President Xi Jinping has told Chief Executive Carrie Lam that ‘patriots’ must rule Hong Kong for the SAR to maintain stability and prosperity, while safeguarding the practice of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the entire constitutional order.
The president’s comments – as reported by the Xinhua News Agency – came during a video conference on Wednesday when Lam delivered her work report to state leaders virtually for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Xinhua quoted Xi as saying that the concept of ‘patriots ruling Hong Kong’ is a “fundamental principle” that affects national sovereignty and security.
“The central government’s comprehensive jurisdiction over the SAR can only be achieved if patriots rule Hong Kong,” he said, adding that this would also allow “various deep-seated problems” to be effectively resolved and lead the territory to long-term stability.
The comments come as the government confirmed it will require district councillors here to pledge allegiance to the SAR – a move critics warn is aimed at eventually disqualifying the pro-democracy candidates who won a landslide victory in the 2019 polls.
Xi was also quoted as praising the Chief Executive for taking a “firm stand” on major issues such as national security, saying this has “demonstrated your love of, and deep sense of responsibility to the motherland and Hong Kong."
"The central authorities fully acknowledge your performance and the performance of the HKSAR government in the fulfillment of your duties," the president said.
He also asked Lam to extend his sympathy to Hong Kong officials who were "unreasonably sanctioned" by the United States over the imposition of the national security law.
In response, Xinhua said Lam thanked Xi for the central government’s support, and added that her team would seek to fearlessly overcome difficulties, to spur Hong Kong forward.
President Xi also said he was “very concerned and worried” about the coronavirus situation in the SAR. But at the same time, he pledged Beijing’s full backing for Hong Kong in its fight against Covid, and expressed confidence that the city can surely overcome this challenge.
Lam also made a duty report to Premier Li Keqiang, while Macau leader Ho Iat-seng also delivered virtual work reports to state leaders.
Photos released by the central government showed Lam flanked by the head of the Beijing Liaison Office, Luo Huining, and director of the CE Office, Eric Chan.
Vice Premier Han Zheng, who's in charge of Hong Kong affairs, and the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, were also in attendance.
Last updated: 2021-01-27 HKT 20:48
Patriots must rule HK, Xi Jinping tells Carrie Lam
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