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Transcript of remarks by CE at media session in Guangzhou (with photos/video)
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at a media session in Guangzhou today (February 23):
Reporter: Mr Lee, what can be achieved in your first visit to the Greater Bay Area, and is there a plan to visit ASEAN countries next? And the second question is, will the Government consider making criminal check a requirement for all talent visa schemes?
Chief Executive: My visit this time is the beginning of, what I will describe as, a series of other visits by myself and by my officials, and also by a lot of delegations probably led by me or government officials, so as to, first of all promote Hong Kong, to also promote our integration into the (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao) Greater Bay Area's development and our integration into the national development as a whole. This is the beginning of what I regard as a big exercise. The second thing is, this is also an exercise to build up relationship, which is important after three years of separation when we can only conduct meetings online, which I think everybody knows, it's not a good experience. And it's not a very positive thing in building up mutual understanding.
     The value, you have asked, of this meeting is, first of all, this is the first time I had the opportunity to meet the Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee. He is a person who has charisma and vision, and he has explained to me his vision in regard to the overall development of the Greater Bay Area, which is something I share completely. We discussed how to promote high valued development. This is not just an area we should all aim at; it is an area we must go into. Otherwise, the value of creation will be discounted. We share a lot of common beliefs and also the areas of work are very quickly agreed upon. That means we now can concentrate on the actual action plans. And I think that is very important. High-level meetings are not just a means of showing a mutual support; it is a means of ensuring things can be ironed out more quickly, so that directions are immediately made, and working levels know very clearly the direction and then they will have less friction, a pure and very clear direction and aims, so as to allow them to work out their action plans. This visit also means that there will be many other visits, which will eventually create extra value through face-to-face contact, building mutual understanding and also aligning aims and objectives. So the value creation is manifold.
     As regards your question regarding the inflow of talents into Hong Kong, we have a standard and we must maintain the standard, which is to ensure that the people who come to Hong Kong really serve the overall interest of Hong Kong. Then of course, for people who have a criminal record, we have to examine what this criminal record is about, so as to assess whether his entry in Hong Kong is for the overall good of society. This is a standard we will maintain in all visits and arrival into Hong Kong. I am in a way relieved to see that my officers responded very quickly to ensure that when we have found there are things that we can enhance, then action is taken immediately to enhance the whole process and procedure.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:30
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The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, led a delegation to visit Guangzhou and Shenzhen today (February 23). Photo shows Mr Lee meeting the media in Guangzhou.
The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee led a delegation to visit Guangzhou and Shenzhen today (February 23). Photo shows Mr Lee (centre), accompanied by members of the delegation, meeting the media in Guangzhou.

Audio / Video

CE meets media in Guangzhou