The central government fully affirms and supports the work of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the Hong Kong government, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said.
“The central government will continue to uphold the ‘one country, two systems,’ ‘Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong’ and ‘a high degree of autonomy’ principles, and strictly comply with the Constitution and the Basic Law,” Li said at a meeting with Leung on Friday.
He also called on Hong Kong to take part in China’s development initiatives, namely “One Belt, One Road” and the 13th Five-Year Plan. Hong Kong has an advantage since the central government had taken the city into consideration when devising the latest five-year plan, he said.
“We believe that, with the support of the central government, the SAR government and Hong Kong people have the wisdom to seize good opportunities in the motherland’s development, and seek growth and progress together,” he added.
Leung, who is on his last annual duty visit before his term ends, said the city has made progress in developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods under the “care and support from the central government.”
“Hong Kong’s employment rate has reached a new high and commodity prices are stable. As the government has a mild budget surplus, it has better financial ability to take care of the grassroots people, especially in alleviating poverty and providing elderly services and education,” he said.
Update: 17:00 – Later on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the SAR government had safeguarded the country’s sovereignty and safety by curbing advocacy for Hong Kong independence and “violence on the streets.” He added that he respected and understood Leung’s decision to not seek re-election owing to family reasons.