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Saturday, December 31, 2016, 09:27

Next CE 'needs trust of both Beijing and people'

By Luis Liu

Next CE 'needs trust of both Beijing and people'
A file photograph of Wang Guangya, director of the State Council’s HK and Macau Affairs Office taken on Dec 6, 2013. (Photo / CNS)

The next Chief Executive of Hong Kong has to earn the trust of both the central government and the support of Hong Kong people, the head of Beijing's top Hong Kong affairs authority said.

In an interview with Bauhinia Magazine, a local monthly publication, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council Wang Guangya said the CE should present Hong Kong’s situation to Beijing comprehensively, accurately and objectively, and implement the central government's policies in a manner that is appropriate and in accordance with Hong Kong’s actual situation.

This is the first time that Beijing’s Hong Kong affairs official had spoken out on the city’s coming CE election next March.

In the interview, the HKMAO chief listed Beijing’s expectations of the next leader of Hong Kong, including “loving the country and the city”, being trusted by Beijing, being capable of governing Hong Kong and winning support from Hong Kong people.

Wang also called on Hong Kong’s future head of government to strive to lead the city forward and enhance the well-being of Hong Kong people.

Meanwhile, he stressed the CE must faithfully implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the Basic Law, or Hong Kong’s mini-constitution. “Under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy, there is no room for separatism in Hong Kong,” Wang said. “Anyone elected to public office must stand firm on the bottom line,” he cautioned.

However, Wang said Beijing understood the political discord in Hong Kong in recent years, as those were foreseeable problems due to complex social and historical reasons. He said he believed Hong Kong will eventually grow out of the phase as long as the city holds fast to the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

So far, three CE hopefuls – retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, legislator and New People’s Party (NPP) Chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and real-estate businessman Wu Sai-chuen – have announced their bids to contend for the city’s top job in the coming CE election in March.

Wang said he hoped the election will be carried out in a rational and constructive manner, in which the candidates’ appeal for reuniting Hong Kong can prevail and take hold in society.

Earlier this month, the incumbent CE Leung Chun-ying said he will not run for a second term due to family reasons.

Meanwhile, Wang stressed Beijing will continue to keep the door of communication open with “pan-democrats”. He believed Hong Kong people would also like to see closer communication between the central government and the opposition camp.

In November, the central government relaxed the entry restrictions to members of Hong Kong’s opposition camp. A number of “pan-democrats” have successfully obtained their mainland travel permit to pay visits across the border.

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