July 7, 2022
BEIJING – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu pledged to set up a designated policy-research group to facilitate his decision-making on macro policies, and foster ties with the legislature by initiating monthly talks between top government officials and lawmakers.
Revealing the plans during his first question-and-answer session at the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Lee said that as the chief executive, he is responsible to both the special administrative region and the central government, and needs to serve local interests with a national vision when designing policies. Government officials will assist him with fulfilling this duty, he said.
In the first such talk, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu himself will head a group that will include Chief Secretary Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, and Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok, as well as their deputies, to engage in the discussions
Lee also said that each month, the government’s department secretaries and deputy secretaries will lead a team of five or six ministers that visit the legislature and discuss various topics with lawmakers.
In the first such talk, Lee himself will head a group that will include Chief Secretary Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, and Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok, as well as their deputies, to engage in the discussions.
Hailing positive executive and legislative relationship as the foundation of opening a new chapter of Hong Kong, Lee said the regular exchanges will help officials better understand the public’s needs and introduce policies.
He said that as the legislature has ended the era of “two systems” resisting “one country” and gotten back on track, it’s time to build a better Hong Kong.
Lee also vowed to actively full President Xi Jinping’s expectations spelled out in Xi’s July 1 speech in Hong Kong, adding that the speech was very inspiring and important to maintaining the city’s stability and prosperity.
The new administration, which has been in office less than a week, has already carried out a wide range of work covering education, services for the elderly, talent attraction and investment promotion, Lee said.
In August, principal officials will submit policy goals to better conduct projects. Four high-level task groups will also be set up to tackle intergenerational poverty, land supply, public housing and districts affairs, he continued.
Concrete administration directions and goals will be elaborated in October’s Policy Address, which Lee said will be “people-oriented”.
As for pandemic control, Lee said the government will not lie flat and is working hard to contain the recent resurgence of COVID-19 infections. The government will also continue to discuss with mainland authorities the issue of resuming cross-border travel in a practical manner. The government will prioritize exploring arrangements or other, temporary plans to minimize inconvenience to travelers.