Chief Executive John Lee on Saturday thanked Beijing for always supporting Hong Kong, saying the SAR had countless advantages and he was confident about its prospects.
Speaking at a reception to celebrate National Day, John Lee said One Country, Two Systems had provided the best institutional safeguard for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. He said the principle had helped the city attain marvellous achievements and overcome challenges over the past 25 years.
"Indeed, we always have our motherland's strong backing in matters ranging from opening up opportunities to overcoming difficulties," he said, referring to Beijing's move to introduce the National Security Law and change the electoral system.
The CE also said the central government had helped the city combat the pandemic earlier in the year.
"The central government gave us full support by swiftly sending expert delegations and medical support teams to Hong Kong, delivering urgent supplies via rail and water, constructing a community isolation facility in seven days, and much more, putting the epidemic situation under control," he said. "We will never forget the 'Chinese speed', reflecting the caring of Chinese people for compatriots and their eagerness to protect Hong Kong."
Lee said the SAR government would not take a hands-off approach when dealing with Covid but would allow the maximum level of economic activity, providing risks were controllable.
He said he was confident about the city's prospects, adding that Hong Kong had countless advantages as the world's freest economy and an international financial and trade centre.