HONG KONG – John Lee, the newly appointed sixth-term chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), has pledged to start a new chapter for Hong Kong by building consensus and delivering results.
“I hope to build a caring and inclusive Hong Kong that is strong in development with hope and vitality, and a Hong Kong that is connected to the world and integrated into the overall development of the country,” Lee said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
In Lee’s vision, to start a new chapter for Hong Kong is to create a stable and safe Hong Kong with full development opportunities in five years and to solve various problems through development.
“When I take office I will discuss with my team the priorities of each policy agenda,” Lee said, stressing the importance of getting things done.
He won the HKSAR’s sixth-term chief executive election on May 8 by an overwhelming majority. His manifesto contains four tenets of vision: to strengthen governance capability and tackle pressing livelihood issues together; to streamline procedures and provide more housing and better living; to enhance overall competitiveness and pursue sustainable development; and to build a caring and inclusive society and enhance upward mobility for youths.
For the HKSAR government to achieve effective governance, it is important not only to do what it thinks is right but to do what the people most want the government to do, said Lee, who has “people first” at the core of his governance philosophy.
To address the deep-seated housing problem, Lee said he will establish task forces for public housing and the supply of homes and land once taking office.
For matters where there is disagreement, Lee said it is important to “take one step at a time”.
“I hope to resolve differences with actions, gain trust with results, and accumulate mutual trust with achievements,” Lee said.
He believes that whether it is an issue of livelihood, politics, or development, people may have different views, but with mutual trust, differences can be minimized and the strength of the community can be pooled together.
The HKSAR’s sixth-term chief executive election, the first since the improvement to the HKSAR electoral system, is a key election that further implements the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”.
Lee pointed out that the chief executive elected under the new electoral system bears the responsibility to form a good governing team that loves the country and loves Hong Kong, and leads the Hong Kong society to work together to start a new chapter.
“The legislature and I will leverage ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’ to create capabilities of effective governance,” he said.
Lee will assume office on July 1, 2022, also the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. The next five years will be full of opportunities for Hong Kong, while challenges will also remain.
Lee has stressed that the new HKSAR government should give full play to the advantages of the “one country, two systems”. An important mission will be promoting Hong Kong’s full integration into the overall development of the country and in-depth participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Lee said the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area can consolidate Hong Kong’s inherent strengths and foster new ones, allowing the region to better contribute to the country.
In dealing with major events in recent years including the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong, Lee has taken a firm stand, fulfilled his responsibilities and spared no effort in upholding the national sovereignty.
There is always a need to be vigilant about national security because the risk is always there, Lee stressed.
While the national security law in Hong Kong has basically controlled some of the most critical risks, it remains the HKSAR’s constitutional responsibility to achieve the Article 23 legislation under the HKSAR Basic Law, he noted.
Looking ahead to Hong Kong’s next five years, Lee envisages a place characterized by an abundance of vitality, opportunity, hope and caring. He also hopes that the Hong Kong people will love the country deeply, and “patriots administering Hong Kong” embraced by the people wholeheartedly.
“I believe that with joint efforts, we can make Hong Kong, ‘the Pearl of the East’, shine brighter,” Lee said.