HONG KONG: In a speech delivered yesterday, top political adviser Jia Qinglin conveyed the central government's key message of enhancing social harmony and urging people from different community sectors to reinforce common understanding by seeking common ground.
Addressing a dinner attended by business, political and professional leaders in the Special Administrative Region, Jia said that to see pluralism and diversity in a proper context is important for ensuring Hong Kong's harmony and stability.
"It is normal that people from different social groups, professions and sectors may differ in their views on certain issues," Jia said, adding that it is essential for everyone to be guided by the concept of "one country, two systems" and the principles of the Basic Law.
He said it is important to enhance common understanding by seeking common ground while putting differences aside, by being tolerant and by communicating with each other rationally.
"Everyone should bear in mind Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability in whatever one does," he said.
In addition to the enhancement of harmony, Jia also noted that the acceleration of development deserves special attention.
He said only development can address deep-rooted problems and challenges Hong Kong faces and it is the only way for the region to continue to be an international, financial, trade and shipping centre.
He promised Hong Kong would draw increasing strength for its development from the dynamic development of the mainland, from the central government's preferential policies and from the increasingly close co-operation and exchange between the region and mainland.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang echoed Jia's remarks, saying social harmony is the cornerstone of local stability and prosperity.
He said he hoped the Hong Kong residents broaden their visions and put aside prejudice to make joint efforts for the development of Hong Kong and the nation as a whole.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will conclude his three-day Hong Kong visit today.
He is attending activities marking the third anniversary of the signing of CEPA, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, a free trade pact within China issued by Premier Wen Jiabao in 2003.
Jia told his audience last night that the signing and implementation of CEPA is a vivid example of the vitality of the principle of "one country, two systems," and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability is inseparable from that of the motherland.
Jia is expected to talk more on the issue during his keynote speech today at the opening ceremony of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao Trade and Economic Co-operation Forum.
Source: China Daily