Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said he will make two more visits to the mainland Pear River Delta “bay area” before his term ends on July 1.
In his annual work report in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave emphasis to cooperation and strategic development in the region. Leung had insisted that visits are necessary as the Hong Kong government has to submit its opinion with regards to the plan by June.
Leung said on Tuesday that society was interested in the opportunities offered by the “bay area.” He also said that, in the past few weeks, foreign government heads and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong had also expressed an interest.
He visited five Guangdong cities earlier this month with a group of high-level officials. The tour included cities such as Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Jiangmen, Zhongshan and Zhuhai – on the west coast of the river.
“Hong Kong’s role of super connector is very obvious,” he said ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting. “If I have time, and people are interested, I am willing to bring [you] to the bay area, especially those on the west coast.”
Leung also said that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and two bridges in Humen on the mainland would be finished in the next two years, thus, people will be able to experience first-hand the improvements brought to regional transport.
Leung said he would announce the details of the two future tours as soon as possible.
At Tuesday’s weekly press conference, Leung was also challenged about his recent visits to local districts in Hong Kong. He was asked if his recent tours were an attempt to “clean his record.”
“You can remember in July 2012, after I took office, principal officials and I actively visited different areas,” he said. “But, afterwards, opposition groups organised a lot of people to protest at the front gate, to block traffic – then fewer such visits were made.”
“We have not stopped in the past five years to individually visit districts and understand the local situation with district councillors.”
Editor’s note: Digital media outlets such as Hong Kong Free Press are currently barred from attending government press conferences.