Friday Beyond Spotlights – Honorable John Lee: Heart to Heart Chat with the HKSAR Chief Executive

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Friday Beyond Spotlights is an informative yet light-hearted talk show airing every Friday at 8:30pm on Hong Kong International Business Channel (#76). The English language program features the most influential guests who share their insights into current affairs, business, innovation and culture, as well as their ingenuity, passion and grit which forge their Lion Rock spirit. The show is hosted by businessman and philanthropist Patrick Tsang On-yip, lawyer and lawmaker Nick Chan Hiu-fung, and seasoned business maverick Herman Hu Shao-ming.

Hosted by Patrick Tsang, episode 6 of Season 2 presents the Honorable John Lee Ka-chiu, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. As Hong Kong had lifted most of the Covid-19 restrictions towards the end of 2022, Lee expects more international events and tourists would return to the city. “Basically, once the visitors arrive in Hong Kong, provided that they are not infected, they can go about their duties as free as a bird and can do anything. I think this will be a strong impetus for the economy to grow because tourism will come back very quickly.” He says the government also plans to invite some iconic leaders to visit Hong Kong because their presence will be a testament to Hong Kong’s strength and opportunities, and it will help people realise the city’s potential, opportunities and chances.

Lee is optimistic that Hong Kong will join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). “Why is RCEP important to us? Because, for example, the trading service that Hong Kong has with RCEP countries is about 50 per cent of our overall trading service; and for trading goods it’s about 70 per cent. This means we already have a very important trading relationship with RCEP countries, but the reason we want to join RCEP is more on how we integrate with different places in the world. Hong Kong is the only city in the world where the China advantage and the global advantage converge in one place, so we want to contribute and we will benefit as well.”

In his first policy address delivered last October, Lee outlined several key measures to attract investment and talent and earmarked billions of dollars to attract enterprises to set up operations in Hong Kong. “We will offer tailor-made incentives for industries or companies which will have long term strategic value to Hong Kong’s overall development, and we will also provide stronger assistance in some industries such as innovation and technology.”
Lee says the government can roll out additional measures if there are things that it can do even better. “We have to ensure that Hong Kong people, their interests and their future are well taken care of. So, it’s not just that I will be grabbing talents from other places. I’ll be developing, nurturing, creating the good environment and learning opportunities and also development opportunities for people already in Hong Kong.”

In the program, Lee shares with audiences his personal experience in qigong, which has a special meaning in shaping him into who he is today. “I have been practicing qigong for over 25 years for a very practical reason. I had very severe back pain at that time that I had to lie down within 15 minutes after sitting on a chair. I tried everything but with little improvement,” he says. On the advice of a good friend who is also a medical practitioner, Lee tried qigong but still had little progress. He didn’t give up and continued to seek advice from various experts, and eventually he met a great tutor in China who taught him the first motion-led qigong, a school of qigong that combines motion and meditation. He began to see results after practicing for two months. “Basically, I moved around and let myself really be relaxed and let the motion and the feeling take me. And then I started to do different kinds of motions that I would not have thought of doing before, such as hitting different parts of the body,” he says. Despite some discomfort initially, Lee began to sleep and breath better, and with more practices his backpain and general health have improved gradually.

Lee thanks his wife for her support during the healing process. “At that time, I was practicing qigong together with my wife. She was really nice because it was very boring to her, but she supported me and really wanted me to try to find a way to get out of my pain. And while I was practicing, she was also worried that I would hurt myself.” Towards the end of the talk show, Lee was asked who he would like to thank in front of the TV. “My wife. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Because in fact, I could not find the time to talk to her. And she has been so supportive and considerate.”

To watch the video, visit Friday Everyday YouTube Channel – Friday Beyond Spotlights Season 2 Ep. 6 l Honorable John Lee

Episode 6: