The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, officiated at the flag-presentation ceremony for a Beijing 2008 Olympic Games youth exchange programme this afternoon (March 22). Following is the transcript of his remarks in response to media questions on Hong Kong-Taiwan relations (English portion):
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The Hong Kong community has been following very closely the election taking place in Taiwan today. Our hope is that after the election, the Taiwanese side will continue to enhance Cross-Strait relations and also prepare positively for the introduction of the Three Direct Links. So far as Hong Kong is concerned, in the last few years, we have been promoting very actively the liaison between Taiwan and Hong Kong across a spectrum of political contacts. We welcome, here in Hong Kong, legislators representing the pan-blue and pan-green camps. We also enhance our liaison with professional bodies, media groups and academic contacts.
Our hope is that, following this election, the Taiwanese side will promote actively Cross-Strait relations and be positive towards the idea of Three Direct Links being introduced. As far as Hong Kong is concerned, we may, in the short term, see a slight reduction in tourism -- arrivals from Taiwan. But in the long run, if the economy across the Taiwan Strait expands, there will be additional opportunities for Hong Kong. Our financial services will be able to serve Taiwanese investors in the Mainland and Mainland enterprises, which will continue, we hope, to be successful.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, March 22, 2008
SCMA officiates at ceremony of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games youth exchange programme
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, officiated at the flag-presentation ceremony for a Beijing 2008 Olympic Games youth exchange programme held at the Hung Hom Railway Station today (March 22). Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lam commended the organiser for arranging the meaningful exchange programme for several hundred young people from the Mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to better understand the country's development through study trips and learning about the Olympic Games. Through the contacts of the younger generation, Cross-Strait relations would be enhanced, he said. While Beijing hosting the 2008 Olympics would further elevate the country's international status, it was also hoped that by staging the Olympic equestrian events, the standard of sports in Hong Kong could be enhanced, he added. Mr Lam is pictured presenting a flag to a representative of the organiser at the ceremony.