Hong Kong serves as an important platform to assist the country in boosting its institutional openness, a senior Beijing official said on Thursday, as he also highlighted the "indispensable role" the SAR plays in promoting China's legal system when it comes to foreign affairs.
Li Yongsheng, deputy commissioner of the Foreign Ministry's office in Hong Kong, said the SAR has "unlimited potential" in developing into a global legal centre, and the central government supports the idea of the city becoming a training hub for law professionals.
"Hong Kong plays an indispensable role in promoting China's foreign-related rule of law... As the only common law jurisdiction in China, Hong Kong is compatible with international rules and has an open and well-regulated business environment. It is therefore an important platform to help China enhance institutional openness and build a new development paradigm," Li told the annual Colloquium on International Law.
"Going forward, we will fully support Hong Kong in developing into a base for training international legal talent for both China and foreign countries."
Chief Executive John Lee, for his part, said Hong Kong has a "long and noteworthy" history of cooperating with international legal organisations.
"We have wide-ranging experience in drawing on the strengths of East and West legal traditions, on serving as a conduit between the Chinese legal system and other international legal systems," he said.
Lee added that the city's judicial system is internationally renowned, and the legal sector has enviable expertise in international legal, dispute resolution and deal-making services.
"These and other deeply engrained qualities reflect the rule of law practised in Hong Kong. They demonstrate how Hong Kong can play a valuable role in the development and maintenance of an effective international legal order. And I look forward to expanding our international exchange and collaboration in jurisprudence and legal services," the CE said.