Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has called on China’s science minister to support the city’s closer cooperation with Shenzhen in the development of a planned innovation and technology park near the border in the Lok Ma Chau Loop.
Lam, who is leading a delegation of senior officials to Beijing to discuss with mainland ministries ways to boost the city’s coronavirus-battered economy, also asked to be kept posted on the country’s development of a vaccine for Covid-19, and called for the central government’s support for Hong Kong taking a leading role as the aviation hub of the Greater Bay Area.
On her first day in Beijing, Lam called on science and technology minister Wang Zhigang, Civil Aviation Administration of China director Feng Zhenglin and commerce minister Zhong Shan, according to a press release from the Hong Kong government.
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
During the meeting with Wang, Lam expressed hope for closer cooperation with Shenzhen in the area of innovation, saying with Hong Kong’s unique advantages, the city could contribute to national development, especially in establishing the Greater Bay Area as a technology hub.
“She noted that Hong Kong and Shenzhen were joining forces in the development of the Lok Ma Chau innovation and technology park, and expressed hope for the ministry to support the closer cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the information technology area,” the statement said.
“Lam also expressed a hope to keep in contact with the ministry in the country’s development of Covid-19 vaccines, as Hong Kong is procuring vaccines from various sources.”
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Zhong “exchanged views with Lam on matters such as supporting Hong Kong’s economic development, and strengthening [Hong Kong and the mainland’s] economic and trade exchanges”.
A source said Lam would meet officials from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the National Health Commission on Thursday.
Another source said Vice-Premier Han Zheng – the state leader in charge of Hong Kong affairs and the Greater Bay Area plan – would receive Lam on Friday.
Lam will leave Beijing for Guangzhou later that day for meetings with the leaders of Guangdong province and Shenzhen on Saturday.
Before flying to the capital, Lam said on Tuesday that a resumption of cross-border travel between Hong Kong and the mainland would be the “most important” issue on her wish list during the trip.
Lam said the talks would largely focus on how Hong Kong could integrate with the mainland under the Greater Bay Area scheme and the Communist Party’s 14th five-year plan, which had yet to be finalised. The bay area scheme seeks to integrate Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and eight other Guangdong cities into a finance and technology hub.
Lam added the outcome of the trip would be revealed during her annual policy address that was to be held at the end of this month.
Additional reporting by Ng Kang-chung