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Hong Kong companies eye business opportunities at Shanghai import expo

By Yang Sheng in Beijing and Xie Jun in Shanghai (Global Times)    07:51, November 06, 2019

President urges end to chaos in HK

Different groups in Hong Kong society need to be united and continue to make further efforts to support the special administrative region (SAR) government in ending violence and chaos, as well as to restore public order, people from different groups of Hong Kong vowed on Tuesday, after President Xi Jinping met Carrier Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong SAR, in Shanghai and expressed trust in the HKSAR government.

Xi on late Monday night met with Lam, who is in Shanghai for the second China International Import Expo, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. After hearing Lam's report on the recent situation in Hong Kong, Xi said the disturbances in Hong Kong have lasted five months, and Lam has led the SAR government to fully discharge its duties, strive to stabilize the situation and improve the social atmosphere, and has done a lot of hard work.

Xi voiced the central government's high degree of trust in Lam and full acknowledgement of the work of her and her governance team. Ending violence and chaos and restoring order remain the most important task for Hong Kong at present, Xi noted.

Xi demanded unswerving efforts to stop and punish violent activities in accordance with the law to safeguard the well-being of the general public in Hong Kong.

This kind of meeting can bring out a positive message, and clarify once again the so-called personnel changes in the Hong Kong SAR government, and under such circumstances, "the hearts and minds of the army" cannot be challenged, Tang Fei, a member of Beijing-based Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said on Tuesday.

He added that a more stable political situation will help solve the deep-rooted dilemma Hong Kong society is facing, as further integration into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would be the only way out.

Lo Man Tuen, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and a Hong Kong business leader, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the HKSAR government has taken measures, including passing the anti-mask law and an injunction to ban inciting violence online, and these have proven to be effective to some extent, and the number of people participating in riots is dropping.

Lo said now is the time for society to unite and oppose violence. "Aside from ending violence through legal means, we should also speak out with just voices. We should crack down on evil influences with justice, and bring peace and stability back to Hong Kong."

Bringing confidence

Lam also went to the exhibition zone of Hong Kong companies at the 2nd China International Import Expo, and she reaffirmed her commitment to deal with violence and riots, and that the HKSAR government will strictly follow the principle of "one country, two systems," as the central government has affirmed full support to Hong Kong, so that the city could soon restore peace, according to media reports.

She also said the report that the HKSAR government is considering a special amnesty to arrested rioters and protesters is not true. "Pardoning protesters who carried out illegal activities is against the spirit of the rule of law," she said.

Hong Kong's Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung Tuesday said Xi's meeting with Lam shows the importance the president and central people's government attach to Hong Kong, according to an HKSAR government website release.

Speaking to reporters ahead of an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday morning, Cheung said, "The very fact that he [Xi] is so busy, and still found time to meet the Chief Executive is a vote of confidence to us."

"He has a high degree of confidence in the Chief Executive and also recognizes the work, the positive work of the present HKSAR government, and the political team in particular. This is quite reassuring to us."

Angus Ng Hok Ming, executive president of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Youth Association, said that although the number of rioters who could join illegal activities is dropping, they are getting more violent and are losing public support.

To end violence and chaos, the HKSAR government and the Hong Kong Police should not lose confidence and ignore the unfair comments and criticism from biased media and groups, and firmly continue law-enforcement and governance, Ng said.

The confidence is not only from Xi's remarks, companies from Hong Kong at the expo also feel the concrete support and opportunities from the Chinese mainland.

More than 200 Hong Kong-based enterprises have participated in this year's CIIE, up 40 percent compared to last year. They will occupy a total exhibition area of 22,000 square meters, up 60 percent, said Sun Chenghai, deputy head of the CIIE bureau.

Sun said Hong Kong exhibitors are in "every exhibition hall," ranging from food and agriculture to sci-tech life and services. The Hong Kong exhibitors' total exhibition area is the fourth largest among all non-mainland participants, just behind the US, Germany and Japan.

All-Time Healthy Co, a Hong Kong-based healthcare products manufacturer and trading company, attended last year's CIIE and saw a very good response from buyers and the public, Ken Wong, the company's director, told the Global Times.

"Although the company has taken root in Hong Kong for many years, the mainland will be the future business focus for the company," Wong said.

Wong said mainland markets are much larger than Hong Kong market, because of mainland's population. He also expressed disappointment over Hong Kong's social unrest.

"Many medium or small-size enterprises in Hong Kong want to participate in and benefit from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area initiative," Wong said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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