Hong Kong and the mainland must identify and make the most of each other's advantages, not just hail "general" integration, newly-elected local deputy to the National People's Congress Bunny Chan Chung-bun said.
Chan, who is also the chairman of the Commission of Youth, pledged to seek exchange opportunities for local youths on the mainland.
Chan, 55, is the chairman of Kwun Tong District Council, and the president of theKowloon Federation of Associations.
He was elected a local deputy of the NPC with 35 other local politicians, by a 1,600-strong electorate. He said his main targets during his five-year term included fostering the relationship between the city and the mainland. "Instead of integration, supplementing each other with our advantages should be the way," Chan said.
"It is based on the demands from both sides - how can Hong Kong and the mainland build on, and at the same time make better use of each others' advantages … if we just talk about integration too generally, it could mean degrading or making sacrifices.
"For example, many people are saying Hong Kong is being 'mainlandised' … it is because we are doing well in the rule of law, if we integrate with the mainland, Hongkongers would worry that you could become a burden for us," Chan said.
He believed that the rule of law, the graft-free and efficient government are key things that the mainland can learn from the city, while Hongkongers can continue to make use of the relatively low labour costs, abundant land and young talent on the mainland to expand their businesses.
Chan's suggestion apparently contradicted Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who emphasised on national day that "inevitable" integration with the mainland could boost Hong Kong's economy and help solve the city's social problems.