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Constitutional development discussion consistent with Basic Law

In response to the views expressed by the Honourable Yeung Sum in the "Letter to Hong Kong" programme broadcast on RTHK Radio 3 this morning, a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau made the following statement today (February 15):

When the Constitutional Development Task Force visited Beijing recently, the relevant departments of the Central Authorities reiterated certain basic policies which had been adopted since the 1980s to prepare for Hong Kong's return to the motherland. These policies have remained in place.

When the Basic Law was drafted in the 1980s, the principle of an "executive-led" system was an important consideration in designing the political structure of Hong Kong, and in preserving the effective governance of Hong Kong. The future methods for electing the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council must accord with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law and be conducive to strengthening and improving the "executive-led" system.

The relevant departments of the Central Authorities have stated that patriots should form the main body of people responsible for managing the affairs of Hong Kong. At the meeting of the Legislative Council (LegCo) on February 11, in responding to the concerns of LegCo Members, the Chief Secretary for Administration quoted the remarks made by Mr Deng Xiaoping and stated that during 1980s the country had set out the basic policies for Hong Kong, and it was established that the people who manage the affairs of Hong Kong should be those Hong Kong people who love their country and who love Hong Kong.

Since reunification, the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government have adhered to the Basic Law in implementing "One Country, Two Systems", and there is no re-interpretation whatsoever of the Basic Law provisions concerning the political structure.

In encouraging the Hong Kong community to discuss issues of principle and legislative process in the Basic Law concerning the political structure, the HKSAR Government hopes that different organisations and individuals will express their views, deepen their understanding and jointly lay a firm foundation for the future work on constitutional development.

Ends/Sunday, February 15, 2004