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Response to Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the HKSAR 10th anniversary

    In response to media enquiries, a Government spokesman made the following responses today (June 28) to the Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union (EU) on the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR:

     "The HKSAR Government welcomes continued co-operation with the EU. The HKSAR has close trade relations with the EU. In 2006, the EU was Hong Kong's second largest trading partner. Our liaison in other spheres of co-operation has been growing steadily.

    "The principle of 'One Country, Two Systems' has been fully implemented in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law. Human rights and individual freedoms have been fully respected and protected by the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. 

    "Under the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems', the high degree of autonomy and the executive, legislative and independent judicial power enjoyed by the HKSAR is conferred by the Central Authorities. According to the design of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's political structure is an executive-led system. While Hong Kong's political structure is different from that of Western countries, according to our constitutional arrangements, our executive authorities and the legislature exercise their respective functions, complement each other and operate with due checks and balances. Moreover, the independence of the judiciary has been guaranteed by the Basic Law.

     "Regarding Hong Kong's constitutional development, during his election campaign, the Chief Executive had made it clear that he would deal with the issue of universal suffrage in the next five years within his new term, with a view to coming up with a solution. This position taken by the Chief Executive is more advanced than that adopted in any previous term of the HKSAR Government.

     "After the third term HKSAR Government is formed on July 1, we will publish soon a green paper on constitutional development and consult the public on the models, roadmap and timetable for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council. Following the end of the three-month public consultation period, we will submit a report to the Central Authorities to reflect any mainstream views formed and any other views expressed.

     "We look forward to the continued co-operation and dialogue with the EU."

Ends/Thursday, June 28, 2007