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Xi meets Hong Kong SAR chief executive

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:10, December 24, 2016

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping met with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying Friday.

Xi told Leung that the central government firmly supports the Hong Kong SAR government in its work to contain "Hong Kong independence" according to law.

Leung is in Beijing to report to the central government on his work in 2016.

Xi said, achievements in Hong Kong's practice of "one country, two systems" are for all to see. However, as the practice of "one country, two systems" is a new undertaking, it is natural that new situations and new problems have arisen.

Currently, as Hong Kong is developing steadily in social, political and economic terms, the central government as well as Hong Kong citizens all hope for a better economy and people's livelihood, a harmonious society and happy life for the citizens, according to Xi.

"One country, two systems" is in line with interests of the country, well-being of Hong Kong citizens, and the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, Xi said.

He added the central government, the SAR government and Hong Kong society need to "strengthen their faith, adhere to the bottom line, staunchly safeguard and make sure the practice of 'one country, two systems' in Hong Kong keeps pressing ahead along the track of the Basic Law."

Xi noted, the central government fully acknowledges the work of the chief executive and government of the Hong Kong SAR.

With the support of the central government, chief executive Leung has led the government of the Hong Kong SAR in prudent administration, and achieved remarkable progresses in sectors such as land and housing, old-age care, poverty relief, as well as scientific and technological innovation, Xi said.

Besides, in such significant matters as containing "Hong Kong independence" and handling street violence according to law, Xi commented, the Hong Kong SAR government, led by Leung, has strictly followed the Basic Law, the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, and laws of the SAR.

The SAR government has "safeguarded national sovereignty, security, development interests, and Hong Kong's economic development, social stability."

Moreover, Xi said, the central government respects the decision by Leung not to run in the next election in 2017 due to family related reasons.

Over the past four years or so, Leung and the SAR government have "comprehensively and accurately" implemented the "one country, two systems" principle and the Basic Law, as well as made concrete efforts in "building the groundwork and benefiting the long-term development."

Leung and the SAR government have made vital contributions to the undertaking of the "one country, two systems" as well as Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, Xi added.

Xi asked Leung to present the new-year wish of him and the central government to Hong Kong citizens.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, also attended the meeting.

In a separate meeting with Leung on Friday, Premier Li Keqiang said the central government is in full support of the SAR government and the chief executive performing administration in accordance with the law.

Li pledged continued policies and measures that support Hong Kong's development and enhance cooperation between the SAR and the mainland.

Over the past year, the Hong Kong SAR government has made progress in ensuring steady economic growth with relatively low unemployment, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, integrating Hong Kong's development with national strategies, and expanding cooperation with the mainland and international exchanges, said Li.

The premier called for a bigger role of the SAR in the country's economic development and opening up.

Leung said the SAR government will coordinate with the country's 13th Five-Year Plan and Belt and Road Initiative, vigorously promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and strive to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity, stability and economic development.

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