Chen Zuoer, the former deputy director of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), will visit Hong Kong Friday to attend a forum that will discuss economic and other issues related to the city, including China’s recent white paper on the “one country, two systems”.
The trip comes after HKMAO deputy director Zhou Bo and Basic Law Committee director Zhang Rongshun had earlier delayed a planned visit to Hong Kong to elaborate on the white paper. The duo were scheduled to come to the city on Thursday, but had canceled the plan due to other “business schedules”.
With the June 22 informal referendum on universal suffrage round the corner in Hong Kong, the visit of Zhou and Zhang to promote the white paper may prompt more Hong Kong citizens to vote, Johnny Lau Yui-siu, a political commentator on China affairs, told Ming Pao Daily.
China News Service reported the planned Friday forum and Chen’s participation, describing it as “an important supplement event” to the release of the white paper.
The forum will be jointly held by the National Association of Study on Hong Kong and Macau (NASHKM), Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, and One Country Two Systems Research Institute, among other think tanks. Besides Chen, Hong Kong’s former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam Chung and NASHKM’s vice president Lau Siu-kai will also attend the event.
Ronny Tong Ka-wah, Civic Party lawmaker and a member of the Legislative Council, told Ming Pao that “it’s a good thing” that Zhou and Zhang delayed their trip as authorities may have found it difficult to ease the furor in Hong Kong over the white paper.
The central government is apparently seeing economic issues as the top priority, and therefore the forum will discuss the white paper from the economic perspective, he said.
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