China's Xi to deliver speech in Shenzhen marking its 40th anniversary

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam during his trip to Shenzhen.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam during his trip to Shenzhen.PHOTO: AFP

SHENZHEN (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a key speech in Shenzhen on Wednesday (Oct 14) to mark the anniversary of the establishment of China's first special economic zone in the southern city 40 years ago, according to state media Xinhua.

The leader of neighbouring Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, later said she would postpone her annual policy address scheduled for Wednesday and travel to Shenzhen instead, though she said no meeting with Mr Xi was scheduled.  Mrs Lam said she would go to Beijing later this month and aimed to hold her policy address by the end of November.

On Sunday, the central government announced measures that will give Shenzhen greater control over land use and are intended to encourage foreign investment in the technology sector, while reducing red tape in energy and telecoms.

One of the testing grounds for the reforms that spurred China's high-paced growth over the last four decades, the Chinese Communist Party touts Shenzhen as a gleaming symbol of China's emergence as a global economic power.

The trip comes as China seeks to bolster plans to better integrate Shenzhen, the surrounding province of Guangdong and the former colonies of Hong Kong and Macau into what it calls the “Greater Bay Area.”

The ambitious effort faces new challenges amid trade and security disputes with the US, anxiety over the new security law in Hong Kong and travel restrictions prompted by the pandemic.  

The reports suggests a prominent role for the Greater Bay Area in China’s next five-year development, which is expected to be approved by lawmakers next year in Beijing.

Top party leaders were scheduled to convene on Oct 26 to discuss an outline for the five-year plan. 

China stocks climbed on Monday on optimism before President Xi Jinping’s address in the southern city of Shenzhen this week. 

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 2.6 per cent, poised for the most since July 6, as of the midday break in Hong Kong. Xiaomi Corp surged as much as 6.4 per cent to be among the best performers, while shares of telecoms also advanced. The CSI 300 Index added at least 2 per cent for a second session after a long holiday.

China will take cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to a “higher level,” Xinhua reported earlier, without offering more details.

“Investors are optimistic on further reforms and upgrades for Shenzhen, which are expected to drive foreign capital inflows and enhance the tech sector,” said Patrick Shum, director of investment management at Tengard Holdings Ltd.