Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor remained tight-lipped about the meeting she had with Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Chinese State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, in Beijing on Thursday, declining to reveal what specific topics were discussed during the event.
Following her first duty visit to the Chinese capital as Hong Kong’s top leader, a trip that saw Lam meet Zhang behind closed doors for nearly two and half hours, Lam maintained a studied silence on the details of the encounter.
Asked by media whether they discussed the issue of legislating Article 23 of the Basic Law, which requires Hong Kong to implement laws against treason, secession and subversion, Lam did not respond, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
As for Zhang, he too did not say anything in public, including on topics such as Lam’s work performance or the recent chaos in Hong Kong’s legislature due to proposed changes to house meeting rules.
Lam, who began her maiden duty visit to Beijing on Wednesday, met with Zhang on Thursday morning. She was accompanied by Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip Tak-kuen and Director of the Chief Executive’s Office Chan Kwok-ki during the meeting.
In a statement, Lam’s office in Hong Kong merely said that Lam and Zhang exchanged views on the current situation in Hong Kong and the relevant work.
Before visiting Zhang, Lam and He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), signed an agreement that aims to advance Hong Kong’s participation in and contribution to Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The agreement lays out measures focusing on six key areas — finance and investment; infrastructure and maritime services; economic and trade facilitation; people-to-people bonds; taking forward the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development; and enhancing collaboration in project interfacing and dispute resolution services, according to a government statement.
Lam pointed out that the arrangement covers a wide range of areas, including facilitating co-operation of all key stakeholders through the platform of Hong Kong to provide the initiative with required funds a diversity of financing channels.
A joint conference mechanism will be set up between the Hong Kong government, the NDRC, the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office and other mainland authorities for regular and direct communication.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Tang-wah, told RTHK from Argentina, where he has gone to attend the World Trade Organization’s 11th Ministerial Conference, that the government will launch a series of initiatives next year to follow up on the agreement.
Plans will include hosting summit meetings, and conducting seminars on Belt and Road initiative for the tourism industry.
Lam is scheduled to give a work report to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on Friday before returning to Hong Kong later in the day.
- Contact us at [email protected]