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The Country and Hong Kong

In the past two weeks, I went to Beijing twice to attend the meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, as well as to handle some official business of the Hong Kong government.

While in Beijing, I met with representatives of three organisations of Hong Kong people living in Beijing, as well as some Hong Kong students studying there to learn about their study, work and life in Beijing. At present, 1 600 Hong Kong students are studying in Beijing. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong people, engaged in a wide range of jobs, are working there on a long-term basis. The speed of growth of the Chinese economy is a rare case among major economies in the world. We are all confident about the development opportunities in the Mainland, especially the prospects of young people building up business there.

Experience tells that making good use of the various opportunities in the Mainland is the biggest driving force of the Hong Kong economy and career development of the Hong Kong people. Without the Country's reform and opening up, as well as the preferential treatment for Hong Kong, Hong Kong people could never create such large and diversified external economy in the Mainland, and Hong Kong talents would not be so highly valued by large international corporations. Our stage would probably be confined to three places, i.e. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

As long as Hong Kong people can view the relationship between the Country and Hong Kong, the development of the Mainland and co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland in a rational, impartial and objective manner, we will be able to find huge and sustained opportunities in the Country's National 13th Five-Year Plan, the Belt and Road Initiative and the co-operation among the cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area. Foreigners are excited about the "China opportunities". Hong Kong people should not turn a blind eye to or even turn away from these opportunities.

Compared with Mainland cities, our strength lies in our international connections. The following lines from Premier Li Keqiang's government work report delivered on March 5 are noteworthy: "China will … contribute to global development, uphold the international order … be deeply involved in the global governance process … contribute to the framework that ensures the overall stability and balanced development of relations between major countries … build a new type of international relations based on co-operation and mutual benefit." These lines highlight the increasingly important status and role of our Country in the international community. They also give us a lot of food for thought in formulating strategies for Hong Kong's development and identifying the direction for personal career development.

March 15, 2017