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Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Elections

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on elections in the Hong Kong special administrative region. (231761)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular contact with his Chinese counterpart to discuss a whole range of issues, including Hong Kong. He pays close attention to Hong Kong, and comments on developments in the Six-Monthly Report. A particular focus is on Hong Kong's progress towards universal suffrage. On 29 December 2007 the Foreign Secretary released the following comments on Hong Kong's elections:

“Today's announcement by the National People's Congress that there will not be universal suffrage in the 2012 Hong Kong elections will be a disappointment for all those who want to see Hong Kong move to full democracy as soon as possible.”

“As the Hong Kong SAR Government has itself recognised, this includes the majority of Hong Kong's own people who have clearly said that they wish to elect the Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2012.”

“I remain of the view that both China and Hong Kong's interests will be best served by allowing Hong Kong to move to full democracy as soon as possible. The National People's Congress' statement clearly points towards universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election in 2017 and the legislative council thereafter. I hope that all parties concerned can engage in meaningful dialogue to allow this, and that the Hong Kong authorities will now put forward constructive proposals making progress in 2012 to achieve this goal.”