Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto told Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa during talks Oct. 16 that he expects Hong Kong’s market economy to help China reform its state-run corporations, government sources said.Tung said Hong Kong can contribute to China’s economic reform in terms of funds, management and expertise of market economy systems, the sources said. In their talks, Hashimoto and Tung confirmed Japan and Hong Kong will work together to foster a deeper friendship and economic partnerships.Hashimoto said efforts to have China join the World Trade Organization must be strengthened to allow the country to do business in line with international rules of trade, the sources said.In other talks, Hong Kong’s chief executive also said China’s sound management of the two-systems-in-one policy with Hong Kong should enable Japanese firms to promote business there without concerns.According to Foreign Ministry officials, Hong Kong’s first postcolonial leader told Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi on Oct. 16 that China is strongly determined to stick with its policy, and that confidence in Hong Kong is increasing. Obuchi meanwhile told Tung the relationship between Japan and Hong Kong is important and it will further strengthen under Tung’s leadership, the officials said.

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