22 February 2019

Carrie Lam: HK will keep promoting relations with Taiwan

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Hong Kong has been playing an important role in facilitating exchanges and cooperation between China and Taiwan over the past 30 years and it will keep doing so in the future, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Speaking at a ceremony Monday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the reopening of cross-strait exchanges, Lam said Hong Kong will continue to promote its relationship with Taiwan in a steady and safe fashion according to the Basic Law.

Taiwan allowed people to visit their relatives in China by way of Hong Kong in 1987 for the first time since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949.

Lam said Hong Kong, with its unique advantages, has since been the main channel for Taiwan people to go to China to visit relatives, travel and conduct business.

Hong Kong and Taiwan were each other’s fourth and third largest trading partner, respectively, last year, when more than two million Taiwan people visited Hong Kong, next only to the number coming from China, Lam said.

In addition, there are about 40,000 to 50,000 Taiwanese living in Hong Kong, most of them married to local people.

Nearly 400 enterprises whose parent companies are in Taiwan have offices in Hong Kong, reported.

Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body, told the ceremony that Hong Kong is a role model for Taiwan in the implementation of “one country, two systems”.

Hong Kong should do its best to make the principle successful not only for itself but also for positively inspiring both sides of the Taiwan Strait, he said.

However, he admitted there are many challenges and problems confronting Hong Kong.

Tung also called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taiwan’s ruling party, to know “which way the wind blows” and not do things that impede cross-strait relations or pursue independence.

Zhang Zhijun, minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, said cross-strait collaboration has been seriously affected by the DDP’s refusal to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” and “One China” policy since it took power in May last year, Apple Daily in Taiwan reported.

Beijing is still willing to share its development opportunities with Taiwan as long as it can return to the basis of the “1992 consensus”, under which both sides agreed that there is only one “China” while leaving the meaning of one China according to their own interpretation, Zhang said.

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