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Press Briefings & Releases

Press Briefings & Releases

CS briefs British leaders on Hong Kong developments

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Donald Tsang, updated British political and business leaders in London today (October 25, UK time) on Hong Kong's political and economic development.

On the first day of a nine-day European trip, Mr Tsang met with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and with Lord Charles Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, at the House of Lords.

He later had meetings with Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Ancram; Liberal Democratic Party Leader Charles Kennedy and Deputy Leader Menzies Campbell; the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons; and a London-based think-tank.

"My message was that we are working steadily to make our election methods more representative," Mr Tsang said. "The final destination is universal suffrage, as set out in the Basic Law. Hong Kong people are reasonable and pragmatic. They understand that constitutional development is a tripartite procedure requiring consensus from two-thirds of the Legislative Council, the Chief Executive and the National People's Congress Standing Committee."

The Chief Secretary briefed them on the work of the Constitutional Development Task Force, which he heads, including its consultations with the community on amending the methods for selecting the Chief Executive in 2007 and forming the Legislative Council in 2008.

He explained that Hong Kong had a relatively short history of elections, and that the LegCo elections last month were conducted very successfully. "We are building experience in public participation in government through the ballot box," he said.

"I also updated them on Hong Kong's economic recovery, which has been due in part to the resilience of Hong Kong people, along with leveraging our close connections with the Mainland. Looking forward, initiatives such as CEPA and the Pan-Pearl River Delta co-operation forum will create many opportunities by greatly increasing the economic pie in this large area of southern China, with Hong Kong playing a leading role."

Hong Kong remains a free and open society, and both the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Central Governments are committed to upholding the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, he said, adding that Hong Kong retained its international outlook and contacts.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Secretary briefed executive members of the China-Britain Business Council on Hong Kong's economic recovery, CEPA and the Pan-PRD development initiative. The Council is the UK's leading agency helping British companies do business in China.

Tomorrow (October 26, UK time), Mr Tsang will continue his meetings in London and deliver several speeches, including addresses at the Hong Kong-Guangdong Business Seminar, the first such joint promotion in Europe, and at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Annual Dinner.

On Wednesday morning (UK time), the Chief Secretary will depart for Berlin. He will later visit Prague and Dublin.

Ends/Tuesday, October 26, 2004


2004 | Important notices Last revision date: 1 July 2007
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