Hong Kong students got a rare opportunity Thursday to lob questions at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying face-to-face, a chance which they utilized fully by raising various issues pertaining to the city.
As Leung showed up at an inter-school debate event, students seized the chance to question him on topics such as freedom of speech, Hong Kong-China relations and political reform, Singtao Daily reported.
Leung is said to have shown up at the event unannounced, catching the students by surprise. The media was also not aware of his schedule.
After arriving at the venue, the chief executive joined more a thousand students and teachers in watching the debate: “How to ease contradictions between Hong Kong and mainland to create a win-win situation?”
And before long, he found himself being bombarded with questions during an interactive session following the debate, the report said.
Several students questioned Leung’s criticism of Undergrad, a magazine published by Hong Kong University’s students’ union, during his policy address earlier this month.
Leung said it is his duty as a leader to warn those who hold wrong views on national sovereignty.
Asked how he feels about comments by netizens that they would not like to be born as Hongkongers in their next life, Leung said such thoughts of being born elsewhere exist not only in Hong Kong but also in other places around the world.
Meanwhile, Leung pointed out that many overseas Hongkongers have returned to the city, a development that shows that life in the city is definitely not worse than in other places.
Some students from Tuen Mun told Leung that their daily life was affected by cross-border parallel traders, who have basically taken over some public buses to transport goods. Leung said the government is aware of the issue and that the Transport Department is discussing with bus operators possible solutions.
In other comments, he said a plan for building a shopping hub near the border is making progress.
The debate contest Thursday was held by Po Leung Kuk, the Hong Kong United Youth Association and the Hong Kong United Foundation Ltd.
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