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SCA's response to UK report on HK

Following is the transcript (English portion) of a standup briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending the regional forum on constitutional development today (July 21):

Reporter: Do you agree with the criticisms and the report (UK Government's six-monthly report on Hong Kong) that we are away from the Joint Declaration?

SCA: We have since reunification implemented "One Country, Two Systems" totally according to the Basic Law, and the provisions of the Joint Declaration with regard to constitutional development have also been implemented. According to the Joint Declaration, the Chief Executive is supposed to be returned by local consultations or elections. The Legislative Council is supposed to be constituted by elections. All these provisions have already been implemented in Hong Kong according to the Basic Law. Furthermore, the ultimate aim of universal suffrage as stipulated in the Basic Law is for the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to pursue in accordance with the Basic Law. We hope and trust that foreign governments will continue to respect this principle.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, July 21, 2004