Vincent Lee Kwan-ho attends a group deliberation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region delegation during the Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on March 7, 2021 (COURTESY PHOTO)
My past five years as a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) have been most fulfilling.
During my term, I have put forth a good number of suggestions. Some have been successfully acted upon while others are still in progress. Whatever proposals the NPC deputies have put forth have all been treated with seriousness. Some of my proposals went to seven different ministries for consideration, and we were always given opportunities to follow up if their responses were not satisfactory.
In the past five years, most of my suggestions revolved around financial development strategies and the development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) as the major global offshore renminbi center. In recent years, I have paid special attention to protecting national financial security, and it will still be my focus in the future.
I look forward to continuing my work as a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for the next five years.
The NPC is a legislative body and a supervisory body that ensures the government is acting in accordance with our Constitution, whereas the CPPCC National Committee has a different role. The 2,172 members this term will all be working toward the same objectives. The mission statement of the CPPCC will be updated at the First Session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee this March.
As there is no such similar body that exists in other countries, it is often difficult for Westerners to comprehend what the CPPCC is, especially without understanding the historical background. My own interpretation is about understanding the dissimilar needs of different stakeholders and, through consultation and compromise, building consensus among all people. The CPPCC is a body that is well represented by all levels of society, including but not limited to different political parties, economic interest groups, religious bodies, all ethnic minority groups and socioeconomic bodies. This objective has the overriding noble theme of being for the betterment of the people and is not only for the Chinese people but also for the people of the rest of the world.
CPPCC National Committee members put forward their proposals, reflecting their opinions and suggestions on major national or local policies, social life, people's standards of living and other major issues, to the CPPCC National Committee. Part of our job is also telling the true story of China to correct misinformation and misunderstanding by others who were not getting all the proper facts. Part of the CPPCC's role is to put forth suggestions to improve standards of living not just economically, but also in areas including cultural and core values, green and healthy environments, better education for all, better housing, better healthcare, better policing and a fair judicial system.
To gain a greater understanding of the people, I value face-to-face communication and try to reach out to people at all levels. They come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds. There are two major outcomes of extensive contact with them. One is to understand the real situation of people's lives and the current situation of different industries from multiple perspectives; the other is to expand the scope of my services and speak out for more people.
I am very optimistic about the country's economic development in the coming years. Last year was not an easy one but a rebound is expected to be imminent. Hong Kong is entering a new stage of restored order, a thriving society and increasing prosperity. The relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong is inseparable. When the country is strong, Hong Kong will naturally be even better. We look forward to the new Hong Kong SAR Government leading the region to accelerate its integration into the overall development of the country and embrace the opportunities brought by the booming Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The author is chairman of Tung Tai Group in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and a former independent non-executive director of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
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