. They last met in April, when Wen presented Leung with his official appointment as chief executive.

Wen said: “The global financial crisis is not yet over. The economy is now facing strong downward pressure. The SAR government has to particularly pay heed to, and properly solve, livelihood problems such as employment, prices, housing, poverty, the environment and the ageing population, which are matters of practical interest to our Hong Kong compatriots.”

Beijing “supports the SAR government to rule in accordance with the law”, Wen said, stopping short of praising Leung personally.

As he did when he met Leung in April, Wen spoke of the need to maintain a clean government and maintain unity in society.

“I totally believe that under the SAR government’s leadership, Hong Kong compatriots will remain united. Hong Kong will certainly continue to move ahead with economic growth, social developments, a clean government and improvements in people’s livelihood,” he said.

Wen also affirmed the city government’s work over the past 15 years, despite challenges.

“Since Hong Kong’s handover, under the SAR government’s leadership, Hong Kong compatriots have been proactive, striving and working hard when facing problems. On areas like the economy and society, it has made great accomplishments. It deserves full affirmation,” he said.

Wen was accompanied by Liu Yandong, a deputy head of the central government’s leading group overseeing Hong Kong and Macau affairs, and Zhang Xiaoming, the new director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, in the meeting.

Leung will meet outgoing President Hu Jintao in the afternoon and speak to the press tonight.