President Xi Jinping fully acknowledged the work of Hong Kong and Macao authorities on Friday and expressed support for the two special administrative regions’ governments to integrate their own development into the overall development of the country.

Xi made the comments while meeting separately with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s chief executive, and Chui Sai-on, chief executive of the Macao SAR, at Yingtai, part of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. Lam and Chui reported their annual work to Xi during the meetings.

President Xi Jinping meets with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's chief executive, at Yingtai, part of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing, on Friday. (Xie Huanchi / Xinhua)

Since the Hong Kong SAR’s new government took office on July 1, the administrative team, led by Lam, has ruled in line with the laws, focused on economic development and put forward a number of policies and measures, Xi said.

On July 1, Xi was in Hong Kong to attend the 20th anniversary of the region’s return to China and the inauguration of the fifth-term government of the SAR.

The Hong Kong SAR Government has enhanced communication with people from all walks of life, maintained social stability and made a good start, which won wide recognition from the whole society of Hong Kong, Xi said.

He also praised the SAR government’s proactive efforts to learn the spirit of the Communist Party of China’s 19th National Congress through such measures as inviting the publicizing group from the central authorities to introduce the spirit of the congress.

The CPC’s 19th National Congress has set sticking to “one country, two systems” and pushing national unification as important parts of the basic strategies for development of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, Xi said.

He added that it demonstrated that the central authorities attach great importance to the work of Hong Kong and Macao, and that “one country, two systems” will be upheld for the long term without change.

To implement “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong, it is essential to fully implement the “one country, two systems” policies as well as Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy, Xi said, adding that the Constitution and Hong Kong Basic Law should be strictly abided by.

Xi noted he had said in the report to the CPC’s 19th National Congress that the central government should support Hong Kong to integrate its own development into the overall development of the country.

While meeting with Chui, Xi also praised the Macao SAR Government’s efforts to learn the spirit of the 19th National Congress.

The central government will firmly stick to the “one country, two systems” policy and support the Macao SAR Government to govern in line with the laws, Xi told Chui.

Premier Li Keqiang told Lam on Friday morning that the Hong Kong SAR Government should continue to explore areas for Hong Kong’s economic development.

While meeting with Chui, Li encouraged the Macao SAR Government to unite and lead Macao people, seize development opportunities and participate in building Belt and Road Initiative projects and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.