The number of people from mainland China relocating to Hong Kong daily should be halved to 75 to ease cross-border tensions amid deepening divides in the protest-hit city.
The idea was contained in a report put forward by Hong Kong property tycoon Adam Kwok Kai-fai to mainland cadres at the annual session of the Guangdong Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which opened on Sunday in Guangzhou.
Kwok, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s biggest developer by market value, also sits on the Standing Committee of the Guangdong CPPCC.
His report summed up the findings of surveys by the Hong Kong Guangdong Youth Association, which Kwok co-founded, from 2017 to 2019.
In the report, Kwok said the rise of localism in recent years and misunderstandings among local young people on the mainland system had made them more reluctant to integrate into the Greater Bay Area, and “such sentiment has deepened after the extradition bill incident”.
Hong Kong has been rocked by more than seven months of protests, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill, which would have allowed suspects to be transferred to the mainland and other jurisdictions with which the city does not have such an agreement.
The bay area is a project initiated by President Xi Jinping to turn Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province into an innovation powerhouse.
Kwok’s report highlighted as a “sore point” the cross-border tensions given rise by the so-called one-way permit scheme that allows up to 150 mainlanders to come to settle in Hong Kong every day.
He proposed a three-year pilot scheme under which the quota would be cut by half, given it had not been filled for the past three years.
“This symbolic move would have great impacts. It allows Hong Kong’s young people to see and feel the care of the central government,” the report said.
Kwok also proposed that those currently waiting for one-way permits could reunite with family members in the Greater Bay Area to relieve Hong Kong from the competition for social resources.
At Sunday’s meeting, Kwok also urged the mainland authorities to offer accommodation to eligible young Hong Kong talent moving to work and live in the Greater Bay Area, with the nine mainland cities providing 10,000 flats, China News Service reported.
Kwok also called on Hong Kong enterprises on the mainland to take up social responsibility and offer more internships for local youths to work on the mainland.