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HKSAR welcomes decision by top legislature
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-26 23:40

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Monday welcomed the decision by China's top legislative body on issues concerning Hong Kong's constitutional development.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said the decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) is in the overall and long-term interests of Hong Kong society, and is conducive to maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.

Tung said that the decision is of great importance and is based on opinions from all circles of Hong Kong.

He cited Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, as saying that the decision will be of tremendous and profound significance to the gradual and orderly progress of constitutional development and to Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.

He said that the Hong Kong government welcomed the decision, which formally launched the amendment mechanism of the annexes of the Basic Law.

For the past three months, the Constitutional Development Task Force led by Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang has consulted with all circles in Hong Kong and with central government departments, properly handling issues of principles and legal procedures concerning constitutional development, said Tung.

Based on such a solid foundation, it is now the right time to push forward the work of constitutional development, said Tung.

The chief executive said he had asked the task force to submit the third report on Hong Kong's constitutional development by May, and move forward to the next step in a rational and practical way.

Tung called on various political organizations and all circles of Hong Kong to keep calm and rational, get rid of prejudice, put aside disputes, seek common ground while reserving differences, and join forces to reach a common understanding on Hong Kong's constitutional development. A leading member of the Liaison Office of Central People's Government in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said Monday the liaison office firmly supports the decision on Hong Kong's constitutional development.

He believes that the majority of Hong Kong residents also support the new decision.

The leading member said the NPC Standing Committee's decision is another important measure for properly handling the issue of Hong Kong's constitutional development, made according to the actual situation in Hong Kong, related articles of the Basic Law and concerning interpretations.

He said the decision was made after extensively collecting views from various walks of life in Hong Kong and views of the related departments of the central government.

He said the NPC Standing Committee exercised its power and duty entrusted by the central authorities and the Basic Law by adopting the decision, which indicates the central authorities' high degree of responsibility for all Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots.

He said the important decision was helpful to making sober- minded discussion and reaching consensus on the amendment of the methods for selecting of the chief executive in 2007 and formation of the Legislative Council in 2008 by various walks of life in Hong Kong.

He believes the decision is also helpful to the sound and steady development of Hong Kong's democratic election system and on the track of the Basic Law.

He stressed that the decision is in favour of maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and safeguarding the happiness and well-being of Hong Kong residents as well as the overall interests of Hong Kong.

He said, the decision advocates the practicing of Hong Kong's constitutional development in a gradual and orderly process and accords to the actual situation in Hong Kong and is in accordance with the Basic Law, adding it is the consistent stance of the central authorities.

He said with the common efforts of the Hong Kong government and Hong Kong residents, Hong Kong's democratic system would surely advance. The ultimate goal is the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nomination committee in accordance with democratic procedures and the election of all the members of the legislative Council by universal suffrage.

He said the central authorities have been attaching great importance to and support the gradual development of Hong Kong's democratic system which is adapted to Hong Kong's specific situation and within the framework of the Basic Law.

He said the liaison office firmly supports the government headed by Tung Chee-hwa and the various walks of life in Hong Kong to make concerted efforts for achieving the goal.

He stressed that with the powerful support of the central authorities and strong backup of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong's tomorrow will be more beautiful so long as the Hong Kong compatriots unite as one and make concerted efforts.

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