Beijing’s point person to Hong Kong said the city’s special governing formula will remain a "permanent structure,” the South China Morning Post reported, as the Chinese official sought to boost confidence in the Asian finance hub.

Xia Baolong, who leads the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, on Monday said the "one country, two systems” principle helps set Hong Kong apart from mainland Chinese cities, the Post said. The newspaper cited an unidentified attendee of a meeting between the Chinese official and about 40 local and foreign business chambers.

Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy until at least 2047 under a political arrangement enshrined in the city’s constitution, but Beijing’s political crackdown has eroded rights once seen as fundamental to its success. Prominent observers including former Morgan Stanley Asia chair Stephen Roach have called on Beijing to commit to the model to revive growth in the city.