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Press Briefings & Releases

Press Briefings & Releases

Political reform package positively received in US, says Chief Executive

Hong Kong's proposed political reform package has been generally positively received in the US capital, the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (October 27, Washington time).

Mr Tsang said he had this morning (Washington time) briefed US Vice President Dick Cheney on the contents of the political reform proposals and that the response was 'quite positive' and 'a welcome change'.

"He reacted very favourably, very positively," said Mr Tsang.

In a breakfast meeting with the leadership of The Heritage Foundation, Mr Tsang said the free-market think-tank showed keen interest in the political development proposals and were 'very supportive'.

The Chief Executive rejected claims in an agency report that members of the US House Committee on International Relations had expressed disappointment at the pace of political reform during his meeting with them in Washington yesterday (October 26, Washington time).

The report was based on a speaking note prepared for the Committee's chairman, Congressman Henry Hyde.

During a meeting with Mr Tsang, and in comments to the media yesterday, Chairman Hyde said Hong Kong was 'an area of great promise and hope' and that he had seen progress on the political reform front.

Mr Tsang said: "Clearly, Chairman Hyde rejected that speaking note. He did not use that at all. What he used was exactly what he said. That was what happened.

"We had the opportunity of having breakfast with the senior aide of Chairman Hyde today. He sat next to me. He said he found no foundation in the report, and that he would return and clarify it."

Mr Tsang said that during his meetings in Washington, and in New York and Vancouver, he had 'very candidly' explained the contents and background of the constitutional reform package.

"The responses I have had so far have been generally very positive," he said.

In another full day of meetings, Mr Tsang also met Ranking Minority Member of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein.

He had lunch with the influential Brookings Institution and is due to deliver a keynote speech tonight (Washington time) at the annual gala dinner of the Asia Society Washington Center.

Tomorrow, Mr Tsang is due to meet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and hold a luncheon briefing with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Ends/Friday, October 28, 2005


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