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LCQ17: Assistance rendered to Hong Kong people on the Mainland

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 13):


Regarding the requests for assistance made by Hong Kong residents to the Beijing Office of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in the past four years, will the Government inform this Council of the respective annual numbers of cases in respect of which BJO:

(a) contacted the mainland authorities to assist the assistance seekers in following up the cases, with a breakdown by the mainland authorities involved and the nature of requests; and

(b) suggested the assistance seekers to lodge a complaint directly to the mainland authorities, with a breakdown by the nature of requests?


Madam President,

From 2003 to 2006, the Beijing Office (BJO) received 895 cases of request for assistance. These cases, including those which the BJO has referred to Mainland authorities concerned and those which assistance seekers have been advised to contact Mainland authorities direct, are listed by categories at the Annex.

The BJO has spared no effort in assisting Hong Kong residents seeking assistance by helping to reflect their views and requests to the relevant Mainland authorities. In general, the BJO would refer the cases of request for assistance by Hong Kong residents to the relevant Mainland authorities, except for cases under judicial proceedings or involving private contractual disputes. On some occasions, the BJO has advised assistance seekers to contact the relevant Mainland authorities direct. These include, for example, cases where the assistance seekers request the BJO to apply for business-related permits on their behalf, in which cases the BJO would advise them to submit their applications to the concerned Mainland authorities direct. There have also been occasions where assistance from the BJO is sought to pass on the letters of invitation to national leaders to attend events organised by the assistant seekers, in which case the BJO would advise the latter to send the letters of invitation to the relevant authorities direct.

Ends/Wednesday, June 13, 2007