Carrie Lam can improve Hong Kong’s already-strong links with mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 May, 2017, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 May, 2017, 11:10pm

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – Hong Kong’s first lady chief executive – and her handpicked political team, will soon take over the government of our city for the next five years.

Many and perhaps most of us whose home is Hong Kong believe she will tirelessly work to fulfil her campaign manifesto promises to make a difference to improve the living standards and quality of life of our people, such as in public housing and reducing the poverty gap.

It will not be easy to quickly change the entrenched attitudes of the political groups who do not see eye to eye with her, but let us hope they will be patient enough and give her some time as our new chief executive to lead the community forward in the months ahead.

Carrie Lam will have to be patient and persevere to build a rapport with those whose views and vision do not tally with her own. But there should be an opportunity for her to develop that rapport and even gain a consensus with moderate political groups which want Hong Kong to prosper under the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle.

Since 1997 when Hong Kong’s sovereignty was returned to China, the mainland’s socialist system and Hong Kong’s capitalist system have progressively interacted under “one country, two systems”, especially on the economic front.

Now, 20 years later, in view of the faster pace of economic integration between Hong Kong and the mainland, out of sheer strategic necessity, we must keep on improving and synergizing the interaction process to generate more economic and social benefits for both sides.

In the closing period of his term of office as chief executive, Leung Chun-ying took the initiative to lead important delegations to the Greater Bay Area cities in the Pearl River Delta and the Belt and Road forum in Beijing. In the forum’s keynote speech, President Xi Jinping (習近平) announced China’s pledge of US$113 billion in extra funding to kick-start the historic initiative, in which Hong Kong will have a key financial hub role.

From July 1, Carrie Lam will take over the baton as chief executive from C Y Leung, who together with Tung Chee-hwa, the city’s first chief executive in 1997 and a state leader of many years’ standing, will jointly support her in whatever ways are required for Hong Kong’s future development and prosperity.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan