April 20, 2022
HONG KONG – Chief executive candidate John Lee Ka-chiu has said that resuming normal travel with the Chinese mainland will be one of his top priorities if he is elected.
“I know (reopening the border) is a challenge, but I will initiate the talks as soon as possible. … I will propel the issue in a pragmatic manner,” Lee told reporters after meeting with business leaders on Monday.
Lee said he will candidly explain the city’s situation to mainland officials and listen to their requirements to reopen the border with the hope of reaching a consensus
Lee said he fully understands local residents’ strong desire to reopen the border, adding that many foreigners, businesspeople, researchers and educators are also eager to return to the mainland via Hong Kong.
Lee said that in future discussions, he will take advantage of his communication experience accumulated in previous talks, candidly explain Hong Kong’s situation to mainland officials and listen to their requirements to reopen the border with the hope of reaching a consensus.
Along with other leading Hong Kong officials, the then-chief secretary attended several meetings in Shenzhen in the second half of last year, when he discussed with mainland officials and experts the preparations for reopening the border.
During the Easter holiday, Lee continued his election campaign and met with five business groups on Monday, when they discussed how to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness, improve the local business environment, and the significance of reindustrialization.
On Friday and Saturday, he met with lawmakers, district groups, and representatives of traditional Chinese medicine to collect suggestions for his political platform.
After Lee submitted 786 nominations on April 13, his candidacy in the chief executive race was verified as valid on Monday. The poll will be held on May 8, when nearly 1,500 Election Committee members will cast their ballots to elect the city’s next top leader.