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Hu Pledges Support for Hong Kong, Macao
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President Hu Jintao had a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday with Donald Tsang, chief executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), to hear the latter's report on his job.

After Tsang's report, the president said that Hong Kong's overall situation is good, featuring sustained economic growth, social stability, and improved living standards.

The central government is satisfied with the work of Tsang and the HKSAR government, Hu said, pledging to continue to wholeheartedly support the chief executive and the HKSAR government.

Regarding the HKSAR government's consultation with the public on methods for selecting the chief executive in 2007 and forming the Legislative Council in 2008, Hu said that the HKSAR government's package for constitutional development is in conformity with the Basic Law and relevant explanations and resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), that it has won wide support from the public, and is a plan that further promotes democracy.

The constitutional development in Hong Kong concerns the principle of "one country, two systems", the implementation of the Basic Law in Hong Kong, the interests of all walks of life in Hong Kong, and long-term prosperity and stability Hong Kong, he pointed out. "The central authorities have always attached great importance to it," he stressed.

The central authorities have constantly supported the HKSAR's development of democracy in accordance with the Basic Law and Hong Kong realities, the president said.

The implementation of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong", and a high degree of autonomy aims to make Hong Kong compatriots masters of their own destiny and able to exercise their democratic rights, Hu said. But as in any country or region, where the development of democracy is a gradual, historical process, the development of democracy in Hong Kong also has to be promoted in a step-by-step, substantial and orderly way, he said.

The president said that the Hong Kong democratic system is sure to advance in an orderly and gradual manner, providing the Hong Kong people from all walks of life give priority to the overall interests of Hong Kong and its long-term prosperity and stability, and conduct pragmatic studies and attain consensus extensively and make efforts actively to create conditions.

Hu said that it is a common aspiration of the Hong Kong people, at present, to maintain stability, accelerate development, and promote harmony. He expressed his hope that the HKSAR government and Hong Kong people from all walks of life cherish the hard-won sound situation in Hong Kong. He also hoped that they would unite and make concerted efforts to constantly enhance Hong Kong's international competitiveness and create a better future for Hong Kong.

Chinese President Hu Jintao also had a meeting with Edmund Ho Hau Wah, chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), at the Zhongnanhai compound Tuesday.

After listening to a report from Ho, the president praised the efforts made by Ho and the SAR government.

In 2005, Macao's economy has continued to grow, the social situation has remained stable and harmonious, while the third election of the Legislative Council was smoothly organized. Meanwhile, Macao succeeded in making its old urban area a World Heritage site and hosted the East Asian Games, Hu said.

Hu attributed these achievements to the joint efforts of the SAR government and all circles in Macao. The central government will continue to provide full support to the chief executive and the SAR government to fulfill their work in accordance with law, he stressed.

Hu said that Macao is at a new historic starting-point; he hoped that the SAR government would lead people all walks of life in Macao in taking opportunities, being enterprising and making positive efforts to deal with new situations and problems that may occur in the development of the SAR.

Present at the meeting were Vice-President Zeng Qinghong, member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Gang, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, and Vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Liao Hui, among others.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2005)

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