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Thursday, September 22, 2016, 23:36

'HK, nation share same destiny'

By Luis Liu and Shadow Li
'HK, nation share same destiny'
Wang Zhenmin, head of the Legal Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, speaks at a luncheon held by the Asia Pacific Law Association on Thursday. (Edmond Tang / China Daily )

HONG KONG - Hong Kong and its motherland have and will always share the same destiny, said Wang Zhenmin, head of the Legal Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR.

He stressed that the SAR should help the country’s future development to boost its own stability and prosperity.

Wang, speaking at a luncheon held by local legal professionals' organization Asia Pacific Law Association on Thursday, said Hong Kong's fate had always been interwoven with the nation's.

Wang explained that mutual reliance - the country is the dynamo of Hong Kong's prosperity and Hong Kong is "irreplaceably important" to the nation.

He cited Hong Kong experts who participated in devising reforms and opening-up on the mainland. In recent decades, the SAR has maintained its competitiveness with investment and skilled people from the mainland.

Hong Kong, with its robust economy, democratic institutions and rule of law, is still a role model for the mainland, Wang said. Thus, the city shoulders great responsibility in the country’s future development.

If political conflicts in Hong Kong give rise to radicalism, violence, disregard for the rule of law, or even separatism, this will jeopardize the progress of the whole country, hurting the interests of all the Chinese people, especially the 7 million Hong Kong residents, he said.

Wang said it saddened him to see some people today try to create discord between Hong Kong and the mainland. This was very detrimental to the SAR, he said.

Wang is the first official from the Liaison Office to comment on the results of the Legislative Council election held on Sept 4. He expressed hopes for the newly elected young lawmakers to fulfill the expectations of Hong Kong people.

Meanwhile, Wang said people should focus on future development instead of political issues such as 2047.

It is clear that the year 2047 is not a "time limit", as all lease extensions or new leases of land with a term of 50 years currently granted by the Hong Kong government go beyond 2047, he explained.

Stressing the best arrangements for the city is to continue the "One Country, Two Systems" principle after 2047, Wang said all discussions are welcome as long as they conform with the Basic Law.

On a separate occasion on Thursday, US Consul-General in Hong Kong and Macao Kurt Tong, in his first public speech since he assumed office a month ago, said Hong Kong is definitely part of China. He said "One Country, Two Systems" is the key framework that makes Hong Kong's uniqueness possible and sustainable over time.

Addressing members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Tong said “One Country, Two Systems” had been very successful in protecting Hong Kong's open society and institutions.

luisliu@chinadailyhk.com

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