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SCMA speaks to media on visit to Taipei

     Following is the transcript (English portion) of Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Mr Stephen Lam's remarks to the media this afternoon (June 2) on his forthcoming visit to Taipei:

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I am very pleased that a few weeks ago we received an invitation from the Mainland Affairs Council to visit Taiwan. During our visit to Taiwan, we will focus primarily on discussions with the Mainland Affairs Council on further co-operation and liaison between Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the course of last year, we have undertaken several new initiatives. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council has established its office in Taipei. This is the first time that Hong Kong has established a semi-governmental body on the part of a statutory organisation in Taiwan. Also, in April this year, we organised the Hong Kong-Taiwan Inter-City Forum with Taichung City. This was the first time that the Hong Kong Government invited an official delegation from Taiwan to visit Hong Kong. As we move ahead, we believe that we should continue to focus on our co-operation with Taiwan in the trade and economic sphere. There is lots of work to be done and we hope that this visit will help promote stronger ties between the two places.

Reporter: ... the Government to set up an official body in Taipei? Will you also be paving the way for a visit by the Chief Executive in the future?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: So far as the Hong Kong Government is concerned, our attitude is very practical and very positive. We believe that the practical ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan should continue and should be promoted. So far as the Government is concerned, we have stated previously that provided we have the propitious and proper conditions and environment, we would not rule out the possibility of establishing an official or semi-official presence in Taiwan.

     As far as the Chief Executive is concerned, recently when the magistrate of Taoyuan municipality visited Hong Kong, the vice-chairman of the Nationalist Party invited the Chief Executive to visit Taiwan. Mr Donald Tsang had stated that he hoped within his current term of office, he could visit Taiwan again.

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

Ends/Tuesday, June 2, 2009