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HKSARG's response to US's Hong Kong Policy Act Report

In response to media enquiries on the US-HK Policy Act Report (covering April 2003 to March 2004), a Constitutional Affairs Bureau spokesman said today (April 3) that the HKSAR Government noted the US-HK Policy Act Report and the relevant statement by the US Department of State:

"It is well recognised that 'One Country, Two Systems' in Hong Kong is working well in practice and that people's rights and freedoms continue to be upheld.

"The international community should have faith that the HKSAR Government will continue to run Hong Kong in strict accordance with the Basic Law."

The spokesman said, "Hong Kong's constitutional development is part of the internal affairs of our country. The Central Authorities and the HKSAR will deal with this according to the Basic Law. The US Government should respect this position and should not interfere."

The spokesman said that the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) to interpret the relevant provisions relating to issues of legislative process in Annexes I and II of the Basic Law would help Hong Kong resolve an important and practical issue, and allow us to take forward the work relating to constitutional development.

He said, "Hong Kong's constitutional development involves the relationship between the Central Authorities and the HKSAR, and relates to the systems used to implement "One Country, Two Systems" and the Basic Law. Therefore, the Central Authorities have powers and responsibilities on matters relating to Hong Kong's constitutional development."

The spokesman added, "The interpretation will be made under Article 158 of the Basic Law. There are divergent views in the Hong Kong community on the interpretation of the provisions in the two Annexes. The interpretation by the NPCSC will help to clarify the views, put an end to disputes in the community, and provide a firm foundation for our next stage of work."

He added that the Constitutional Development Task Force headed by the Chief Secretary for Administration published its report on March 30, 2004 on issues of legislative process in the Basic Law relating to constitutional development.

The Task Force report detailed the views of the HKSAR Government on these issues of legislative process. It also contained copies of all written submissions received by the Task Force, and a summary of views of different organisations and individuals the Task Force had met with.

"The Task Force will next focus on the issues of principle. It will publish a report on the outcome of its work in this respect in due course," the spokesman said.

Ends/Saturday, April 3, 2004