By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
The grand occasion of the 15th anniversary of the hand-over of Hong Kong back to China and the swearing in of the city's first new leader in seven years is culminated by a three-day visit to Hong Kong by President Hu Jintao, and his speech yesterday in which he emphasized greater economic integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland and resolution of social issues in Hong Kong, including a large wealth gap and high costs of living.
"We have to be aware of the fact that there remains deep conflicts and problems in Hong Kong society, which could affect Hong Kong's long-term development over the next five years," President Hu said. His comments also echoed the themes of Leung Chun-ying, who he swore in as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) chief executive on Sunday.
After taking his oath of office, Mr. Leung pledged to "seek changes while maintaining stability…and push for democracy and the development of a more fair society."
Currently, nearly 20% of the city lives in poverty, while last year, the length of the waiting list to receive public housing-which houses nearly half the city's population-was an average of two years.
Still, Hong Kong has benefited greatly since its comeback to China, serving as a trade and finance hub for the country. A raft of new and favorable policies to beef up the connection were also announced as part of Hu's visit.
In his speech, President Hu stressed that the next five years is of great significance to Hong Kong's long-term development and will be a period of important opportunities which Hong Kong must seize and take advantage of.
President Hu also pointed four direction that he hopes the new SAR government and the people of Hong Kong will strive for: 1, promote social harmony and stability. 2,Uphold the authority of the Basic Law. Rule of law is a core value of Hong Kong. 3, Enhance competitiveness. Hong Kong must work hard to increase its competitiveness if it is to win in the increasingly intense regional and international competition. 4, Strengthen human resources development.
“Priority should be given to nurturing people of leadership quality who love the motherland and Hong Kong, outstanding young potential political leaders in particular, by providing opportunities and platforms for them to stand out and acquire capabilities so that they will carry on the tradition of loving the motherland and Hong Kong and the cause of One country, Two systems,” said the president.
President Hu’s “four hopes” has coincided with the aspiration of the Hong Kong people to seek common development and prosperity in the society and an equal chance for self-growth.
Fifteen years has elapsed, since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997. Hong Kong has braved financial storm thanks to its close link with the mainland and, is now on the fast track of a more vigorous development. Hopefully, the historical business hub will embrace a more splendid tomorrow.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Sunday the central government will remain committed to the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Sunday Hong Kong should enhance its competitiveness amid increasingly intense regional and international competition.
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday morning urged the just-inaugurated government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) to promote social harmony and stability.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Sunday advancing the cause of "one country, two systems" is the shared mission of the central government and the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).