Hong Kong chief Lam’s China visit reviews year past

Carrie Lam and Macao chief executive meet Chinese leadership to present their government reports.

ISTANBUL (AA) – On a year-end official trip to mainland China, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam presented a report of her government to Chinese President Xi Jinping and separately met with Premier Li Keqiang, state-run news reported on Thursday.

“Over the past year, Hong Kong has consolidated the achievements in restoring order and the situation has constantly improved,” Xi said during his meeting with Lam on Wednesday, according to Xinhua News.

He said the region has achieved “notable results” in its COVID-19 response, and “steadily recovered its economy and maintained social stability.”

“Lam has led the Hong Kong in making systematic changes and improvements to Hong Kong’s electoral system in accordance with relevant decision of the National People’s Congress and relevant legislation of the NPC Standing Committee,” Xi added.

This was likely Lam’s last trip to Beijing as in her current term, which was marred by mass violence during 2019 anti-government protests triggered by a scuttled extradition bill.

– Eventful term

Her five-year term, which ends in June, also saw radical changes in the former British colony, when Beijing imposed a controversial national security law last year criminalizing any activity deemed anti-national.

After changing the landscape of elections system in Hong Kong in March, the region elected all 90 members of the new Legislative Council last Sunday, earning Lam praise from the Chinese president, who said she had taken “active measures to promote Hong Kong’s integration into the overall development of the country and comprehensively deepen its exchanges and cooperation with the mainland.”

“The central authorities fully acknowledge the work of Lam and the Hong Kong government,” Xi said.

“Practice has proven that the new electoral system adheres to the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and fits Hong Kong’s realities,” Xi said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Xi, Lam said: “The only aim of this visit was to report on our work and on Hong Kong’s latest developments.”

She insisted there was no discussion of her “personal future” during her meetings.

Xi, separately, met Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of Macau, who is also in Beijing on regular duty visit.

“The central authorities fully acknowledge the work that Ho and Macau government have done,” Xi said.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Macau society has gained a clearer understanding of existing problems in the region’s economic structure and deeper reflections on its future development,” he said.

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