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    Anson Chan's remarks 'irresponsible'
Gang Bian
2004-06-09 06:46

Former chief secretary Anson Chan has made irresponsible remarks in an article published in Time magazine that do not accord with the facts and are not conducive to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.

A spokesman from the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong said this last night in response to Chan's article, Xinhua reported.

Chan criticized the central government for having handled the issue of constitutional development with "public rhetoric and posturing reminiscent of the 'cultural revolution'".

"We do not identify with this view point," the spokesman said.

He noted that the "cultural revolution" was a catastrophe that no Chinese should ever forget.

That's why the central government, bearing the painful experience in mind, has always emphasized social stability and economic development when handling various issues in both the mainland and Hong Kong.

"This is the basis for prolonged political stability of the nation and the experience we have learned from the great achievements during the past two decades of reform and opening up," he said.

As for the interpretation of the Basic Law and the ruling on Hong Kong's political reform by the country's top legislature, the spokesman said the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) made the move in strict accordance with the Basic Law and legal procedures, and after soliciting views from people across the social spectrum in Hong Kong.

He noted that Qiao Xiaoyang, the deputy secretary general of the NPCSC, twice visited Hong Kong to exchange and collect views with people from all walks of life in Hong Kong.

As a result, the local media have agreed that the move of the top legislature is "constitutional, legal, fair and reasonable" and has reflected the mainstream wish of Hong Kong people for prosperity and stability.

The spokesman stressed that what the central government has done is for Hong Kong to maintain long-term prosperity and stability. It has always trusted and supported the SAR government to govern Hong Kong in accordance with the law.

The central government's Basic Law interpretation and ruling on Hong Kong's political development were made only to "put an end to disputes and unite Hong Kong people into the drive for economic development", the spokesman said.

He continued to say that the central government completely respects freedom of speech in Hong Kong as protected by the Basic Law.

(HK Edition 06/09/2004 page1)