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HKSAR chief executive highlights housing, economy, livelihood in policy address

Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor delivers her policy address in south China's Hong Kong, Oct. 10, 2018. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

HONG KONG, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam delivered her policy address on Wednesday, highlighting housing, economy, people's livelihood and young people's development.

It was Lam's second policy address since she was sworn in on July 1, 2017.

Lam said the policy address, titled Striving Ahead Rekindling Hope, covers areas including good governance, housing and land, diversified economy, nurturing talent, improving people's livelihood, liveable city and connecting with young people.

In the address, the chief executive said the HKSAR government would introduce steps to solve the housing problem facing Hong Kong.

To deal with the issue as where to get land, Lam presented plans on land supply, including Lantau Tomorrow Vision, development of brownfield sites, land sharing and revitalization of industrial buildings.

Being the largest outlying island in Hong Kong, Lantau is home to the Hong Kong International Airport and the gateway to the world. And the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will improve Lantau to a "Double Gateway" to the world and other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Lantau Tomorrow Vision is to provide 260,000 to 400,000 residential units, with 70 percent being public housing, to accommodate 700,000 to 1.1 million people, and to create 340,000 jobs for the coming 20 to 30 years, according to Lam.

Lam noted that in the first half of this year, the HKSAR economy grew strongly by 4 percent in real terms over the previous year, riding on the broadly positive global economic environment.

The HKSAR government will act proactively, strengthen its roles in serving as "facilitator" and "promoter," and seize the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, with a view to generating new impetus for HKSAR's economy.

Lam said that the HKSAR government and herself will not tolerate any acts that advocate "Hong Kong independence" and threaten the country's sovereignty, security and development interests.

Lam stressed that the policy address is built on the HKSAR's unique strengths under "one country, two systems" and combined with the current-term HKSAR government's unflagging efforts since assuming office on July 1, 2017.

"This policy address carries my unswerving determination in leading Hong Kong to strive forward. While there are many words, they serve just one purpose: rekindling hope for Hong Kong," she said.

Lam said the HKSAR government would enhance cooperation with the mainland in terms of trade, finance, innovation and technology, and some other areas. She would establish a high-level steering committee for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with herself as the chairperson.

She said that the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would bring Hong Kong new areas of economic growth and the opportunity to enlarge the living environment of Hong Kong residents.

As a prime platform and key link for the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong would strive to grasp the opportunities brought by the initiative, Lam added.

Lam said the HKSAR government will step up efforts to promote innovation and technology. Further to the 50 billion HK dollars earmarked in this year's budget, an additional 28 billion HK dollars will be allocated for university research, re-industrialization, application of technology in public services and related areas, she said. (1 U.S. dollar = 7.83 HK dollars)