Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks to the media a day after the 2021 Legislative Council General Election on Dec 20, 2021 at the Central Government Offices in the city. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Pandemic control, getting the ball rolling to introduce Article 23 legislation of the Basic Law, the chief executive election and a smooth transition to the new administration are high up on Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s agenda for 2022.
In reviewing the government’s work in 2021 on Thursday, Lam said her administration will strive to roll out the consultation and discussion of Article 23 legislation before her term ends on June 30, 2022.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the government will unveil its reshuffle plan at the first assembly of the new LegCo on Jan 12
That is part of the government’s efforts to continue to perform its constitutional duty to safeguard national security, Lam said.
On March 27, the city will hold its chief executive election, the third important poll since the improved electoral system was introduced.
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Under the revamped electoral system, Lam said, the government upheld the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” when holding two previous major polls — the Election Committee election in September and the Legislative Council election in December.
Expecting a good rapport between the legislative and executive, Lam said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government will work closely with the seventh-term newly elected Legislative Council, which comprises patriots.
Lam said that the government will unveil its reshuffle plan at the first assembly of the new LegCo on Jan 12.
She said that pandemic control and rigorously boosting the vaccination rate to provide safeguards for border reopenings are among the priorities for 2022. As of now, only 69.1 percent of residents have received two jabs, which is unsatisfactory, Lam said. In 2021, Hong Kong conducted 23.5 million virus tests, equivalent to between three and four tests per person.
Lam said she is optimistic about the resumption of quarantine-free cross-border travel and hopes that it will happen soon.
In another bid to tackle the housing shortage, Lam said the government has already found enough land to support its housing plans for the next decade and will review and revise the relevant legislation next year to allow the change of land use
Next year, she said she will continue to implement the 310 new measures featured in her latest policy address, pushing for the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, an ambitious plan to accommodate 2.5 million people that covers the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Boundary Control Points Economic Belt from west to east, as well as the deeper hinterlands.
In another bid to tackle the housing shortage, Lam said the government has already found enough land to support its housing plans for the next decade and will review and revise the relevant legislation next year to allow the change of land use.
Next year will also be the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. Lam said the government will hold celebrations to mark the important occasion.
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In the past year, Lam said, the SAR government has been committed to fully implementing the “one country, two systems” principle. For instance, the government has enforced the National Security Law for Hong Kong to effectively prevent, curb and punish national security endangering acts and taken measures to strengthen people’s understanding of the Constitution, Basic Law and National Security Law for Hong Kong, as well as promoting national education in schools and universities.
The government also requires all public servants, Election Committee members and district councilors to take an oath to uphold the Basic Law and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR. That arrangement will be extended to those in public office next year, as required in the city’s National Security Law, Lam said.