Support for the development of Hong Kong’s tourism industry did not appear in China’s 13th five-year plan proposal for 2016-2020, in contrast to the previous five-year plan.

The draft, announced during the annual plenary sessions of China’s top legislative body, said that it would support Hong Kong and Macau’s economic development and goals to promote democracy and peace.

Rita Fan, former Legislative Council President and National People’s Congress Standing Committee member told reporters in Beijing that it was reasonable that tourism had been dropped.

Rita Fan. Photo: NowTV screenshot via Stand News.

“… I don’t think it would be realistic if the plan said to promote tourism [in Hong Kong], because you cannot increase the number of tourists who can come to Hong Kong at this point of time, and you cannot force tourists to come to Hong Kong, when you [know that in the] Hong Kong community there are a group of people who are extremely active and vocal and [are] trying to push away visitors,” she said.

Fan also referenced the Chairman of the Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang’s comments about the Mong Kok unrest, which broke out in February after the government tried to clear street hawkers from the busy district.

National People’s Congress. File Photo: Wikicommons.

“The so-called street violence in Mong Kok needs to be viewed in context of the big picture, because this kind of thing also happens in other places. [Zhang Dejiang] said that Hong Kong people have a high IQ and many people understand that if Hong Kong is in disarray, life will be hard, but most people don’t say it out loud. The Hong Kong SAR government and Hong Kong people all have the ability to solve this problem,” Fan told reporters.

The 13th five-year plan is expected to be reviewed and approved during the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, both of which kicked off last week.


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.