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China’s Xi hails Hong Kong vote in meeting with Carrie Lam

China’s Xi hails Hong Kong vote in meeting with Carrie Lam

China’s President Xi Jinping on Wednesday told Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam that the city is developing in the right direction and heaped praise on her work in the past year, two days after an election installed Beijing’s loyalists in the financial hub’s legislature amid a low turnout. Xi met Lam in Beijing on Wednesday, the first time he granted an in-person visit to a leader from outside the mainland in several months, the last being Pakistan President Arif Alvi in March 2020. Lam is in China’s capital on her annual visit to the mainland to present her yearly work report, and brief top leaders on the political, economic and social issues in Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) with increasingly restricted autonomy. “Hong Kong has been restored from the chaotic condition and is developing in a good direction,” Xi said, adding, “The central government fully recognizes your work.” The meeting took place two days after Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) election concluded, which Xi called “a good system”.The Chinese president said that it’s also in line with the reality of Hong Kong, providing systematic support for the “one country, two systems”. The successful LegCo election also underscored the principle of only patriots governing Hong Kong and, with a broad and balanced participation, it showcased the democratic rights of the people of Hong Kong, Xi said. “The central authorities fully acknowledge the performance of Carrie Lam and the HKSAR government in fulfilling their duties,” Xi was quoted by official media as saying. The city has gone from a period of chaos to stability, said Xi, adding that the situation continues to improve. “In the past year, Hong Kong has consolidated the situation in which the city turned from chaos [during the 2019 social unrest] to peace, and has continued to develop in a positive direction,” he said. “Xi also praised the HKSAR government’s efforts to contain Covid-19 and boost the city’s economic recovery,” the official media report said. This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Lam’s visit, which runs until Thursday, will be closely watched for signs of whether she has Beijing’s backing to run in next year’s March 27 vote for Hong Kong’s next chief executive. No candidates have yet declared their intention to run. The tabloid, Global Times, quoted Lam appreciating that Xi acknowledged the work of the HKSAR government over the past year. “She described the year 2021 as very unusual, particularly as it was the year to fully implement the ‘one country, two systems’’ policy. She said she is glad to come to Beijing in person as it’s the last annual duty trip in her 5-year term,” the Global Times report said..

world-news 2021-12-22 hindustantimes