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Sunday, March 26, 2017, 18:40

Congratulations to the new CE-elect

By China Daily
Congratulations to the new CE-elect
Chief Executive candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor  celebrates with her family after winning the chief executive election in Hong Kong, March 26, 2017. ( Edmond Tang / China Daily)

Our congratulations go to the newly elected Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who emerged as victor in the open, fair and transparent CE election poll on Sunday, garnering 777 votes from the 1,194 members of the Election Committee. Pending appointment by the central government, Lam will become Hong Kong’s fifth-term CE and the first woman to take up this top post in the SAR’s 20 years’ history.

Lam’s resounding victory did not come as a surprise. She garnered 580 nominations to qualify as a candidate, more than those for the other two CE hopefuls combined. Many sectors of society and most of the Election Committee members expressed their support for Lam before the votes were cast. They believed Lam fully satisfied the criteria laid down by State leaders for the future CE: loving the country and Hong Kong, capable of governing, and being trusted by the central government and supported by Hong Kong people.

Now that the new leader has been decided, the most significant task on the new administration’s agenda is to mend a divided society. To realize that, it is of utmost importance that all parties across the political divide and all sectors of society put aside their differences and work together for the overall interests of Hong Kong. The political wrangling that has haunted the SAR in the past years must come to a full stop.

To sustain prosperity and social stability, the SAR must, under the leadership of Lam and her new administration, tackle with renewed strength various long-standing and pressing issues, such as land and housing supply shortage, the growing income gap and youth problems. Equally important is to propel the city’s sluggish economy forward by honing its competitiveness. The new administration must diversify its finance-dominated economy, with special emphasis, for example, on the development of innovation technology, which the incumbent CE Leung Chun-ying has rightfully started.

The new CE must show the vision and wisdom needed to put Hong Kong onto the country’s economic development express train. No more should Hong Kong immerse itself in its past glory and be reluctant to play a part in the country’s development. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area arrangement and the newly announced membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank all offer invaluable opportunities for the SAR to take a much more active role in the country’s grand strategies.

The new CE must realize the fates of the nation and the SAR are intimately intertwined. The SAR’s prosperity and stability also serve the interest of the country. Lam needs to put this situation into perspective, enhance the SAR residents’ awareness of the big picture and steer Hong Kong on the right course that would lead to the bright future she promised in her election campaign.

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