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SCMA speaks to media after opening 'Connect to HK at Shanghai Expo' pavilion

The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, this (December 12) morning officiated at the opening of the "Connect to Hong Kong at Shanghai Expo" pavilion set up at the venue of the 44th Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo in Victoria Park. Following is the transcript of his remarks to the media after the opening ceremony :

We warmly welcome the hosting of Expo 2010 in Shanghai. This will be a great opportunity for Hong Kong to promote our status as Asia's world city. We also believe that this will strengthen the Shanghai-Hong Kong cooperation. It will also enhance the international status of China through the hosting of such an international mega-event.

As for the 2012 constitutional development, in the course of the last week or so we have already commenced the consultation at the district council level. We have been to four district councils and in overall terms district councillors support the objective of making progress in 2012 to pave the way for implementation of universal suffrage in 2017 and 2020. They also believe that it will be helpful to enhance the participation of elected district councillors in the election of the Chief Executive and also the Legislative Council in 2012.

As for the possibility of five legislative councillors resigning from the geographical constituencies and the need to hold by-elections, we will comply with the relevant legislation in organising the by-elections if necessary. At the same time, we believe that in the course of the first six months of 2010, we should have adequate room and time both to organise the by-elections and also to present our proposals for amending Annexes I and II of the Basic Law to roll forward the constitutional development package for 2012. So, we will handle work on both tracks to the best of our abilities and in line with the Basic Law and relevant legislation.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)