In response to press enquiries about the remarks made by Lord Patten at the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China yesterday, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (November 21) has responded with the following:
"Firstly, constitutional development in Hong Kong is an internal matter for Hong Kong and an internal affair for China, in which foreign governments and legislatures should not interfere.
"Secondly, the one and only basis for Hong Kong's constitutional development is the Basic Law, not the Joint Declaration. The Joint Declaration contains no mention of universal suffrage for the selection of the Chief Executive or the formation of the Legislative Council; it is the Basic Law which provides for universal suffrage.
"Thirdly, it is clearly laid down in the Basic Law that the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council have their respective constitutional roles to play in the process to attain universal suffrage in Hong Kong. It is a plainly incorrect reading of the Basic Law to suggest, as Lord Patten did, that the NPCSC has no role to play in the constitutional development of Hong Kong.
"Fourthly, the HKSAR Government has been engaging in dialogues with various sectors of the community, including an open dialogue with the representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students on October 21, with a view to forging a consensus to bring forward the constitutional process to attain universal suffrage. We have repeatedly pointed out that constitutional development in Hong Kong must proceed in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant NPCSC's interpretation and decisions. We continue to appeal to all sectors of the community to express their views in a peaceful manner and cease all illegal activities as soon as possible."
Ends/Friday, November 21, 2014