|Transcript of SCA's briefing after LegCo QA session
Following is the transcript (English portion) of a stand-up briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending the questions' session at the Legislative Council this afternoon (March 3):
Reporter: Why did you say you were disappointed and it is not appropriate?
SCA: Constitutional development is part of the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China. It is a matter for the Central Authorities and for the HKSAR to deal with in accordance with the Basic Law. Our clear position is that foreign governments and foreign legislatures should respect this position that we would deal with the question of constitutional development in accordance with the principles and the provisions of the Basic Law. As Members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, they should also respect the roles which the Basic Law has conferred on the HKSAR. We consider that it is inappropriate for Members of the Hong Kong legislature to join (the hearing of) a foreign legislature to discuss Hong Kong's constitutional development. We are disappointed at their decision to do so.
Reporter: Mr Tung himself has gone to Washington, has gone to the White House, and has met with senators and congressmen to discuss Hong Kong's political situation. What's the difference?
SCA: Well, liaison with international bodies and visitors is a matter which is beneficial to Hong Kong. We always update our international contacts on developments in Hong Kong whether these are political, social or economic. What we are talking about here today is how we take forward Hong Kong's constitutional development. That is clearly a matter for the Central Authorities and for the HKSAR to deal with in accordance with the Basic Law.
Reporter: These people were elected to represent their constituencies, and that the constituencies knew that these people were in favour of democratic development. For them to go abroad and express that desire are .....of the people who elected them would seem to be among their responsibilities. Why did you take issue with that?
SCA: Democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law is part of the internal affairs of our country. It is a matter for the Central Authorities and the HKSAR to deal with in accordance with the Basic Law.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion.)
Ends/Wednesday, March 3, 2004