NPC meeting to decide on HK report
When the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee meets for the ninth time this month, it will deliberate a report on Hong Kong's constitutional development submitted by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).
According to a decision made Monday morning by the chairman and vice-chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee,, the on April 25 and 26 meeting will focus on deliberation and a decision on the report submitted by Tung on whether the method for selecting the chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR in 2007 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2008 need to be amended.
It was decided at Monday's meeting that the Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive's report would be delivered to the State Council's relevant departments for further study, and special personnel be assigned to hear opinions from NPC deputies from Hong Kong, members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from Hong Kong, HK members of the Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR under the NPC Standing Committee, people from all fields of Hong Kong society and the Constitutional Task Force under the Hong Kong SAR government.
Tung said last week that the methods for selecting the chief executive in 2007 and for forming the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2008 should be amended so as to enable Hong Kong's constitutional development to move forward.
Tung stressed at a news briefing that the following key factors must be considered in determining the methods for selecting the chief executive in 2007 and for forming LegCo in 2008:
* Hong Kong must pay heed to the central authorities' views in examining the direction and pace of its constitutional development;
* Proposed amendments must comply with the Basic Law;
* No proposed amendment can affect the central authorities' substantive power of appointment of the chief executive;
* Proposed amendments must aim at consolidating the executive-led system and must not deviate from its designed principle;
* Development towards the ultimate aim of universal suffrage must progress in a gradual and orderly manner, not too fast;
* When considering the actual situation, public opinions, Hong Kong's legal status, the present stage of constitutional development, economic development, social conditions, the public's understanding of 'one country, two systems' and the Basic Law, public awareness of political participation, political talent and political groups' maturity and the relationship between executive authorities and the legislature must be taken into account;
* Proposed changes must allow the representation of different sectors in the political structure, and enable them to participate in politics; and
* Proposed alterations must ensure that consideration continues to be given to different sectors' interests and the changes must not have any adverse effects on the economy, monetary affairs, public finance and other systems as prescribed in the Basic Law.
In accordance with the interpretation by the NPC Standing Committee on Article 7 of Annex I and Article 3 of Annex II to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, the Hong Kong chief executive should make a report to the NPC Standing Committee on determining if the methods for selecting the chief executive in 2007 and for forming the LegCo in 2008 should be amended.