Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she will keep on rebutting criticism from the West, even though she’s come to the conclusion that some countries simply can’t stand the fact that China has become so strong.
In an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, Lam complained of foreign interference and efforts to “contain” China’s rise – claims dished out regularly during press briefings by the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
The CE said she used to put a lot of effort into challenging criticism from Western governments, until she realised that they have “other intentions” because of their “prejudice”.
“Our country, from the time of establishment, we stood up, and then became rich. The foreign governments might have still been able to tolerate that. But now that we’ve become strong, [the foreign governments] now feel uncomfortable,” she said, on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in Hainan.
“So they want to find different excuses to say that China disrespects freedom and human rights.”
Lam said the SAR government will need to continue to rebut foreign criticism, but more effort will also have to be put into looking after its own affairs.
During a panel discussion at the forum, Lam said the SAR and Shenzhen governments are working together to come up with policies to attract overseas talent to the Greater Bay Area.
She said some Western countries are being “unfriendly” to Chinese people, and the two governments hope to lure back Chinese citizens living abroad.
Lam also said Hong Kong has clearly returned to normal following the “chaos” of recent years, and this is evident by the “very good” developments in the stock market.