HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – China’s top agency in Hong Kong handed the city’s leaders a to-do list with 500 policy demands, according to local media, evidence of Beijing’s growing footprint in the Asian financial hub.
The Liaison Office assembled the list after consulting with local residents over the past few weeks, the South China Morning Post newspaper said on Tuesday (Oct 12), citing a person familiar with the matter.
The body planned to handle those tasks that relate to the functions of mainland authorities, such as cooperation with neighbouring cities in southern China, as well as the reopening of the border.
A spokesman for Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s office declined to comment, saying they weren’t aware of the report.
Staff for the Chinese agency, including Director Luo Huining, met almost 4,000 local residents between Sept 30 and Oct 10, according to a statement posted on the office’s website Tuesday.
Their mission was to convey “the central government’s care and love for Hong Kong, and in-depth understanding of the policy of benefiting Hong Kong and the people”, the office said.
The outreach drive coincided with Mrs Lam’s delivery last week of an annual policy address, suggesting that the once low-profile body was becoming more active in governing the former British colony.
Beijing has tightened its grip on Hong Kong, imposing a national security law in June 2020 that supersedes the city’s charter.
Other details from the Liaison Office statement revealed officials visited 979 households and small and medium-sized businesses.
Citizens the office met included elderly people living alone, the unemployed, entrepreneurs, construction workers, new immigrants and ethnic minorities.
Instructions were also meted out to almost 40 major Chinese-funded enterprises to do community outreach.
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