'One country, two systems' vital in helping Hong Kong benefit from China's Belt and Road plan: Carrie Lam

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaking at a National Day reception in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaking at a National Day reception in Hong Kong. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HONG KONG (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam provided glimpses into her vision for Hong Kong's future on Monday (Oct 9) during an event held as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the China Daily's Hong Kong edition.

Speaking to a gathering of 340 distinguished guests, including diplomats and leaders in the public and private sectors in the special administrative region (SAR), Mrs Lam talked about how that future links with the Belt and Road Initiative, launched by President Xi Jinping.

In her keynote speech at the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable luncheon, Mrs Lam referred to the theme of the forum, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area from the Belt and Road Perspective: Opportunities and Challenges.

Mrs Lam said the topic was "a most timely and relevant one" that is inspiring, bringing together "two critically important national development strategies".

She said: "Much synergy can be derived from interactions of both, particularly in shaping the future of Hong Kong."

China Daily publisher and editor-in-chief Zhou Shuchun told the story of the Hong Kong edition's two-decade journey.

"China Daily Hong Kong Edition was founded to cater to the city's huge community of English-speaking readers - to bring them news, views and in-depth, research-based features from across China and beyond.

"Founded immediately after the Hong Kong SAR came into being, China Daily Hong Kong Edition was also tasked with upholding the values of the 'one country, two systems' principle, outlining its scope and clarifying the nuances according to the Basic Law for its anglophone readers," he said.

While Mrs Lam said she could not disclose information about her first policy address, set for Wednesday, she stressed the importance of upholding "one country, two systems" to enable the SAR to benefit from its strategic edge and make the most of the opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative brings.

Mrs Lam's proposed strategy to "minimise adverse competition and duplication of resources" between cities in the Greater Bay Area was echoed by Hong Kong Legislative Council member Regina Ip, who is also the Maritime Silk Road Society co-chair.

Mrs Ip advocated relaxing regulations on the movement of people and resources between Hong Kong and the mainland.

"If we want to maximise the potential of the Greater Bay Area, we must work out how to overcome the existing hurdles to the free flow of people, goods, funds, data and services," she said.

Shun Tak Holdings Group executive chairman and managing director Pansy Ho, whose business interests include Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland, also spoke of  "capitalising on collaborative advantages" between cities in the Greater Bay Area without necessarily sacrificing their competitive spirit.

"The governments need to work together, and try to assimilate the efforts so that there could be pooled resources to create, what we call, one journey multi-destination travel," Ms Ho said.