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Transcript of remarks by CE at media session in Beijing

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session in Beijing to conclude her duty visit this evening (December 15):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, can you tell us what specific issues have you discussed with the two state leaders during the meetings, and did you discuss any issues about the Article 23 legislation?

Chief Executive: During my report of duty to the state leaders, we would normally just touch on very broad issues. Of course, all the issues relating to enhancing the implementation of the Basic Law in terms of the system, the policies and the practices, are constitutional responsibilities of the Chief Executive and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. My stance on the enactment of local legislation relating to Basic Law Article 23 is very clear. It has been made clear in my Election Manifesto and in my Policy Address, and the state leaders are fully aware of that position. As far as the issues that I have brought to the leaders' attention, especially those that I want more Central Authorities’ support, they will, broadly speaking, be related to the two major national initiatives that Hong Kong wants to play an active part, one is the Belt and Road Initiative, and the other is the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. In each of these initiatives, we would like the Central Authorities to give us the necessary policy and support for us to make our contribution.

Reporter: What's the Government's position on passing the amendments in LegCo Rules? And do you think that, are you worried that, you know, these changes might be unconstitutional?

Chief Executive: I think the LegCo President, in ruling the discussion on these amendments to the Rules of Procedure, has taken full account of the legal and constitutional position in the Basic Law, with the benefit of advice from the LegCo Secretariat’s legal advisors and also some outside legal advice. But of course, Hong Kong is a place where we are very proud of the rule of law, and we have an independent judiciary, so if anybody is unhappy about this decision or this outcome, then of course they could resort to seeking a judicial ruling. It is not for me to say that this particular amendment to the Rules of Procedure is unconstitutional because so far it is still being taken care of within the Legislative Council.


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