Central government authorities who handle Hong Kong affairs pledged on Tuesday to boost Hong Kong-mainland science and technology collaboration by building more communication channels and coordinating related policies.
The pledge came at a forum in the city, held one day after President Xi Jinping's important instruction was made public. He vowed to support Hong Kong in its efforts to become an international innovation and technology hub.
Tan Tieniu, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said the Liaison Office would "actively and concretely" carry out Xi's instruction.
It would do this by closely communicating with the country's sci-tech-related departments to promptly express Hong Kong's needs in further developing its innovation and technology capabilities, Tan explained.
The Liaison Office would also stand side-by-side with the SAR government and public to maintain the city's prosperity and stability, and ensure the practice of the "one country, two systems" policy.
"The Liaison Office will always open its door, attentively handle its job and back Hong Kong invariably," added Tan.
Huang Liuquan, deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, joined Tan at the forum. Huang noted his office would strictly follow the central government's policy on Hong Kong. It will actively engage in studying and solving policy problems that occur during the Hong Kong-mainland sci-tech collaboration.
Both Tan and Huang were confident the SAR would play a part in the nation's overall science and technology development and in building an innovative country.
Huang said his confidence came from Hong Kong's solid grounding in basic research, a sound legal system, strong international ties, and most importantly advantages brought by "one country, two systems".
Hong Kong is home to more than 40 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
The two central government officials called for Hong Kong scientists and others working in science and technology to promptly grasp opportunities offered by the country's development. They should press ahead with building Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub. They could also contribute to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the nation's building of an innovative country.
Tuesday's forum, themed on "mainland-HK cooperation in I&T explores new cooperation opportunities", was organized by the SAR government.
Senior government officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, together with scientists from Hong Kong and the mainland, attended the forum.