Beijing’s point man on Hong Kong affairs tells district councillors to act as bridge between people and authorities

“He reminded us that as district councillors, we should be a supporting structure for the government and do a good job to work for the people’s livelihood. Overall, he was satisfied with our work,” she said.

“The director also mentioned that our workload [is so heavy] that we won’t be able to finish and told us to do our part well.”

Xia’s second fact-finding mission in less than a year has identified district-level administration and economic development as key focuses, after local authorities revamped the municipal bodies to follow Beijing’s “patriots-only” policy direction.

Only 88 out of 470 district council seats were returned by popular vote in the first overhauled election on December 10. The poll saw a record-low turnout of 27.59 per cent.

The new batch of district councillors took office in January.

Fong on Saturday said the discussion with Xia had touched on plans by authorities to introduce a home-grown national security law, with the Beijing official assuring briefing attendees that central authorities would adhere to the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

Xia had also encouraged Hong Kong to consolidate its capitalist way of doing things, she added.

Top Beijing official urges business leaders, tycoons to keep faith with Hong Kong

Earlier in the day, Xia joined Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen for breakfast at a restaurant in a shopping centre in Tseung Kwan O.

He was briefed on the work of the community care teams – an initiative introduced as part of Lee’s election pledges to form a government-sponsored network of volunteers – during the meal.

They were also joined by members of local committees and community organisations.

Mak said the HKMAO director had recognised the care teams’ efforts and praised the initiative for its positive role in district-level work and improving public service.

Access to the restaurant was restricted during Xia’s visit, but some patrons were seen settling their bills and leaving after the Beijing official left. One of the diners, an elderly man surnamed Keung, said he had seen Xia and Lee while eating there.

“He greeted us and said ‘happy New Year’ to us,” Keung said. He also described Xia as affable, but did not manage to talk to or take any photos with the officials.

Beijing’s top official on Hong Kong on mission to plan ‘new stage of development’

Other patrons during the session were unwilling to stop for an interview and forced their way through the crowd of reporters.

A sizeable police presence was also observed at the shopping centre, which remained open to the public.

Xia headed to Sai Kung to join Lee and Mak for a seafood lunch with home affairs officials and the chairs for the city’s 18 district councils. He is set to spend the afternoon at Lion Rock Park in Wong Tai Sin and will later dine at Government House, the residence of the city’s leader.

Xia spent the past two days hearing briefings from local officials and lawmakers.

He also met about 20 tycoons and business leaders on Friday evening, urging them to keep faith with the city, which enjoyed Beijing’s unwavering support.


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