The central government said it intends to preserve the separate customs territories and free ports of Macau and Hong Kong so as to allow the two Special Administrative Regions to continue delivering investment “advantages” to the mainland.
“Hong Kong and Macau are China’s Special Administrative Regions. And the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one, and the same, China. We have all along attached high importance to investments from these three regions,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, as cited by the Hong Kong Free Press.
“We will further harness the advantages of Hong Kong and Macau as separate customs territories and free ports,” he continued, adding that investments from the two SARs account for about 70 percent of China’s foreign investments on the mainland.
Li also said that the government would work towards implementing policies that encourage business people in Taiwan to invest in mainland China.
Li’s comments come as central authorities are pushing for greater economic and political integration of Macau and Hong Kong into Guangdong province via the Greater Bay Area initiative. The project has sparked fears in the two SARs that the integration will entail an erosion of economic autonomy. DB