Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday he believes Hong Kong will elect a chief executive who enjoys the support of the vast majority of local people.
"The election of the fourth term Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is currently underway," Wen said at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session. [More about the press conference]
"I believe that as long as the principle of openness, justice and fairness is observed and relevant legal procedures are complied with, Hong Kong will elect a chief executive who enjoys the support of the vast majority of Hong Kong people," Wen said.
Wen said that 15 years has passed since Hong Kong returned to the motherland. What has happened in Hong Kong over the past 15 years has shown that the principle of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy has strong vitality.
In the past 15 years, Hong Kong encountered two financial crises, but under the leadership of SAR government and with the joint efforts of the Hong Kong compatriots, Hong Kong has successfully weathered the financial crises and sustained its status as an international financial center and still enjoys a sophisticated free economy, he said.
In 2011, the per capital GDP of Hong Kong reached a record high of 34,200 US dollars and the employment situation there is in the positive shape, he said.
Hong Kong now faces both difficulties and opportunities. The financial crisis in the world and European debt crisis still have adverse impact on Hong Kong and pressure is still there, he said.
Moreover, Hong Kong is under the dual pressure of slowing economic growth and inflation. Under such circumstances, Hong Kong must continue to work hard to develop the economy, improve people's lives, advance democracy and maintain social harmony.
Efforts should be made to address such important matters as social equity, consumer price hikes, people's housing needs, education and people's medical care on the priority basis, Wen said.