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Central Authorities support establishing consensus on way forward for constitutional development through public consultation

The following is the transcript of a standup briefing by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in Beijing this afternoon (January 21)(English portion):

Reporter: (What was your briefing on the political review about Hong Kong's political system?)

SCA: Over the last two days, I have met officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the Taiwan Affairs Office. Particularly with the officials of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, I have given them a briefing on the state of play with regard to public consultation in Hong Kong. I have also briefed them on the initiative which we have taken to brief and to listen to views of various District Councils in Hong Kong. They are very supportive of the initiatives which we have taken. They certainly hope that in Hong Kong we will be able to generate sufficient support for a consensus to be built and for a mainstream proposal to be put forth by the middle of this year. It is very important for us as the HKSAR Government that we communicate fully with the community in Hong Kong and that we act as a bridge between Beijing and Hong Kong in dealing with this very sensitive and important issue.

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

Ends/Friday, January 21, 2005