Hong Kong chief executive candidate John Lee Ka-chiu (center) attends the “We and Us — A New Chapter Together” rally on May 6, 2022 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. He is accompanied by members of the Election Committee, and members of the Panel of Advisors to the presidium of the election campaign office. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong chief executive hopeful John Lee Ka-chiu vowed on Friday to build a capable government with a “can-do” spirit to work with the community to write a new chapter for Hong Kong.

Lee made the remarks in front of over 1,000 people from all walks of life and age groups in the city at an election rally in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event took place two days before the city’s leadership poll.

Lee said this year marks the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s 25th anniversary, a critical juncture in the implementation of the “one country, two system” principle.

Hong Kong chief executive hopeful John Lee said this year marks the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s 25th anniversary, a critical juncture in the implementation of the “one country, two system” principle

In the past 25 years, the SAR has learned many lessons, and now faces many deep-seated social problems that require a competent government to tackle, he said.

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Lee said that amid the complex international political situation, he will position the city to grasp opportunities, consolidate its status as a metropolis, further open up to the world, and integrate into national development.

With the joint efforts of society, Hong Kong will be more caring, inclusive, energetic and promising in the next five years under his leadership, he said.

At the event, representatives from politics, business, youth, the expatriate community, medicine, and sports also went on stage to express their high expectations for Lee’s future administration.

Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top advisory body, said the chief executive election is of vital importance to the city, as the chief executive is not only the leader of the SAR government, but the leader of the entire SAR.

Leung said that under the fast-changing global political landscape, Hong Kong as a highly open society will face great opportunities and challenges. He said he hopes all the sectors could unite as one and reduce internal friction to adapt to the changes.

He also said he is confident that with the central government’s backing, the new term of SAR leadership will lead Hong Kong people to create a better city and further join in the nation’s overall development and opening-up.

Tang King-shing, former commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force who worked with Lee for a long time, said Lee is highly responsible, with a strong team spirit and problem-solving ability.

Tang said he fully supports Lee’s vision to build an effective civil servant team, adding that it will be a critical move to enhance the government’s ability to serve the public.

Business leader David Wong Yau-kar stressed that seeking greater development is of paramount significance for Hong Kong, adding that the city’s future prospects will also affect the nation’s overall development.

Wong has high hopes about Lee’s pledges in his manifesto, which said Lee will further enhance the city’s competitiveness and bolster its role as a regional and international hub.

Nandkumar Lachmandas, an Indian-born Hong Kong resident who has known Lee for over 25 years, said Lee has always been disciplined and sincere in everything he deals with.

He especially agreed with Lee’s emphasis on unity, integration and togetherness among different groups of people in society. 

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He said that Lee is no doubt a man who embodies the true value of what one will seek in a chief executive, and he has full confidence that Lee will lead Hong Kong back to its role as Asia’s finest city.

The rally, themed “We and Us — A New Chapter Together”, invited many Election Committee members, Lee’s election advisers, and representatives of local communities. 

The sixth-term chief executive election will take place on Sunday, when the nearly 1,500 Election Committee members will cast their votes.

It is the first chief executive election to be held under Hong Kong’s improved electoral system.

Under the new rules, the number of Election Committee members has been increased from 1,200 to 1,500.