27 October 2016
Li Ka-shing (inset) urges politicians to study the reasons behind the Mong Kok clashes. Photo: HKEJ
Li Ka-shing (inset) urges politicians to study the reasons behind the Mong Kok clashes. Photo: HKEJ

Li urges people not to hurt HK despite political differences

Hong Kong politicians should study the reasons behind the violent clashes that took place in Mong Kok during the Lunar New Year and try to learn lessons from them, billionaire Li Ka-shing said.

Speaking at the post-results news conference of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. (00001.HK) on Thursday, Li said that regardless of their political beliefs, people must not do anything that will hurt the city, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

He said it is understandable that young people want change, adding that it is important for them to have hope for the future.

“No matter how tough life may be treating you today, if there is hope, I think young people are willing to take on the challenges and face the hardships,” Li said.

However, Li said he does not think Hong Kong people would buy into the idea of independence, as the city has always been a part of China in history.

He said there is no doubt that Beijing’s wish is for Hong Kong to continue to prosper.

China’s top leaders like Premier Li Keqiang have repeatedly stressed that there will be no change to the “one country, two systems” policy, and this is a strong proof that the central government is determined to keep things unchanged, the tycoon said.

He recalled what a national leader once said about Hong Kong: “If the ‘one country, two systems’ approach can remain unchanged for 50 years, why bother to change it beyond 50 years?”

However, Li said he could not offer any guarantee. “Maybe it will become ‘one country, one system’ by 2047,” he said. “But if Hong Kong continues to do well, why change?”

When asked about the performance of Hong Kong’s chief executive, Li said he believes Leung Chun-ying has “tried hard”.

But he refused to comment on the chances of any of the probable candidates for the 2017 chief executive election, saying that no one has come forward to announce their intention to run.

He added that the next chief executive should possess several qualities, including the love for Hong Kong, diligence and loyalty on all fronts and a heart to fight for the best of the city.

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