Hong Kong chief address aid to young people, housing shortage in speech

Global Business

In his annual policy address Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said his government will focus more on the future of the young people, who were a main force behind objections to the government’s policy on constitutional reforms that triggered mass sit-ins over the past three months. CCTV’s Li Jiejun reported the story from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong chief address aid to young people, housing shortage in speech

In his annual policy address Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said his government will focus more on the future of the young people, who were a main force behind objections to the government's policy on constitutional reforms that triggered mass sit-ins over the past three months. CCTV's Li Jiejun reported the story from Hong Kong.

Titled “Uphold the Rule of Law, Seize the Opportunities, Make the Right Choices”, Leung’s speech stated that political development must adhere strictly to the Basic Law and the decisions of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress.

“Democratic development and economic progress in Hong Kong present a host of opportunities, but there are choices we have to make,” Leung said.

“On constitutional development, we have to choose between implementing universal suffrage and a standstill; on the economy, between progress and stagnation; and on people’s livelihood, between reforms and clinging to the status quo.”

Leung’s address also included measures to recover the economy, boost the city’s competitiveness, and improve people’s livelihood.

Lack of upward mobility was one motivating factor for young people to join the Occupy protests.

The latest public opinion poll shows that only about 40 percent of young people in Hong Kong are optimistic about the city’s development in the coming year and more than 60 percent hope to emigrate to other countries. More young people are also identifying themselves as Hong Kong people, not Chinese.

The government said it will work to help younger citizens with career development. The Education Bureau will also renew the curriculum of Chinese history to reinvigorate interest in China. Subsidies will also be given for primary and secondary students to go on exchange trips to mainland sister schools.

A 300-million Hong Kong dollar ($38.7 million) Youth Development Fund will also be established to help young people start businesses.


Chief Executive of Hong Kong says he’ll alleviate housing shortage

One of the key issues highlighted by the chief executive during his policy address was Hong Kong’s perennial housing shortage. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he will alleviate the shortage, but analysts have said much more land needs to be made available. CCTV’s Cathy Yang reported this story from Hong Kong.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong says he\'ll alleviate housing shortage

One of the key issues highlighted by the chief executive during his policy address was Hong Kong’s perennial housing shortage. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he will alleviate the shortage, but analysts have said much more land needs to be made available. CCTV’s Cathy Yang reported this story from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has already been developing new towns such as Tseung Kwan O to help ease the housing shortage and make homes more affordable.

Hong Kong resident Ah Yat, 27, lives with his parents in government housing in Tseung Kwan O. Their home is 680 square feet and has three bedrooms. Their subsidized monthly rent is about $250 because his father works as a fireman.

The only drawback is that when his father retires, the family will have to find a new place to live.

In his speech, the chief executive said his goal is to create nearly 500,000 homes in 10 years, a plan that property experts said can only be achieved if new land is made available.

“The major concern is to find available land for development, convert old districts and change land use for existing districts,” David Ji, China research director at property consulting firm Knight Frank said.

Making more land available would involve converting some of Hong Kong’s precious green spaces, a move that has seen resistance from environmentalists.

One former farmland in Tai Po has since embraced development. It is now home to Li Ka-Shing’s Mont Vert residential development, with the cheapest in Hong Kong at $250,000 for 177 square feet of space.