A state leader warned yesterday that Hong Kong has become "politicised" over many issues, and that it's hurting the city economically and socially.
Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, was addressing 28 key members of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
The delegation is on a two-day visit to the capital.
In a statement issued by the chamber, Yu was quoted as saying there had been a number of issues that had become politicised, which was not good for the economic development and social stability of Hong Kong.
But Yu conceded that different sectors should be able to air their views via different channels. Yu also noted that while the city was pushing forward its political system, the most important thing was to maintain the prosperous development of the economy.
And he stressed that unity was crucial if the city was to resolve the difficulties it faced.
His comments came after he told Hong Kong delegates to the CPPCC in early March that it "would not be good for Hong Kong or the country if opposition forces ruled Hong Kong", sparking controversy about a possible screening mechanism for the 2017 chief executive election.
Yu said on that occasion that the "opposition forces" which confronted the central government could not be allowed to rule Hong Kong after universal suffrage was attained.
Yesterday, Yu said Hong Kong was facing many challenges and he wanted all sectors to strengthen their vigilance against any crisis, while looking ahead.
Chamber chairman Charles Yeung Chun-kam said he agreed with Yu's remarks and that the group would support the Hong Kong government in its administration according to law.
The chamber also met officials from the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office to discuss the latest disaster relief for the victims of the Yaan earthquake in Sichuan province.
They also discussed how to strengthen co-operation between local and overseas Chinese business communities.