|Response to UK Report on Hong Kong
In response to media enquiries, a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman made the following response today (September 15) to the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Office's Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong (January – June 2010):
"We welcome the report's conclusion that the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle has worked well and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed for Hong Kong have been respected.
The Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government are committed to enabling Hong Kong to roll forward democracy in accordance with the Basic Law.
During the summer, Hong Kong has taken a critical step forward in its constitutional development. The proposed package for the 2012 elections was passed by a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Legislative Council, given consent by the Chief Executive and endorsed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC). This is an important milestone for Hong Kong's constitutional development. For the first time since the establishment of the HKSAR, we have managed to complete the 'five-step mechanism' as set out in the Basic Law and the NPCSC's Interpretation of 2004 to amend the electoral methods for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council. This will give the Hong Kong community greater confidence in and a stronger basis for forging consensus on constitutional development in future and pave the way for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council in 2017 and 2020 respectively.
As to the future universal suffrage models, the HKSAR Government has made it clear that they should comply with the Basic Law and the principles of universality and equality.
The issue of universal suffrage is a matter for the HKSAR and the Central Authorities to deal with according to the Basic Law. We hope and believe that foreign governments will continue to respect this principle."
Ends/Wednesday, September 15, 2010