A top Beijing official says that while Hong Kong is mired in conflicts and livelihood issues, Leung Chun-ying's administration will be able to maintain prosperity and stability.
Li Jianguo, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, made the comment yesterday while briefing the electors on next month's vote to pick Hong Kong's 36 deputies to the NPC, the national legislature.
Li also recognised Leung's efforts to provide the city with good governance.
"Facing the unresolved conflicts and rather significant livelihood issues in Hong Kong society these days, the new SAR government led by Leung Chun-ying is making efforts [to deal with them]," Li said. "With the SAR government's implementation of a set of new policies and gaining of more governance experience, Hong Kong will be able to maintain prosperity and stability with the support and united efforts of different sectors."
Commenting on Li's remarks as he left the meeting, local NPC delegate Wong Kwok-kin said: "The conflicts may include the income gap, youngsters' job opportunities and social injustice … Social injustice refers to the fact that some people don't have reasonable pay despite hard work."
But it was hard to say whether Li's remarks were a gesture of support for Leung, Wong said.
Since Leung took office in July, he has faced calls for several officials to step down, including Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po and Education Secretary Eddie Ng Hak-kim. Various initiatives put forward by his administration have encountered opposition among lawmakers.
Executive councillor and NPC deputy Cheng Yiu-tong said the solution to social conflicts was compromise between different sides in controversies.
"A diversified society [like Hong Kong] still has to … come up with solutions, and political parties and politicians have to compromise on all sorts of conflicts," he said.
Another executive councillor and NPC delegate, Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, said she did not think Li's comments were a show of support for Leung, but did not elaborate.
She said a key problem for the city was the lack of trust in the government, and she urged the administration to boost its ties with various sectors in the city.