Xi Jinping

Xi calls on Hong Kong to unite behind CY Leung

President says goal of 'seeking change while keeping stability' requires consensus across city and 'active support' for administration

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 5:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 7:13am

President Xi Jinping called yesterday for unity in Hong Kong and for "active support of Leung Chun-ying's administration".

Xi emphasised that co-operation and mutual development between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland was needed to achieve his "Chinese dream" of a rejuvenated nation.

He also reminded Leung that implementation was the key to the Hong Kong leader's vision of "seeking change while maintaining stability".

New premier Li Keqiang echoed Xi's view in a separate meeting, calling for harmony and unity among the people of Hong Kong and Macau.

Amid recent debate in Hong Kong over democratisation, Leung told the new president he would implement the five steps to amend Hong Kong's electoral methods to achieve universal suffrage in 2017.

Unlike previous meetings, in which the chief executives of Hong Kong and Macau met the president separately, Xi met Leung with Dr Fernando Chui Sai-on, Macau's leader, in Zhongnanhai, the leadership compound in Beijing.

During the meeting, Xi said: "I am very happy to see chief executive Leung's governance vision, which is 'seeking change while maintaining stability', has won general public recognition. The key now is implementation.

"It needs Leung and the SAR government to fulfil their duties, and joint efforts from different sectors in the Hong Kong society.

It needs Leung and the SAR government to fulfil their duties, and joint efforts from different sectors in the Hong Kong society
President Xi Jinping

"Therefore, I hope different sectors in the Hong Kong society can be closely united … and actively support Leung's governance in accordance with law."

Citing the proverb "many hands make light work", Xi called on all sectors in the city to support the Hong Kong government.

Zhang Dejiang , who is poised to take charge of the party's leading group on Hong Kong and Macau affairs, and Li Yuanchao , the newly elected vice-president who is expected to join the group as a deputy head, both attended Xi's meeting with Leung.

Other officials present included Yang Jiechi , one of the five new state councillors, and Wang Guangya , director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. It is understood that Yang has become a deputy head of the leading group.

In the afternoon, Li held a separate meeting with Leung, in which he also called for unity among Hongkongers.

"[I expect] the governments and the people of Hong Kong and Macau to foster consensus, to be harmonious, united and to work with one another," Li said.

In response to Xi and Li's remarks, Leung vowed to make good use of the "economic policies that the country has for Hong Kong".

Xi said that to fulfil the "China dream", Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland needed to maintain co-operation and mutual development. "It also needs compatriots in Hong Kong and Macau, and the mainland people to look out for each other, and progress hand in hand," Xi said.

Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the central government had made huge efforts to unite the pro-establishment camp since the chief executive election last year, but the rift remained.