Xia, the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director, also told the lawmakers they have to be "true representatives of public sentiment" and use their work to prove "patriots have the will, the capability, the daring and ability to get things done."

Led by Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, party leaders and veteran pro-establishment lawmakers met Xia in Shenzhen yesterday where Xia congratulated them on their election while expressing five hopes for the new Legco term.

The 90-member Legco was formed after the December 19 elections under the "patriots only" electoral changes imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in March.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king, also vice convener of the pro-establishment camp, said: "[Xia] hopes all 90 lawmakers can support the SAR government in administering Hong Kong in accordance with the law, as well as safeguarding the executive-led political system in the SAR.

"However, they should not be rubber stamps or voting machines, but they have to criticize the SAR government in a friendly and sincere manner."

Xia also told the lawmakers they should be resolute patriots, and have the courage to fight against speeches and behaviors hampering national sovereignty, security and development.

Xia also hopes lawmakers will be keen to learn and improve their ability to discuss politics, while also having the skills to collaborate with other lawmakers, according to Lee.

"This will continuously step up efficiency in legislative work and be the precedent of Legco's new outlook, while also showing the unity, civility and harmonious new image of Legco," Lee quoted Xia.

The camp's convener Martin Liao Cheung-kong said Xia reminded them that they are lawmakers of a region of China, so they have to make clear the SAR's constitutional position.

Liao cited Xia as saying that all powers bestowed on the Legco flowed from the central government, and the council is under the supervision of Beijing's authorized institutions.

Xia also said Legco is a legislative branch under an executive-led system, which will check and balance the executive branch while cooperating with it.

He added that Beijing "truly and sincerely" wants to implement democracy in Hong Kong but the SAR's democratic development will have to suit its actual situation and fit under the principle of one country, two systems.

Xia concluded that economic development and improving livelihoods should be the city's highest priority.