Executive Director Carrie Lam has rejected a call for half the number of people allowed to settle in Hong Kong from mainland China every day.
Currently, 150 people from the continent can move to the city every day under the one-way permit mechanism.
On Monday, Adam Kwok, a member of the standing committee of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the number should be halved to 75.
Kwok, also executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, said some young people in Hong Kong believed that China’s new immigrants took away public resources. He suggested a three-year pilot program to reduce the number of immigrants and help resolve the conflict between mainland China and Hong Kong, according to Ming Pao.
But Lam said the one-way permit policy was a human policy aimed at family gatherings: “We, as a society, have to respect family gatherings, is, in a way, a human right and freedom,” he said before the Executive Tuesday Council meeting.
She said that the continental authorities have the power to examine people who apply for the one-way permit and that, in the last two years, not all assigned time slots had been exhausted: “We do not want too many people to come.” Hong Kong will live under the one-way permit system, ”he said.
He added that couples who were separated by the border have to wait four years for their partner to join them in Hong Kong. He added that one third of the marriages in Hong Kong were cross-border marriages.
“Proof that we still need an immigration policy for family gatherings. If we change the policy now, it will send a message that we blame the unidirectional family reunion policy on a certain problem or phenomenon in society. Therefore, it is not a proposal we are considering, ”he said.
Lam said the government will introduce more health and wellness policies to meet the needs of local residents.