As it happened: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s policy address hails Beijing’s staunch support, doubles down on national security and vows to ‘relaunch city, rebuild trust’
- Chief executive also says city has become an obvious weak link in terms of national security, and presents significant risks to the country
- Lam's fourth policy blueprint, her longest, unveiled to legislature bereft of opposition bloc following Beijing ruling and with Covid-19, recession weighing heavily on city
After a postponement of more than a month, Hong Kong’s chief executive delivered her longest policy address on Wednesday morning to set out plans for the coming year before a Legislative Council now bereft of any opposition lawmakers.
Here are some key points summed up:
- Cross-border collaboration: Beijing’s support has been secured for policies in seven areas such as finance, aviation, technology and health.
- Constitutional order: Hong Kong operates under an executive-led system while the judiciary remains independent.
- National security: Boost national security education, and propose a bill within this year to amend the city’s oath-taking and Legislative Council ordinances to align them with Beijing’s recent ruling to disqualify lawmakers for endangering national security and breaching their oath.
- Aviation: Hong Kong International Airport will take part in the operation and development of Zhuhai Airport through investment.
- Tech and Finance: Speed up the inclusion of pre-profit biotechnology companies listed in Hong Kong and stocks listed on the Mainland Sci-Tech Innovation Board.
- Pandemic-control: Beijing to support Hong Kong in ensuring the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, and reserve a certain amount of vaccines developed or produced on the mainland for use by Hong Kong people when necessary.
- Reprioritising funding requests: Retract civil service funding proposals. This means the controversial HK$550 million funding push for a preliminary study into the massive Lantau Tomorrow Vision land reclamation project can be scrutinised sooner.
- Housing: The government will not give up on the costly Lantau Tomorrow Vision plan to build a new metropolis on man-made land masses in waters off Lantau Island. Housing supply should be accelerated, and Lam will personally head an existing, internal steering group for land development to improve policy coordination.
- Environment and energy: Strive to be carbon neutral by 2050, a decade before China's 2060 target.
Our live updates below captured the latest announcements. Reporting by Tony Cheung, Denise Tsang, Kanis Leung, Danny Lee, Joyce Ng, Emily Tsang, Chan Ho-him, Phila Siu and Jeffie Lam.