Central govt sincere about HK universal suffrage
Updated: 2013-07-17 02:16
By Kahon Chan (China Daily)
National sovereignty and the lawful rights of the central government must be safeguarded when implementing universal suffrage in Hong Kong, the central government's top representative in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said at a luncheon with legislators on Tuesday.
Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in the HKSAR, reiterated that people in Hong Kong should not doubt the central government's sincerity in implementing universal suffrage in Hong Kong, and the whole process must follow the course set in 2007 by the Basic Law and the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
"The central government's stance and sincerity to implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong are unquestionable. ... If we want to achieve the goal of universal suffrage early, we must follow the track set by the Basic Law and the National People's Congress Standing Committee and make no detours," Zhang told 59 members of the Legislative Council, also known as LegCo, from both the pro-establishment and the opposition camps.
"We should get to know clearly the terms and regulations of the Basic Law concerning the Chief Executive and LegCo elections to find what problems are yet to be solved and what problems have already been tackled," Zhang said.
"Then we should concentrate on studying those unsolved problems, explore their possible solutions and finally have a concrete solution plan. That would be the right approach," he said.
Zhang stressed that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's approach to universal suffrage must be compatible with its administrative status, comply with the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and respect the relationship between Hong Kong and the central government, adding that the electoral setup must ensure State sovereignty and the central government's lawful rights.
"An essential thing I need to point out is that Hong Kong is not a country. It's a local administrative region of the People's Republic of China that has been given a high degree of autonomy," Zhang told legislators at the luncheon.
"Therefore, Hong Kong's universal suffrage arrangement must be compatible with the HKSAR's administrative status and its actual situation, must follow the ‘One Country, Two Systems' principle, and respect the relationship between the HKSAR and the central government, so as to ensure national sovereignty and the lawful rights of the central government," he said.
It was the first time a liaison office chief had attended a Legislative Council luncheon. Zhang said he also hopes to expand the liaison office's communication with the local government and people from all fields.
"We welcome communication with anybody as long as they are sincere. We have a lot of good friends in the LegCo, but that's not enough. We hope to make some new friends," Zhang said, adding that he came to the Legislative Council with "goodwill and sincerity" and wishes to have more contact with local legislators in an atmosphere of mutual respect.