In a surprise move, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has cancelled a scheduled trip to Beijing.
Leung was originally set to attend the opening ceremony of the 20th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium on Thursday with Beijing mayor Wang Anshun.
The government’s announcement late on Monday did not give the reason behind the cancellation. In response to an enquiry from Apple Daily, Leung’s office said he will stay in the city to handle official business and that the arrangement was final.
NowTV channel cited a source as saying that Leung decided to stay since the High Court will hear the judicial review case lodged by Leung on the oath-taking controversy of two Youngspiration lawmakers, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang and Yau Wai-ching, on Thursday.
The symposium was organised by four major industrial and commerce associations of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
The government had not officially announced Leung’s plan to attend the symposium, but the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce previously revealed the arrangement. Leung had attended the opening ceremony of the same symposium last year.
Citing sources, Apple Daily reported that Leung was due to visit officials of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.
The sixth plenary session of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee ended in Beijing last week.
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung will fly to Beijing on Wednesday, replacing Leung.
On Thursday afternoon, Chan will deliver a keynote speech at the Beijing-Hong Kong Financial Services Co-operation Forum. So will attend a symposium promoting investment in connection with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Chan will meet with Hu Xiaolian, the Chairman of Export-Import Bank of China, and Pan Gongsheng, the Administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. So will meet with representatives from Hong Kong’s industrial and commercial sectors attending the symposium.
The pair will return to Hong Kong on November 3 evening.
Leung has yet to reveal whether he will seek re-election for another term of five years.