Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference after the closing meeting of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 17, 2013. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premiers Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang and Ma Kai met the press and answered questions here on Sunday. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday said that the central government will further advance policies for deepening cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong.
Li made the remarks at a press conference for his debut as the new Premier after the end of the annual session of China's top legislature.
Li said in response to a reporter from Hong Kong that he was deeply impressed by the fact that Hong Kong is full of vitality under the "One country, two systems" during his visit to Hong Kong in 2011.
"Hong Kong compatriots are hardworking and smart. Hong Kong society is open, inclusive and vigorous," Li said.
During his visit to Hong Kong in 2011, then Vice Premier Li Keqiang announced the central government's policies to support Hong Kong's prosperity and deepen the cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong.
Premier Li said the Hong Kong reporter's description of those policies as a big gift box was pretty figurative.
"To open this gift box and take the substantial gift into full and solid use, we need to work together, both the mainland and Hong Kong. Actually, some of the policies have already paid off and the central government will continue to do the best," Li said, stressing that there is great space for deepening cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong.
The central government will do its best to advance initiatives that will enhance the well-being of compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao, that will deepen cooperation between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and that will contribute to long-term prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao, Li said.