CS visits Washington, DC (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, began her visit to Washington, DC, today (June 6, Washington, DC, time).

     In the morning, Mrs Lam met with the Director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies of the Brookings Institution, Dr Richard Bush, and other think-tank representatives on Hong Kong and China affairs. Mrs Lam updated them on the latest situation of Hong Kong and had an in-depth discussion with them on issues of interest including the implementation of "one country, two systems", the economic outlook, constitutional development and several social challenges.

     Mrs Lam then attended a business luncheon hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and exchanged views with members of the Chamber on US-Hong Kong economic relations as well as business opportunities in Hong Kong under the Belt and Road Initiative. "Hong Kong is the only place in the world where the global advantage and the China advantage converge in a single city. This unique convergence allows Hong Kong to be a gateway to the Mainland of China for investors around the world, including those from the US," Mrs Lam said.

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam called on the Chief of Staff of the House Speaker's Office, Mr David Hoppe, and the National Security Advisor of the House Speaker's Office, Mr Jonathan W Burks. She also attended a meeting with the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, Mr Cory Gardner, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, Mr Benjamin Cardin. They had a detailed discussion on the latest political and economic developments in Hong Kong.

     Speaking at these meetings, Mrs Lam emphasised that the "one country, two systems" principle has been working well in Hong Kong, and the basic rights and freedoms of individuals are guaranteed under the Basic Law. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is fully committed to safeguarding the rule of law, and the Judiciary's exercise of its judicial power independently remains unfettered. Recounting the 20 months of work on introducing universal suffrage in the election of the Chief Executive, Mrs Lam expressed disappointment at the vetoing of the Government's proposal by the Legislative Council but she stressed that Hong Kong's constitutional development must be taken forward in accordance with the Basic Law. On the economic front, Mrs Lam said Hong Kong will also seize the unique opportunities under China's Belt and Road Initiative and continue to perform the role of the "super-connector" between the Mainland of China and the rest of the world, including the US.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam spoke at a reception hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, DC, to provide an update on opportunities and challenges faced by the city. Some 120 guests including former Hong Kong residents, staffers and researchers in Congress and members of the business sector and non-governmental organisations attended the reception.

     Mrs Lam will continue her stay in Washington, DC, tomorrow (June 7, Washington, DC, time). She will call on senior Government officials, meet with senior representatives of think tanks, visit cultural institutions and attend a dinner with women leaders.

Ends/Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:56