A top local official has cited Beijing’s Hong Kong office director Wang Guangya as saying that the incoming administration can ask Beijing for help if necessary.

Wang recently met individually with each member of Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam’s cabinet in Shenzhen. Though the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council uploaded photos of the meeting to its website last Friday, it did not mention the date or detail what was discussed.

Matthew Cheung Wang Guangya
Chief secretary Matthew Cheung (L) and Beijing’s Hong Kong office director Wang Guangya (R). Photo: Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council.

The Hong Kong government also did not make any announcements regarding the meeting.

Local affairs

On Sunday, Home Affairs Secretary Lau Kong-wah – who will remain in the next cabinet – was asked by reporters about the content of the meeting. He replied that he spoke about the work of the Home Affairs Bureau and the development of young people in Hong Kong.

“[Wang] told us to work hard. He also said, if there’s anything that we need their help with, we can raise a request any time,” Lau said, according to RTHK.

“This was a very simple meeting,” he said.

Likewise, incoming secretary for health Sophia Chan told reporters on Sunday she spoke about her own work with Wang, as well as the “One Country, Two Systems” policy of autonomy and the rule of law.

Sophia Chan
Sophia Chan. File photo: GovHK.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung told reporters on Saturday that he and Wang met in order to get to know each other better, but refused to disclose further details of the meeting: “This is a regular channel of communication, and there’s no need to read too much into it.”

On Monday, the pro-Beijing Sing Tao Daily cited sources as saying that a similar meeting between Wang and incoming officials took place before incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took office, but it was not announced to the public.

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It added that Zhang Xiaoming – director of the Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong – met this year’s officials before their appointment.

Lam and her cabinet take office on July 1.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.