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DECEMBER 12 - 18, 2023

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HKETONY celebrates festive season in Chicago

The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York, Maisie Ho, celebrated the festive season with members of Chicago’s business and trade sectors during her visit to the Windy City (Dec 13 – 15). Speaking at the Dec 13 holiday celebration event organised by the Hong Kong Business Association of the Midwest, she highlighted Hong Kong's unique advantages and vast potential for businesses as well as opportunities for talents from Chicago’s leading educational institutions. During her stay in Chicago, she called on the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, Zhao Jian, and also met with the Deputy Commissioner of Programming at Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Nancy Villafranca; the Associate Vice President of Global Initiatives and Strategy at the University of Chicago, Katie Hrinyak; the Pritzker Chair of Arts of Asia, and Curator of Chinese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Dr Tao Wang, and the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Arts Club of Chicago, Janine Mileaf.


Global aviation leaders join innovation forum

Over 1,500 aviation professionals from around the world took part in the Asia Pacific Region Innovation & Capacity Building Symposium 2023 in Hong Kong (Dec 14-15). Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong said the symposium’s theme “Uniting the Strength of Innovation for Building a Seamless Sky” was a timely and relevant focus for the aviation industry, emphasising the importance of leveraging innovative technologies to drive the aviation industry forward in the post-pandemic era. The event provided an important forum for enhancing regional and international cooperation on innovative technologies and capacity.

C919 aircraft fly-past over Victoria Harbour

A C919 aircraft, developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, took off from Hong Kong International Airport and made its debut with a successful flight demonstration over Victoria Harbour on Dec 16, marking the aircraft’s first voyage out of the Mainland of China. The aircraft flew twice over the Harbour, first at an altitude of 1,500 feet and then at an altitude of 1,000 feet, attracting large crowds to witness the historic moment. The C919 is a large commercial passenger aircraft strictly designed, manufactured and certificated in accordance with international airworthiness standards. The first commercial C919 aircraft was delivered to an airline in December 2022 and it came into service in 2023. The civilian passenger aircraft mark a significant milestone for the national aviation manufacturing industry. Its first appearance over Hong Kong skies further underlines Hong Kong’s role as an international aviation hub.

Transport blueprint launched

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government promulgated (Dec 12) the Hong Kong Major Transport Infrastructure Development Blueprint, with a view to meeting the city’s long-term transport and logistics needs up to 2046 and beyond. Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung said the blueprint aims to drive development, strengthen connection and improve efficiency. It also promotes cross-boundary integration with the Mainland, particularly with other Greater Bay Area cities. The blueprint includes proposals for enhancements to the “Three Railways & Three Major Roads” initiative, which involves three strategic railway proposals, namely the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Rail Link connecting Hung Shui Kiu and Qianhai, the Central Rail Link, and the Tseung Kwan O Line Southern Extension, as well as three major road proposals, namely the Northern Metropolis Highway, the Shatin Bypass and the Tseung Kwan O-Yau Tong Tunnel. New projects proposed include the Northern Link Eastern Extension, the Northeast New Territories Line, the Northern Metropolis Highway (New Territories North New Town Section), and green mass transit systems in East Kowloon and Kai Tak.


Bonnie Chan named HKEX Chief Executive

The current Co-Chief Operating Officer Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) Bonnie Chan will take the top job at the exchange to succeed incumbent Chief Executive Nicolas Aguzin who will not seek reappointment upon completion of his three-year contract in May 2024. The HKSAR Government thanked Mr Aguzin for his contribution to Hong Kong’s financial market during his tenure, making notable contributions and leading HKEX to achieve breakthroughs in securities market development and mutual access with the Mainland financial market.

2024-25 BUDGET

Budget consultation gets underway

Financial Secretary Paul Chan has started a public consultation exercise for the 2024-25 Budget. He said Hong Kong’s economy is picking and showing positive growth, although the strength of the recovery following the pandemic is weaker than what was expected at the beginning of this year due to factors such as high interest rates and geopolitical developments, adding that the external environment will remain complex and uncertain next year. In preparing for the 2024-25 Budget, the HKSAR Government will pursue development aimed at promoting stability, and continue to allocate resources aimed at driving economic growth that brings tangible benefits to people, he said. Views can be given via the Budget’s thematic website or by email.


Hong Kong students win six science medals

Six Hong Kong students won a total of three gold, two silver and one bronze medal in the 20th International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO 2023) held in Thailand (Dec 1 – 10) - Hong Kong’s best results since 2018. Congratulating the team on their excellent performance, Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin said the impressive results demonstrated Hong Kong students’ exceptional talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). The bureau will continue to promote STEAM education and equip students with the necessary skills for the new era. 


Chief Executive on duty visit to Beijing

On a duty visit to Beijing (Dec 17 – 20), Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said his meeting with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and other leaders reflected the central government’s high regard for the SAR. Speaking to reporters (Dec 18), he said President Xi reiterated the central government’s long-term adherence to the “one country, two systems” policy. During the meeting, he reported on Hong Kong’s economic and political situations, including the return of economic activities and stability to the society; the policy direction to strengthen and leverage Hong Kong’s advantages to seize opportunities and to maintain the SAR’s status as an international city. He also said the HKSAR Government would be ready to enact Article 23 of the Basic Law next year.

Adviser to Chief Executive mourned

The Head of Chief Executive’s Policy Unit (CEPU) Dr Stephen Wong expressed (Dec 16) sorrow over the passing of Professor Tang Xiaoou, member of the Chief Executive’s Council of Advisers (CECA), and extended his deepest condolences to his family on behalf of the CEPU. “Professor Tang has provided a lot of valuable advice in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship and made great contributions since the establishment of the CECA in March this year,” said Dr Wong. The CEPU provide research and secretariat support to the CECA.

Enforcement actions lawfully undertaken

The HKSAR Government said it strongly opposes and condemns certain countries and organisations for making irresponsible and unsubstantiated accusations against the lawful actions of Police’s National Security Department to put people at large on a wanted list. In a statement, the HKSAR Government made it clear that endangering national security is a very serious offence and that no country will watch with folded arms acts and activities that endanger national security. Separately, the HKSAR Government emphasised that legal proceedings in all judicial cases are handled strictly on the basis of evidence and in accordance with the law. All defendants will receive fair trial strictly in accordance with laws applicable to Hong Kong (including the Hong Kong National Security Law) and as protected by the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.


Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It provides the guarantees to maintain our existing way of life, including socio-economic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas. The Basic Law was put into effect on July 1, 1997.

Q: Have the laws previously in force in Hong Kong been maintained?

A: Yes. The Basic Law provides that laws previously in force in Hong Kong, that is, the common law, rules of equity, ordinances, subordinate legislation and customary law, shall be maintained and adopted as laws of the HKSAR, except for any that contravenes the Basic Law, and subject to any amendment by the HKSAR legislature. (BL Articles 8; 18; 160)

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