The son of China’s former Premier Zhu Rongji was named to the Financial Services Development Council, a government-established private body to foster Hong Kong’s role as a global financial services centre. That’s causing concern in local media. CY Leung is experiencing a post-policy boost to his popularity.
Legislators question new financial body’s setup as private company
The membership of the Financial Services Development Council, a new advisory body, was revealed yesterday. Several of the council members are mainlanders, the most prominent example of which is Zhu Yunlai, son of former Premier Zhu Rongji and current CEO of CICC, one of China’s largest investment banks. Qin Xiao, former head of China Merchants Group, is also a member along with Chen Shuang, CEO of Everbright Holdings. The council has been set up according to a private enterprise model as opposed to as a government body. This has concerned several legislators who fear that, as a non-governmental body, its members would not be subject to anti-bribery laws. Opponents worry that the council might be used by special interest groups to promote their causes and question the influence of the mainland over the body. Some academics say that the make-up of the council might help the body take advantage of opportunities on the mainland.
Leung proposes importing foreign labor
During his campaign for the office of Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying never closed the door on the possibility that foreign labor would be imported. Yesterday, during a question and answer session, Leung expressed for the first time after his election his view that foreign construction workers might need to be brought to Hong Kong to build new housing units if local labor could not be found to do the job. He said that any move to import labor would have to ensure that the job prospects for local laborers would not be affected. Workers groups and some legislators have expressed their opposition to Leung’s suggestion.
Leung’s popularity increases after his Policy Address
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s approval rating has risen following his Policy Address, recovering somewhat from the lows that accompanied his illegal structures controversy. According to a Hong Kong University poll of 1,021 citizens, 56.4 percent of respondents approved of Leung’s Policy Address overall. This was lower than the marks the public gave to the first policy addresses of Hong Kong’s two previous chief executives. Leung’s personal approval rating now stands at 52.2 percent, up 3.3 percentage points from his approval rating prior to the delivery of his policy address.