Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (center) attends a news conference in Hong Kong on April 21, 2023. (Photo/chinadaily.com.cn)
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Monday said the four-day visit by a high-profile delegation was fruitful and built a strong consensus between Hong Kong and four mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area in terms of the high-quality development of the area.
Concluding a four-day visit to the GBA on Monday, Lee said the high-profile tour has demonstrated the city's proactive effort to participate and get to know the Bay Area.
"It is the beginning, and government officials will continue to visit the Bay Area. So will the lawmakers," Lee told reporters after arriving at West Kowloon Station, the city's high-speed railway station.
During the past four days, the delegation, which is comprised of 83 lawmakers, visited 16 projects in four cities, covering inno-tech, smart city, youth development, art and culture, and environmental protection.
Lee led the delegation to visit Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan and Guangzhou from Friday to Monday, touring tech giants like electric automobile maker BYD and the information and communication infrastructure provider Huawei.
The visit provides a stark contrast to the time when the city's legislature was derailed into chaos, and marks a new stage for the "patriots administering Hong Kong", Lee said.
Speaking at the same occasion, President of the Legislative Council Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said it is important to get the message out that Hong Kong is united. This trip has opened the door of discussion for the lawmakers to continue their exchanges with other cities, Leung said.
The whirlwind tour through the hinterland of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was well-received among participants.
Describing the tour as "focused", legislator William Wong Kam-fai said the itinerary covered locations related to innovation, telecommunication technology, green science and cultural creativity industry, which are all emerging industries in Hong Kong.
Wong said he will organize students in the future to visit iconic development areas such as Qianhai in Shenzhen and Nansha in Guangzhou.
Gary Zhang Xinyu, who was a station manager for Hong Kong's metro operator MTR before joining the legislature, was particularly impressed by the mainland electric carmaker BYD's SkyShuttle, a small-capacity transit system with a strong adaptability for complex terrain.
Zhang, who is planning another trip to Shenzhen in mid-May with other lawmakers, said it is a good example of how to leverage strengths of both sides for mutual development.