• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:11am
Leung Chun-ying
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Adapt to a changing order, says CY Leung in National Day speech

Chief executive calls on Hongkongers to seize opportunities for both co-operation and competition as the nation moves forward

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 October, 2013, 10:13am

Hongkongers need to adapt to the changing regional and world order and identify new ways in which the city can contribute to the nation's development, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in a speech to mark National Day.

Leung called on the city's residents to "contribute to the progress of China" while working for the prosperity of Hong Kong. He said his government "attaches great importance" to boosting co-operation with the mainland, but that a new emerging regional and global order would bring both opportunities for competition and co-operation.

The world is changing, China is moving forward. Hong Kong should [identify] new functions we can perform

But former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, Leung's rival in the election for the city's top job last year, reminded the chief executive of the importance of accepting criticism, after a number of government policies had been "questioned" since Leung took office.

Leung spoke at a National Day reception at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai yesterday, after attending a flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square alongside his predecessors Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who was absent a year ago.

The speech came amid debate over whether Shanghai's new free-trade zone will threaten Hong Kong's position as China's pre-eminent international financial centre.

"The world is changing, China is moving forward," Leung said. "Hong Kong should [identify] new functions we can perform.

"As Chinese, we, together with all people of China, should make contributions to the development of our country while doing our best to maintain the prosperity and stability of [the city]."

Outside the reception, Tang indicated that Leung had little room to feel content. He said the city had faced many challenges in the past year and "many government policies had [attracted] comments and questions from all directions". The administration must "maintain an open attitude, listen to opinions and accept criticism", he said.

Tang also countered Leung's recent criticism of the previous government, in which Tang served as chief secretary, that it had been passive in its thinking.

"Opinions and criticisms can be raised about [any government's] inadequacies, and [officials] should have the capacity to accept them," Tang said. "But if they have tried their best, their efforts should be acknowledged."

Shortly after the flag-raising ceremony, Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao Daily reported on its website that "the chief executive will resign soon" when it meant to say "the chief executive will give a speech soon". Ming Pao issued a correction and apologised two hours later, acknowledging it had "made a big mistake".

Lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, who was invited to the reception, was refused entry because he wore sneakers.

About 40 people from student group Scholarism staged a protest, but complained they were restricted to an area far from the flag-raising ceremony. Two members were taken away by security guards.

In a National Day variety show last night, Tung praised Leung for being "progressive and pragmatic" in rolling out economic and livelihood policies.

Video: Chinese celebrate 64th National Day at Tiananmen Square

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This article is now closed to comments

caractacus
"...many government policies have been criticised and run into problems from all directions,” Tang said." "...I think every government should maintain an open attitude, and listen and accept criticisms.”
It's rich of Henry Tang to advise C. Y. Leung to accept criticism when he and Donald Tsang are responsible for the most pernicious policy of all: the housing shortage and out of control property prices. Did they listen to or accept criticism when they rigged the property market to benefit the developers?
oasis
Hong Kong's only competitive advantage stems from it's rule of law and much less corrupt political system. Take that away and insert arbitrary rule and HK will truly be worth nothing more than any other PRC city. Universal suffrage is to lead to an accountable government... That can preserve these advantages.
caractacus
Hong Kong has already contributed a lot to China. Businesses based in Hong Kong were among the first to invest in manufacturing in the PRC, introduced capital, technology and know-how and generally helped it to engage with the world. Unfortunately, the arrangement has not worked reciprocally, with the intolerant authoritarians expecting HK to obey an imposed and rigged political system without question. Beijing has not made a serious effort to understand Hong Kong's history, culture or its traditions of freedom and probably will never do so.
The other major problem is the insidious creeping of corruption into Hong Kong's administration via PRC influence which teaches the lesson that power is there to be abused. It is the age old imperial arrogance of "tremble and obey!"
blue
"Hong Kong is NOT a country - why can't people understand this; we are presently a designated S.A.R, yet in 2047 this status will be removed and Hong Kong will be no different to any other Chinese city."

Sorry but there is no guarantee that the SAR status will be removed. Beijing can extend the SAR status another 50 years. It would be much easier than the more complex problem of changing legal systems, political systems, etc.

HK is already a part of China, and extending the SAR is probably the path of least resistance. China has enough things to deal with and they are highly pragmatic too, they don't need to give themselves more heartache by doing something drastic.

Who knows what China will even be like in 2047 though, so it's pointless to speculate.
impala
Concluding his speech, Leung turned toward the cameras of the attending CCTV crew and said (in Mandarin): 'President Xi, Premier Li, please come and visit Regina and me in Hong Kong again. I will personally lick the soles of your shoes until they shine as brightly as the star of your leadership. Forget the people of Hong Kong, I am here here to serve you and only you, and I am so looking forward to being bumped up to whatever meaningless CCP post you have in mind for me after I get booted out of office in 2017, or well before that.'

After the speech, the Chief Executive was seen slowly but surely heading in the direction of oblivion while his predecessor, Donald Tsang, hastily fled the scene as an angry mob armed with barbecue forks and counterfeit LV bags approached, scanting things like 'Come here you useless piece of landfill and let us give you 6,000 hand-outs!'
caractacus
Of course, the awfulness of Donald Tsang's and Henry Tang's administration does not detract from the pretty dismal performance of the current one, many of whose ministers also seem to be in the pockets of the tycoons and the Heung Yee ****.
mymak
The main job of government is to improve the living standards of those it governs. Why can't he just say that instead of saying we need to improve our prosperity? Prosperity is widely open to interpretation. Unfortunately in Hong Kong prosperity has come to mean a huge wealth gap and an ever increasing lack of opportunities for those not born of rich families. Improved living standards for all please CY.
mdap
Hong Kong is NOT a country - why can't people understand this; we are presently a designated S.A.R, yet in 2047 this status will be removed and Hong Kong will be no different to any other Chinese city; in fact we will not even be close to the productivity and GDP of some of these cities that already dwarf Hong Kong in terms of population. Universal suffrage achieves what? The ability to elect one person to a position that in reality is no better than the mayor of some provincial town in Europe - does it clean the air, fix poor housing etc - NO! Hong Kong needs to stop thinking it is special, it needs to identify what it is good at as it defines its place in a vastly different future, a future where Beijing rules over all its cities, including Hong Kong.
Sugelanren
True. But it benefited by being a British Colony. ie outside of China. Will it continue to benefit if its part of China in 2047? I doubt it, it will just become another corrupt Chinese City as the rule of law is replaced by the rule of the local Communist Capitalist Party (CCP) member.
goncalo
No other city has contributed so much to China's progress, but China is slow in catching up.

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