Whole new dynamic in Legco played down

Top News | Phoenix Un 28 Nov 2018

The pro-Beijing camp's by-election victory "will not have any material impact on what I have been doing," Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor firmly declared.

Former political assistant Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan won the Kowloon West contest, giving Lam unshakable support in the Legislative Council even if the pro-democracy camp wins a forthcoming New Territories East by-election. Chan defeated pro-democracy veterans Lee Cheuk-yan and Frederick Fung Kin-kee.

Before heading into yesterday's Executive Council meeting Lam was asked whether the pro-government camp's advantage means that legislation for Basic Law Article 23 and other controversial pending laws will be pushed through.

"Since taking office last July, I have adopted a very consistent approach in interacting with members of the Legislative Council, regardless of their political affiliations," Lam said. "This particular result of the by-election will not have any material impact on what I have been doing in the last 16 months or so."

Chan has vowed not to join any political party, though Starry Lee Wai-king said on radio she would welcome her if she wants to join the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. Lee heads the DAB.

Lam also said she would strive to minimize the impact of the Sino-US trade war on the economy.

"On one hand, we are closely monitoring the situation; on the other, we are meeting with the commerce industry and different chambers of commerce regularly," she said.

Lam added that Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah has held more than 10 meetings with the main chambers of commerce, and a lot of measures have been implemented in the past six months to help businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

She said Hong Kong's import and export figures in October, which was released on Monday, were better than expected, but the situation is ever-changing.

"But please be assured: the SAR government is braced for it," she said. "We will implement all necessary measures to minimize the impact on our economy and people's livelihoods."

On concerns that Hong Kong is being seen by foreign countries as the same customs territory with China, Lam said she will continue to explain the unique advantages Hong Kong enjoys under the "one country, two systems" principle.

"We have been a separate customs territory for 21 years, and we have maintained close cooperation with foreign governments on trade issues," she said.

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