A delegation of Hong Kong business tycoons and professionals led by former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa started a three-day visit to Beijing on Sunday.
The delegation includes Cheung Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Henderson Land’s Lee Shau-kee, New World Development’s Henry Cheng, former chief secretary Henry Tang, and former Law Society chairman Ambrose Lam, Ming Pao Daily reported.
PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai and Henderson vice chairman Peter Lee Ka-kit are part of the group.
The visit is seen as a chance for Beijing to exhort Hong Kong people to support its electoral reform framework to implement universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election.
On Monday morning, the delegation is scheduled to attend a seminar chaired by Xu Shaoshi, director of the National Development and Reform Commission, on China’s economic development.
President Xi Jinping will meet them at the Great Hall of the People in the afternoon, and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, will host a banquet in the evening, the report said.
Lee Shau-kee was quoted as saying that they hope the Chinese leader will continue to support Hong Kong, as he voiced his objection to the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement, which he said would hinder the city’s economic development.
Lee also hailed the NPC’s electoral reform framework, saying it will help in promoting Hong Kong’s stability. He stressed that political reform cannot be realized in one step.
Sung Lap-kung, a professor at the City University of Hong Kong, said sending such a high-profile delegation to meet with top mainland leaders is a rare occasion. Beijing sent a similar invitation to Hong Kong’s business and political leaders in 2003 to assure the city of the central government’s support following the SARS epidemic.
The visit is part of Beijing’s efforts to win over more support from business and professional leaders for NPC’s political reform plan for Hong Kong, Sung said.
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