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NPC hears views on HK law
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-01 00:12

A task force of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government submitted Tuesday morning a report to the representatives of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on views over constitutional development.

The report of the task force was put to the NPC Standing Committee three days before country's top legislature is to give interpretation on two Basic Law annexes so as to put an end to confusions and differences surrounding the current debate over Hong Kong's constitutional development.

China's top legislature will, in its next meeting of the Standing Committee on April 2-6, deliberate the draft of interpretations on Article 7 of Annex I and Article 3 of Annex II of the Basic Law, involving Hong Kong's political development after 2007, suggested by the meeting of the chairman and vice- chairmen.

Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang said at a news briefing Tuesday afternoon, after his task force submitted the report and returned from neighbouring Shenzhen, that representatives of the NPC Standing Committee "listened very attentively" to the views of the task force on the issues of legislative process in the Basic Law relating to constitutional development.

"They said that the standing committee of NPC attached great importance to receiving the task force's report before it gave its interpretation of the provisions in the Basic Law," said Tsang.

He told reporters that it is most authoritative and legally binding for the NPC Standing Committee to give its interpretation of the issues of legislative process in accordance with the power authorized by the Basic Law.

The task force on constitutional development was set up on January 7 in accordance with the chief executive's 2004 policy address. The three-member group has collected the views of the Hong Kong community on issues of principles and legislative process in the Basic Law relating to constitutional development.

As of March 29, the task force had met with around 82 organizations and individuals, and received around 600 letters, facsimiles and e-mails from the public, among which more than 200 concern issues of legislative process.

Tsang said the report submitted is the first on legislative process of the constitutional development, and another one on the legislative principles is underway.

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