Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is this week expected to shore up plans to make southern China a global technology hub, including a speech in Shenzhen and meetings with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau.
Xi is scheduled to deliver an address tomorrow, official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.
The trip is intended to mark the 40th anniversary of the special economic zone that transformed Shenzhen from a sleepy fishing village to a bustling metropolis of more than 13 million people and home to multinational companies, including Huawei Technologies Co and Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) — who is to travel to Shenzhen for the celebrations — yesterday delayed her annual policy address, which had been scheduled for tomorrow. Lam said she aimed to deliver it by late next month.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intends to build Shenzhen, a stone’s throw from Hong Kong across the mainland border, into a “socialist pilot zone with Chinese characteristics” over the next five years, Xinhua reported on Sunday, publishing an outline of the plan.
China plans to push forward cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to a “higher level” to strengthen the key role in the Greater Bay Area, Xinhua said, without offering more details.
Shenzhen is to host a trial on the digital yuan and push forward with international cooperation, it reported.
Xi’s Shenzhen trip, which had been speculated about by Hong Kong media in the run-up to the anniversary, was reported on Sunday by the South China Morning Post.
Lam told a press conference that she would travel to Beijing later this month to explain to CCP officials the policies she planned to lay out in her yearly address.
She said she wanted to include any support measures from mainland China in the speech, but that it did not need to be vetted in its entirety by Beijing.
“We have been putting forward proposals for the Central People’s government to consider,” she said. “And they have responded positively lately. There is absolutely no arbitrary delay.”
The trip comes as China seeks to bolster plans to better integrate Shenzhen, the surrounding province of Guangdong, and the former colonies of Hong Kong and Macau into what it calls the “Greater Bay Area.”
The ambitious effort faces new challenges amid trade and security disputes with the U.S., anxiety over the new security law in Hong Kong and travel restrictions prompted by the pandemic.
The reports suggests a prominent role for the Greater Bay Area in China’s next five-year development, which is expected to be approved by lawmakers next year in Beijing.
Top party leaders are scheduled to convene on Oct. 26 to discuss an outline for the five-year plan.
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