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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

Topic |   Carrie Lam policy address 2020
Photo: Sam Tsang
INTRODUCTION

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.

As part of SCMP's commitment to providing our readers with expert coverage of the policy address, this live blog is free to all. 
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