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
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
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,
The Democratic Party of Hong Kong