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Some thoughts on the 24th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law

Twenty-four years ago to the day, the National People's Congress approved the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), which enshrined in law the policies of "One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy to be implemented in Hong Kong.

The Basic Law took five years to draft. The 180 members of the Basic Law Consultative Committee established in Hong Kong, who came from different strata and sectors of society, gave their views on the provisions of the Basic Law in a comprehensive manner during that long period of time.

Before its approval, the Basic Law went through two drafts - the Draft Basic Law for Solicitation of Opinions and the Basic Law (Draft). After revision in the light of views collected from the Hong Kong community through extensive consultation, the Basic Law took its final shape as approved on April 4, 1990.

Today, we are about to take an important step in accordance with the part of the Basic Law on Hong Kong's constitutional development towards the implementation of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council. As this step bears historic significance for Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government is now conducting a public consultation exercise on the methods for selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2016. With still a month to go before the end of the exercise, I hope that you will seize the opportunity to put forward your views and proposals. Let's talk and put our brains together to achieve universal suffrage.

The Basic Law approved 24 years ago, including the chapters entitled "Relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Political Structure", was the result of lengthy discussion and consultation. Therefore, when we discuss our constitutional development today, we should stay within the requirements of the Basic Law.

I sincerely hope that members of the community will put forward proposals to achieve universal suffrage within the framework of the Basic Law.

April 4, 2014