Hong Kong’s first postcolonial leader said on Monday residents who moved to Britain “lacked foresight” and that he believed “the best was yet to come” for the city and mainland China. Tung Chee-hwa , a vice-chairman of the nation’s top political advisory body, also said that Hong Kong’s ample opportunities and edge in trade, financial services, innovation and technology made it the place “where everybody wants to be”. “Some people said they want to leave the city for Britain – I would say they are lacking foresight,” said Tung, as he called on people to think twice before emigrating. He said “the best was yet to come” for the city and the nation, as he quoted one of his American friends who praised the country’s successful effort in containing the coronavirus pandemic and claimed “everyone is looking up to China now”. Tung was chief executive from 1997 when Britain handed control of the city back to China and served until 2005. Tung made his comments at a press conference to mark the first anniversary of the Hong Kong Coalition and amid a growing wave of migration, driven by fears among some Hongkongers that they would lose their freedoms and rights after Beijing’s imposition of the national security law last June. On Monday, the 1,500-member alliance, which was formed with a mission of rescuing the city’s coronavirus-ravaged economy and bringing an end to civil unrest, said it would launch a series of activities aimed at promoting Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area , as well as an extensive media campaign to “tell the true China and Hong Kong stories”. Part of the media campaign will include an English forum to be led by former chief executive Leung Chun-ying later this month aimed at educating foreign media about the “real Hong Kong-China relationship”. Hongkongers have bought US$1.3 billion worth of London homes since July According to the coalition’s representatives, forums on China’s development in technology and logistics will be held in Shanghai, Hunan and Fujian. The group also plans to work with mainland media to produce a series of programmes featuring Hongkongers who had moved from the mainland to talk about their old lives across the border. Leung, another convenor of the group, said Hong Kong had gradually got back on track after the introduction of the national security law and Beijing-directed electoral changes, which the Legislative Council was set to endorse. “Hong Kong has better conditions than a year ago to restart again. I believe that the knots that have entangled Hong Kong can be untied one by one,” said Leung, who served as the city’s leader from 2012 to 2017. But Leung, who has been publicly critical of the current administration in recent weeks, declined to say whether the drive was part of a bid to run in the chief executive election next year. Pro-Beijing heavyweight and coalition secretary Tam Yiu-chung said its main tasks in the coming year included promoting the “one country, two systems” principle, accelerating Hong Kong’s integration into the overall development of the country, promoting “rule of law education” on school campuses, and arranging for more young people to take internships on the mainland.