Since reunification, the Government has made significant progress in developing
and maintaining a cordial working relationship with the CPG and other Mainland
authorities. Through a wide range of exchanges, including visits, meetings, seminars
and training programmes, various bureaux and departments of the Government and
their Mainland counterparts have enhanced mutual understanding.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council
facilitates and provides assistance to the HKSAR Government in developing official
contacts with Mainland authorities. The Government also maintains close liaison with
HKMAO on matters of mutual concern and arrangements for official visits between
the Mainland and Hong Kong.
Article 22 of the Basic Law provides that no department of the CPG and no
province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government
may interfere in the affairs which the HKSAR administers on its own in accordance
with the Basic Law. The CPG and other Mainland authorities have conducted business
with the HKSAR in accordance with this principle.
In April 2006, the Government set up the Mainland Affairs Liaison Office within
the Constitutional Affairs Bureau to strengthen liaison with the Mainland and
facilitate exchanges and cooperation with provinces/regions. The office is responsible
for formulating overall strategies and direction of cooperation between the HKSAR
and the Mainland. It also oversees the work of the Office of the Government of the
HKSAR in Beijing and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) on the
In September 2006, the Government set up two new ETOs in Shanghai and
Chengdu to further promote exchanges and cooperation with the eastern and the
southwestern regions of China. In addition, the geographical coverage of the
Guangdong ETO was extended in April 2006 to include Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi and
Hainan. A new immigration division has been set up in the Guangdong ETO to
provide assistance to Hong Kong residents in distress in the areas within its purview.
As the province closest to Hong Kong, Guangdong has the most extensive ties
with the HKSAR. For 25 years, the Cross-boundary Liaison System has provided an
effective mechanism for Hong Kong and Guangdong to discuss and resolve practical
issues of mutual concern, including the fight against cross-boundary crime and the
regulation of the Shenzhen River.
The Hong Kong/Guangdong Cooperation Joint Conference (Joint Conference)
provides a high-level forum to explore and coordinate major initiatives in cooperation
between Hong Kong and Guangdong. On August 2, 2006, the Ninth Plenary meeting
of the Joint Conference was held under the co-chairmanship of the Chief Executive
of the HKSAR and the Governor of Guangdong.
The two sides agreed that to capitalise on the development/opportunities of the
11th National Five-year Plan which commenced in 2006, the two places should step
up cooperation in various aspects, taking into account the future development of
both places. Such aspects included economic and trade matters, major infrastructural
projects, air quality improvement, control-point operation, facilitating cross-boundary
flow of people and cargo, food safety and prevention of diseases.
In addition, the Hong Kong Guangdong Strategic Development Research Group
continues to conduct research into subjects which have a significant bearing on Hong
Kong/Guangdong cooperation while the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council
provides a forum for Hong Kong and Guangdong enterprises, trade and business
associations to discuss ideas aimed at enhancing economic cooperation between the
The Government also attaches great importance to cooperation with Shenzhen,
Hong Kong's closest neighbour. The two governments have stepped up exchange and
cooperation in a number of areas, including control points operation, infrastructure,
town planning, the implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
(CEPA), science and technology, environmental protection and other such plans.
Since the commencement of the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) regional
cooperation scheme in June 2004, the Government has been promoting development
and cooperation in the region through building on the strengths of Hong Kong. To
promote tourism and people linkages, the Individual Visit Scheme has been extended
to cover all provincial capitals in the PPRD region since 1 May 2006. To promote Hong
Kong as the capital financing platform for PPRD provinces/regions, the HKSAR
Government organised a 'PPRD Region Financial Services Forum' in March 2006, and
a financial services delegation to Hunan province in September 2006.
Moreover, the Chief Executive led three business delegations to Guangxi, Hunan
and Guizhou in the PPRD region in 2006, to facilitate the private sector to explore
cooperation and investment opportunities. The HKSAR Government also participated
actively in the compilation of and follow-up on the PPRD's specific sector cooperation
plans on transportation, energy, innovation and technology, informatisation and
The Hong Kong/Shanghai Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference was
established in October 2003 by the HKSAR Government and the Shanghai Municipal
Government to foster closer economic and trade ties. The two sides also agreed to
strengthen cooperation in eight areas — airport management; port and logistics; the
Shanghai Expo 2010; tourism, convention and exhibition industry; investment and
trade; professional exchanges; financial services; and education, health and sports.
The Second Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Beijing Economic and Trade
Cooperation Conference was held in November 2006. Both sides agreed to enhance
cooperation in the four areas of the 2008 Olympic Games, further implementation of
the CEPA, financial services, as well as innovation technology and creative and
cultural industries. Opportunity for future cooperation in city management was also