Transcript of remarks by CE at media session (with video)
Reporter: The people who you've just met are not the people who are protesting. Do you really think meeting the business sector and other people behind closed doors is going to solve the current issues? Also, if you have noticed, one of the slogans protesters have been chanting is "If we burn, you burn with us". Their incentives are, they're motivated by bringing down the economy. Is what you've just said proof that their tactics have worked? Are you worried that by saying that more people will just be doing the same thing and disrupting traffic and the economy to achieve their goals? Thank you.
Chief Executive: First of all, I and my Principal Officials have been meeting different sectors in Hong Kong as part of our work to engage them to discuss what we should do during this political crisis and to prepare for the Policy Address. This afternoon's session was entirely devoted to the economic sectors, but it doesn't mean that we are not meeting with other people. I think we are meeting with the teachers, we are meeting with the medical sector, and I'm meeting with the members of the Legislative Council as well. But the economy is something very important for every one of us in Hong Kong, unless a small minority of people, as you have said, they did not mind destroying Hong Kong's economy, they have no stake in the society which so many people have helped to build, and that's why they resort to all this violence and obstructions causing huge damage to the economy and to the daily life of the people. I am indeed very worried about this situation and that's why I appeal for calm, calmness and rationality, to help us to overcome this situation. And this is also the consensus view of 33 members from the business sector that they have told us during the session we just had with them.
Reporter: Hi there, thank you for this. Can I ask, why do you keep giving press conferences if you aren't going to outline further solutions? Your critics have said that you haven't outlined any solutions to the political crisis yet and you've declined to have an independent inquiry.
Chief Executive: As you notice since Monday this week we have put in place two regular press conferences. One is by the Police to give you an account of what has happened over the last 24 hours, especially to provide clarifications. That is very important because we are confronted with so many misrepresentations, misperceptions, misunderstandings, rumours, speculations or even fake news circulating around. To have the Police coming out on a daily basis to explain and clarify is one of the important parts of our strategy, so that people will not get too fearful and too worried, and to maybe misunderstand the situation.
The second that we have put in place is interdepartmental press briefing or media standup like this to talk about the non-police elements, because as this situation spreads, we are now facing a lot of issues not confining to the police operations. We have economic issues, we have transport disruption issues. We may also have, sooner or later, some medical and health issues as a result of this political crisis. As far as political solution is concerned, I don't think we should just make concessions in order to silence the violent protesters; we should do what is right for Hong Kong. And at this moment, what is right for Hong Kong, as we have heard all our 33 business representatives told us, is to stop the violence, and to say no to the chaotic situation that Hong Kong has experienced in the last few weeks so that we can move on. And when we move on we will hope that we could tackle the more fundamental and deep-seated problems that may have surfaced as a result of this particular situation.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, August 9, 2019
Issued at HKT 22:47
Issued at HKT 22:47
Audio / Video
CE meets the media