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Speech by the Acting Secretary for Constitutional Affairs on
"Opposing Taiwan becoming independent"
in the Legislative Council meeting on 10 May 2000

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Clement Mak, in the motion debate on "Opposing Taiwan becoming independent" in the Legislative Council today (May 10):

Madam President:

Today's debate in the Legislative Council on the motion opposing Taiwan becoming independent fully reflects the deep concern of the people of Hong Kong over the question of Taiwan.

With the overall interest of our nation and the future of all Chinese people in mind, the Government of the HKSAR fully supports national unification and is strongly opposed to any proposal advocating Taiwan becoming independent. We believe that the early and satisfactory resolution of the question of Taiwan is not only an important matter of principle involving national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it is also in the interests of Hong Kong. National unification is the common wish of all Chinese people, including those of us in Hong Kong. The results of several opinion polls taken recently clearly demonstrate that this represents the consensus of the Hong Kong people.

To promote the common goal of national unification, the Government of the HKSAR has been promoting exchanges between the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Since reunification, Hong Kong and Taiwan have developed closer ties in areas such as trade and commerce, culture and tourism. Taiwan has been our fourth largest trading partner in the last five years, and the number of visitors between the two places has continued to grow. Many Hong Kong people have come to recognise that cross-strait relations have a direct impact on our economic prospects and social stability. It is clear that any attempt to make Taiwan independent will deal a blow to the trade and commercial exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan, will adversely affect our investment environment and will slow down our economic recovery. It may even undermine the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

Since our successful reunification with the Motherland, we have been working hard to implement "One Country, Two Systems" and practise "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong". We also earnestly hope that our nation will achieve unification at an early date. We very much hope that that can be achieved peacefully. That is the common wish of all Chinese people and that is in the best interests of Hong Kong.

Madam President, it is the common wish of our community that the question of Taiwan will be resolved and our nation be unified. The Government of the HKSAR supports the motion moved by Hon Tsang Yok-sing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2000