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Key Sectors Back Hong Kong Political Review Plan

Political parties, business communities and academics have commented positively on Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's plan to set up a taskforce to actively promote constitutional developments in Hong Kong.

Liberal Party Chairman James Tien welcomed Tung's proposed establishment of a three-person taskforce to examine issues relating to constitutional development of Hong Kong.

"We fully agree with the government (on the issue). The first thing we need to do is to clarify the understanding of (the provisions) in the Basic Law on political reform. Therefore, the government should look into this, the legal basis of constitutional reform,'' said Tien.

He described it as "an excellent start'' to set up the taskforce.

"But as the government said it also encourages the local people in Hong Kong to continue considering and exploring the related issues, we hope the government will commence the work as soon as possible,'' Tien added.

Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) Legislative Councillor Tam Yiu-chung emphasized that communication with the central government is necessary in the process. "We agreed with Tung on that,'' he said.

"Hong Kong citizens should try to understand more on the issue and reflect their opinion to both the Hong Kong government and the central government,'' Tam added.

Xiao Weiyun, a mainland legal expert who was a member of the Basic Law Drafting Committee, said Tung's plan for the three-person taskforce was a "normal and comprehensive'' way to deal with the constitutional development issue.

"It will not only make communication with the central government possible, but also serve to collect views from the people of Hong Kong,'' he said.

Ambrose Lau, chairman of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, urged the taskforce to commence work as soon as possible.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce also urged the taskforce to "start collecting the diverse views of the community''.

(China Daily HK Edition January 8, 2004)

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