Transcript of remarks by CE-elect at media session (with photo/video)
Reporter: President Xi told you that the new electoral system is a democratic system which must be upheld in the long run. Is there any chance that you will push forward further democratic reforms during your term to move forward the ultimate goal of universal suffrage? And second, what did you discuss with Xia (Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Xia Baolong) this morning? Did he approve your proposal list of Principal Officials and when will you be announcing the name list? Do you have any chance to meet Vice Premier Han Zheng separately during your trip to Beijing as well, and if yes, what issues were discussed? Thank you.
Chief Executive-elect: First of all, I think President Xi has made it very clear that the improved electoral system is in full conformity with the principle of "one country, two systems" and is taking consideration of the actual situation of Hong Kong and satisfies the development needs of Hong Kong. And it should be maintained for a long period of time.
The sixth-term Government will, of course, uphold this position and maintain the system for a long period of time. That is the position of the sixth-term Hong Kong Government.
The second thing is when I met Mr Xia, I explained to him what I have been doing in forming the governing team. And I explained to him the thinking process and the qualifications that I will be looking at in the candidates. I have also expressed to him that I will be exercising my duty in this regard to form the team and make the recommendation, and make the nomination to the CPG (Central People's Government) for the CPG to consider making the appointments. I have only one month's time and I need to do it as quickly as possible. Mr Xia also agreed that it is important to form a team which will help me to implement my policies and directions, and it is also important that we share the common values and the general direction that the sixth-term Government will be proceeding in the governance in the next five years. I have no individual meeting with Vice Premier Han.
Reporter: Can you share any shortlisted candidates that you have suggested for the team?
Chief Executive-elect: I know everybody is very interested in the actual personnel in the team that I'm forming. I'm working very hard on it. At this stage, please appreciate that it will not be appropriate to make any public disclosure yet but I will be doing it as soon as possible, so that I will be able to announce the full composition of the team as soon as possible.
Reporter: Mr Lee, is there any indication from Beijing whether Hong Kong would be able to move away from zero-COVID or dynamic "zero (infection)" policy? And did President Xi say whether he would be coming to Hong Kong on July 1?
Chief Executive-elect: Premier Li - actually when I explained Hong Kong’s situation regarding how COVID has been attacking and bothering Hong Kong – he did ask that we need to do the best we can to control the pandemic. I also explained to him that there had been many requests for us to consider resuming travel with the Mainland, but there are a lot of challenges and difficulties we need to overcome. I have indicated that when I assume office, I will start seeking communication with the Mainland side, so as to explain Hong Kong's situation to them. I also understand that the challenges and difficulties we have to overcome will be quite a lot, such as that we are still having cases of infection between 200 and 300 cases (every day), and the vaccination rate for the second dose has yet to reach 90 per cent, so is the case for the third dose. So we have to work hard and be able to control the spread of the pandemic, so that we will create more favourable conditions for us to let the Mainland side understand the situation of Hong Kong.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:55
Issued at HKT 20:55