In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) made the following response today (February 26) to the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong (July - December 2014):
On Constitutional Development
"The HKSARG is committed to implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive (CE) election in 2017. We are conducting a public consultation on the method for selecting the CE by universal suffrage in accordance with the Basic Law and the Decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) on August 31, 2014. The consultation period will end on March 7, 2015. The HKSARG hopes that different sectors of the community could, under the Basic Law and the framework laid down by the Decision of the NPCSC, discuss in a rational and pragmatic manner and forge consensus, so that 5 million eligible voters can elect the next CE through 'one person, one vote' in 2017 as scheduled.”
On Public Order Events and Press Freedom
"The freedom and right of procession and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. The Police always handle public order events in a fair, just and impartial manner in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. When expressing their aspirations, participants of public assemblies or processions were advised to abide by the laws of Hong Kong and respect other people's rights so that the events could proceed in a peaceful and orderly manner without compromising the Police's efforts to maintain law and order.
"Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are enshrined in the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. The HKSARG supports the principle of editorial autonomy and will not interfere with operations of media organisations.
"Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The constitutional development of Hong Kong is entirely an internal affair of China and an internal matter for the HKSAR. We hope foreign governments will respect our position."
Ends/Thursday, February 26, 2015