03/28/2017, 13.35
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Carrie Lam to visit mainland bodies in Hong Kong

by Paul Wang

Hong Kong’s new chief executive will make a courtesy call, not a visit of gratitude for the mainland’s support. She pledged to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems". Beijing's influence is “worrisome”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Three days after her victory, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam is set to visit mainland China’s bodies in the city, namely the Liaison Office, the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Ms Lam, who worked for the Hong Kong government for several years, was considered by many as Beijing’s candidate and was backed by the mainland in the election.

According to several Hong Kong newspapers, the Liaison Office put strong pressure on the Election Committee to ensure Lam’s victory.

In an interview with local radio, Lam said that her visit is not a token of gratitude towards China, but a courtesy call.

Lam pledged that her government would respect the principle of "one country, two systems", which gives Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and a different system from that of China.

“Under the high degree of autonomy, SAR* government officials should be in charge of their own work,” she said. “I will see that as the guiding principle of the new cabinet.”

Since Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, its successive administrations have often relied on the mainland as in the case of citizenship for the children of Honk Kongers living in China (denied by Beijing), or the degree of local democracy.

According to several legal experts, Beijing's influence in the territory has become “worrisome”.

* SAR: Special administrative region

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