Following is a question by Hon Lee Cheuk-yan and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (January 27):
Regarding issues relating to the Chief Executive (CE) paying duty visits to report on his work to the Central People's Government (CPG) (reporting visits), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether the authorities will, in composing CE's reports for reporting visits in future, consider consulting the public on the outline and the main contents of such reports, and making public such reports and relevant documents expeditiously after the reporting visits, so as to manifest the constitutional responsibility that CE shall be accountable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and to enhance the transparency of policy implementation by the Government; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) whether the authorities, during the previous reporting visits made by the incumbent CE or in his reports for such reporting visits, proposed matters for which they intended to secure CPG's support; if so, whether they can provide the relevant list and details; if they cannot provide such information, of the reasons for that; and
(3) whether the incumbent CE, during his previous reporting visits, received directives or instructions given by CPG in verbal, written or other forms; if so, whether the authorities can provide the relevant list and details; if they cannot provide such information, of the reasons for that?
After consulting the Chief Executive's Office, our authorised reply to Hon Lee Cheuk-yan's question is as follows:
Under the principle of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy and the provisions of the Basic Law, the Chief Executive (CE) has a unique and important constitutional role. Article 43 of the Basic Law provides that the CE of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) shall be the head of the HKSAR and shall represent the HKSAR, and shall be accountable to the Central People's Government (CPG) and the HKSAR. Article 48 also provides that the CE shall lead the Government of the HKSAR; be responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law and other laws which, in accordance with the Basic Law, apply in the HKSAR; implement the directives issued by the CPG in respect of the relevant matters provided for in the Basic Law; and conduct, on behalf of the Government of the HKSAR, external affairs and other affairs authorised by the Central Authorities. To fulfil the above constitutional requirements, all the CEs since the HKSAR's return to the Motherland report to state leaders on the latest developments and situation of the HKSAR.
Since the assumption of office in July 2012, the incumbent CE has been making detailed, comprehensive, objective and truthful reports to state leaders on the situation of the HKSAR and the work of the HKSAR Government. State leaders have fully affirmed and supported the work of the CE and the HKSAR Government.
The Chief Executive's Office announces the relevant dates, arrangements and accompanying officials every time before the annual duty visit of the CE in the form of press releases. The CE also meets and informs the media proactively of the developments of his visit during his stay in Beijing. Taking the recent duty visit as an example, the CE met the media before, during and after his duty visit. He briefly introduced the issues of his duty visit and the matters that he would seek support from the CPG, such as how Hong Kong could complement the two important national strategies, namely the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the progress of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, etc. When the CE met the media, he also relayed the views of state leaders in response to his report.
Pursuant to Article 64 of the Basic Law, the CE regularly presents his Policy Address to the Legislative Council, after which he responds to Members' questions and listens to the views of the media and the public. In addition, the CE generally attends four Question and Answer Sessions of the Legislative Council in each legislative session to exchange views on the work of the administration with the Members. Bureaux and departments of the Government of the HKSAR will also fully exchange views and listen to comments and suggestions on their respective policy areas with Members of the Legislative Council, District Councils, statutory bodies and consultative committees. In conclusion, the CE and the Government under his leadership are accountable to the HKSAR and the public for their policies through various approaches and channels.
Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:51