Lam lays out vision as LegCo session begins

Xinhua
The seventh-term Legislative Council of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region held its first meeting on Wednesday.
Xinhua

The seventh-term Legislative Council of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region held its first meeting on Wednesday. Its opening session was a question and answer session with HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

In her speech at the beginning of the meeting, Lam elaborated on major topics of the executive-legislative relationship, the development of the northern metropolis, and the structural reorganization of the HKSAR government.

She said she and her team look forward to working fully with the lawmakers to make substantive achievements under a sound electoral system, win public recognition, and lay a solid foundation for the long-term healthy development of democracy.

More than 40 legislative proposals compiled by the government will be submitted to the LegCo, and the chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government is coordinating this year's legislative agenda, which will be submitted to the LegCo for reference, Lam said, noting the legislative work of 2022 will be quite heavy.

Lam said that the northern metropolis plan, unveiled in the 2021 policy address, has won extensive support in Hong Kong as it gives hope to solving the housing shortage.

"I have urged the relevant policy bureaux to lose no time in following up on many key aspects of the development strategy, but before turning to specific projects, I would like to reiterate that the community should create favorable conditions for the implementation of the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy to ensure that the vision is put into practice," she said.

Covering 300 square kilometers, the proposed metropolis covers the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Boundary Control Points Economic Belt, as well as the deeper hinterlands. A total of 905,000 to 926,000 residential units will eventually be available to accommodate about 2.5 million people.

Lam hopes the lawmakers will advise the government on issues such as streamlining land development and human resources.

Lam introduced the latest plan – the result of three months of internal discussions taking into account the concerns of stakeholders – on reorganizing the structure of the government, with the number of policy bureaux expected to increase from 13 to 15.

The changes include creating a Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, splitting the Transport and Housing Bureau, and reorganizing the Food and Health Bureau as a medical and health bureau.

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