Luo Huining, the new director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), speaks at a press briefing in Hong Kong, south China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
The Chinese mainland fully supports the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in fighting the novel coronavirus, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Luo Huining said on Thursday.
Mainland-funded businesses and relevant departments are working in the full swing to stabilize goods supply at the Hong Kong market, Luo said in an open letter to national lawmakers and political advisors from Hong Kong.
"As long as the ports of entry are open, various goods will continue to be transported to Hong Kong, including rice, oil, flour, fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, disinfectant and tissue," Luo said.
Luo's remarks came amid the shortage in some daily necessities, including toilet paper and rice caused by anxiety-buying in Hong Kong.
Luo highlighted mutual support between the mainland and Hong Kong in the fight against the virus. "Even at the most difficult time, the mainland still paid attention to and cared for Hong Kong."
The Chinese foreign ministry and its office of the commissioner in the HKSAR worked with the HKSAR government and pro-establishment lawmakers to bring back home 106 Hong Kong residents stranded on the novel coronavirus-inflicted Diamond Princess cruise ship from Japan.
About 17 million mainland-produced face masks have been shipped to Hong Kong after the outbreak of the epidemic. The mainland also supported the HKSAR government in its control of cross-border flows to curb the spread of the virus.
Luo said various sectors of Hong Kong have also actively offered assistance to the mainland's anti-epidemic efforts.
Hong Kong compatriots have made donations worth over 1 billion yuan (142.8 million U.S. dollars) to the mainland. Some organizations managed to purchase medical goods mostly needed in the mainland from all over the world.
A Hong Kong-funded hospital in the mainland offered nearly 400 beds, its total capacity, to diagnosed patients. A Hong Kong resident drove all the way from Hong Kong to Wenzhou to donate 20,000 face masks. The president of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital led medical professionals to join the fight in the mainland.
Responding to the opinion to cut off the traffic between the mainland and Hong Kong, Luo said it is the novel coronavirus that should be isolated, rather than "people's heart," and he believes that more and more Hong Kong compatriots will agree that Hong Kong should not be isolated.
Luo called for concerted efforts of various sectors of Hong Kong to win the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Instead of political tricks, Hong Kong needs solidarity and science at this crucial point in the anti-epidemic fight, Luo said.
If a small group of people, with only their own political gains in mind, continue to create confrontation in this difficult time, even resorting to strikes, their acts, in a way, are likened to a novel coronavirus spreading in politics, he said.
Luo admitted that the outbreak of the disease has affected the economy of both Hong Kong and the whole nation but stressed that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome. "Confidence is the most effective and durable vaccine."
Luo cited positive signs including a drop in new cases outside Hubei province and an increase in people who recovered from the disease.
China has made a swift and careful response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, with 32,000 medical workers sent to Hubei's capital Wuhan, a hospital built in merely 10 days, and national "pairing-up" support for Hubei.
Luo said China has shouldered its responsibility as a global power.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping has said, the epidemic situation has shown positive changes due to concerted hard work and that the prevention and control work has achieved notable outcomes, Luo said, stressing that China is fully confident in and capable of winning the fight against the epidemic.
Hong Kong has reported 67 cases of novel coronavirus as of Thursday.