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Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 21:54

Li: Beijing firm on 'One Country, Two Systems'

By Luis Liu
Li: Beijing firm on 'One Country, Two Systems'
Premier Li Keqiang meets journalists in Beijing on March 15, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)

BEIJING – The central government will adhere to its commitment in implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in Hong Kong and will formulate more policies to facilitate Hong Kong’s development, Premier Li Keqiang said in a press conference on Wednesday in Beijing.

Efforts must be made to ensure the principle is comprehensively and correctly followed out in Hong Kong without distortion

Li Keqiang, Premier, China

This came after his unprecedented citing of the “Hong Kong independence” notion in the government’s annual work report 10 days ago.

Li iterated that “One Country, Two Systems” policy must be understood and implemented in its entirety.

He stressed that the central authority’s adherence to the principle will not change or waver. Efforts must be made to ensure the principle is “comprehensively and correctly” followed in Hong Kong without distortion, Li said.

"BOND CONNECT"

Beijing is preparing to launch a “bond connect” between mainland and Hong Kong, which allows overseas capital to invest in mainland’s bond market in Hong Kong, said Li.

The move will strengthen Hong Kong’s status of an international financial center and will boost long-term prosperity and stability of the city, Li said.

Last year, the central authority launched the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect to allow capital from both sides to invest in each other’s stock market.

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Li said Hong Kong will be the first to benefit from such an arrangement, added Xinhua.

"Li’s remarks on the Hong Kong-Mainland Bond Connect is definitely a good thing for overseas investors as well as the development of the mainland bond market,” said Sally Wang Chi Ming, CEO at Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.

"Mainland bond market, being the third largest in the world, has already attracted many overseas investors for the relatively high returns. Hong Kong is the first place to benefit from the opening of the bond market, and eventually, mainland bond market will be added to the international index,” she said.

She noted that the connect may begin with northbound first, but there’s still much problem to be solved such as the taxation arrangements and who can participated in the market etc.

ALSO READ: Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock link attracts net overseas investment inflow

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (HKEx) later said on its website that it welcomes the announcement by Li, and the HKEX believes that bond connect represents a major breakthrough in the development of the mainland capital markets and further strengthens the role of Hong Kong as a gateway between the mainland and international markets.

It added it is progressing with the preparatory work for the bond connect under the guidance of the mainland and Hong Kong authorities and a further announcement will be made by the relevant parties in due course.

(With Xinhua input)

 
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