A deputy director of Beijing’s official body in Hong Kong has visited the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and redevelopment project sites in the China Liaison Office’s latest attempts at community outreach.
The office said in a press release that Tan Tieniu visited the URA on Tuesday upon the authority’s invitation. Tan spoke with the URA’s top-level management officials, including chairman Victor So Hing-woh and managing director Wai Chi-sing.
The release said Tan visited the project site of the Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment scheme in order to learn about revitalisation projects and urban redevelopment in Hong Kong.
“[Tan] expressed appreciation and approval towards the URA’s advanced redevelopment ideas and its efforts to overcome difficulties, and proposed suggestions on using technology better in order to improve the management of redevelopment and increase exchange and cooperation with the mainland,” it read.
The Liaison Office has increased attempts at community outreach in the past few months, a contrast to its usual practice of having officials attend events as ceremonial guests.
Tan visited the St. Paul’s Convent School and the Diocesan Boy’s School – both highly respected local schools – in April and May respectively.
He also visited the Po Leung Kuk and the pro-Beijing New Territories School Heads Association in March, in addition to other visits.
But Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung of the Hong Kong Island constituency has criticised the URA’s invitation to Tan as “destroying” the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
“What do [the URA’s projects] have to do with Sai Wan?” he said during a protest at URA headquarters on Thursday.
He was previously the vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He obtained his PhD from Imperial College, London.
He taught at the University of Reading before returning to China in 1998 to work at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was appointed vice-president of the Academy in October last year.