In response to comments by Mr Chen Shui-bian in connection with the eighth anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), a Government spokesman made the following statement today (June 30):
"The comments made in Taiwan do not accord with reality.
"It is a well recognised fact that 'One Country, Two Systems' has been successfully implemented since Reunification and the establishment of the HKSAR in 1997. The various systems of the HKSAR have been preserved and maintained in accordance with the Basic Law.
"Hong Kong continues to be an international and regional trading and financial centre. For 11 years in a row, Hong Kong has been named the world's freest economy by the Heritage Foundation. Last year, there were more than 3,600 foreign companies with their regional headquarters or regional offices in Hong Kong, an all-time high figure and an increase of more than 43% since 1997. All these facts reflect the confidence of the international community in Hong Kong.
"Freedoms, human rights, the rule of law and an independent judiciary are fully protected in Hong Kong. The Reporters Without Borders recently rated Hong Kong as having the freest press in Asia. A survey recently conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy rates Hong Kong's judicial system as the best in Asia.
"Hong Kong has no 'black gold' politics. All elections are open, fair and clean. Our constitutional development is progressing in a gradual and orderly manner in accordance with the Basic Law. The Chief Executive and the Legislative Council are elected. The Election Committee, which is responsible for electing the Chief Executive, is broadly representative and includes various sectors of the community. Half of the seats in the Legislative Council are returned by universal suffrage.
"The HKSAR Government is consulting the public on the electoral arrangement in 2007-08. The aim is to further open up the electoral system and broaden public participation, laying a strong foundation for the ultimate objective of universal suffrage.
"The HKSAR Government has all along been handling Taiwan-related affairs, and promoting trade and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan, in accordance with 'Qian's seven principles'. The SAR Government hopes to see steady progress in the development of cross-strait relations. The Hong Kong community has consistently supported reunification of the country, and we hope that Taiwan will address the issue of reunification early and positively."
Ends/Thursday, June 30, 2005