28 April 2001

Open Letter to President Jiang

Dear President Jiang,

Your coming visit to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be your third since the handover. The Democratic Party of Hong Kong welcomes the visits by you and other leaders in the central government so that you have first hand knowledge of the situation here and the diverse views of the people of the SAR.

In our open letter to you during your July 1998 visit, the Democratic Party urged that a full-fledged democracy be established in the SAR, and we also raised with you our views on China's reform and her path towards democracy.

In anticipation of your forthcoming visit to Hong Kong to take part in the Fortune Forum, we would like to take this opportunity once again to present to you and the central government our views on some matters which we believe are of the utmost importance to our nation. We hope that there will be open and candid dialogue between the central government and the local political parties in the SAR, including the Democratic Party. In this connection, we must express our regret that so far there is a total lack of communication between our Party and the central government as well as regional authorities.

We set out our views on the following 5 points:

Peaceful reunification with Taiwan

The Democratic Party has long supported peaceful reunification between the Mainland and Taiwan, and we have always been against the independence of Taiwan. However, in order to bring about reunification from divided rule, the first thing to do is to eliminate the cross-straits tension, and resume peaceful negotiations with a view to identifying common interests. Steps should then be taken to expand the scope of cross-straits exchanges, remove the restrictions on visits by people across the straits, develop steady Mainland-Taiwan relationship, and enhance the people to people contact between Hong Kong and Taiwan. And in all these, Hong Kong could be used as a bridge for dialogue between the Mainland and Taiwan.

Connecting with the international community

The Democratic Party commends the efforts of the central government in leading our country into the international community and playing an important role therein. During this period of consolidation, we believe that our nation cannot be truly strong with only economic progress, but without the corresponding advancement in the political and social arenas.

Our Party is in support of China's early accession to the World Trade Organization and has worked very hard to lobby members of the US Congress to support Permanent Normal Trade Relation with China. In the meantime, it is our belief that, as a nation, we should not only be fully prepared for the opportunities but also the challenges that lie ahead.

Beijing's application to host the 2008 Olympics has the full support of our Party. Not only is it an honor for the Chinese people to be able to host the Olympics in this new millennium, but it also means that Asia's achievement in sports is recognized.

Advancing towards democracy in the SAR and the nation as a whole

Due to historical reasons, the Mainland and Hong Kong have different political, economic and social systems. As Chinese citizens, we ardently look forward to political reforms that will bring democracy to the entire nation, with universal suffrage, the relaxation of restrictions on political parties, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and effective monitoring of the government, etc. Political reforms leading to full democracy are essential to China's modernization and stability.

Members of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong have always recognized the historic significance of Hong Kong's return to China and have long since advocated China's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong on the basis that there be democracy in Hong Kong. When the Basic Law was promulgated in 1990, because of the political climate then prevailing in the Mainland, the political system for Hong Kong was extremely conservative. Since the handover, despite numerous difficulties, Hong Kong has remained a politically stable international city, and is well qualified to adopt a more democratic and open political system. The current political setup in the SAR makes it impossible to have a Chief Executive and a legislature which have credibility and legitimacy. As the Basic Law promises eventual universal suffrage, and the people of Hong Kong yearn for that, we see no reason for any further delay in establishing full democracy here. We appreciate the central government's concern for political stability in Hong Kong, but we must point out that it is only when our political system has the acceptance and support of our people that the government can rule with the mandate of our people, and stability and harmony of our society can be assured.

Rehabilitation of the June Fourth incident

Over the last century, Chinese people have continually fought for democracy in many different ways. The student movement of 1989 was a patriotic movement against corruption, and for freedom and democracy. The government's use of force to suppress the movement led to many casualties among the students and other participants. That was a national tragedy. The Democratic Party repeats our demand that the central government rehabilitate the June Fourth incident out of respect both for the people and history. We urge the National People's Congress to set up a commission of enquiry to ascertain the truth about the whole incident, find out and punish the culprits responsible for it, and compensate the victims and their families.

Hong Kong people arrested in or denied entry to the Mainland

The economic and social ties between the Hong Kong SAR and the Mainland have kept on strengthening since the handover. In the meantime, we have received repeated reports and complaints about Hong Kong people or businessmen being unlawfully detained in China. Even the SAR government and some SAR delegates to the National People's Congress have said that they have encountered insurmountable difficulties in trying to follow up on these cases.

Our Party accepts that Hong Kong people going into the Mainland must abide by the laws there. However, we are concerned about the fact that some local authorities in the Mainland have not followed their own laws in dealing with some Hong Kong people. We urge that a comprehensive notification and support system be established with the SAR government as soon as possible.

Furthermore, there are a number of democrats and dissidents who are denied entry to the Mainland and the number appears to be growing. The Democratic Party appeals to the central government to eliminate ˇ§the blacklistˇ¨ because Hong Kong people should not be denied their right to return to their motherland simply because of their political beliefs.

In writing this letter, the Democratic Party seeks to explore common ground while reserving our differences of views and we trust you will appreciate this spirit. After all, we believe that mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust are fundamental to good governance under the policy of ˇ§One Country, Two Systems.ˇ¨ Looking forward to your reply and wishing you success at the Fortune Forum, I remain,


Yours faithfully,



Martin Lee


The Democratic Party of Hong Kong




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