Press Releases

Response to US-HK Policy Act Report

In response to media enquiries on the United States - Hong Kong Policy Act Report, a Government spokesman said today (April 11): "We welcome the report's affirmation that Hong Kong remains one of the world's most open and free economies, and that there is strong respect for the rule of law and civil liberties."

He pointed out that the report recognised that "Freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, association, and other basic human rights remained well respected and defended in Hong Kong. The press remained free and continued to publish a wide variety of news stories and opinions".

The report also noted that during the reporting period, i.e. April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003, "Hong Kong intensified its efforts to expand economic interaction with China, especially in the Pearl River Delta, but without undermining or interfering with the operation of the 'one country, two systems' formula".

"The report reaffirms international recognition of the high degree of autonomy which Hong Kong has enjoyed, that the dynamism of the city has been preserved and strengthened, and that Hong Kong has continued to play an important role in the international arena including in the global campaign against terrorism and active participation in export control," the spokesman said.

As regards constitutional development beyond 2007, the spokesman said, "In 2003, we have already embarked on a study within the Government on the review of the constitutional developments after 2007. The review will be guided by the Basic Law which provides that electoral arrangements shall be designed in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. We expect to conduct a public consultation exercise on the review in 2004 or 2005 and to deal with relevant domestic legislation in 2006."

End/Friday, April 11, 2003