9 January 1997

Democratic Party Legislators Meet Chief Executive Designate C.H. Tung; Agreement on Importance of Working Together for Hong Kong's Future

The Democratic Party, the largest party in eth Legislative Council, today met Chief Executive designate C.H. Tung for the first time since his selection.  It was his first official meeting with a political party in Hong Kong.

Party Chairman Martin Lee, Vice-chairman Yeung Sum and legislators Szeto Wah, Fred Li, and Law Chi-kwong submitted to Mr. Tung a 30-page set of proposals on a range of political and livelihood issues, including the Provisional Legislature and the Bill of Rights, as well as housing, welfare and education concerns.

The meeting, which began at 5:00pm, lasted for well over an hour.  The democratic legislators welcomed Mr. Tung's willingness to meet and listen to the people of Hong Kong and their elected representatives, including voices of opposition.  It concluded with Chairman Martin Lee stating the Party "had common ground with Mr. Tung in their shared wish to see Hong Kong succeed and that while they differed on many fundamental issues it was important to maintain clear lines of communication in the future and to work together for the good of Hong Kong."

On the Provisional Legislature, the democratic legislators explained that if the appointed body purported to legislate in Hong Kong before 1 July 1997, they would have no choice but to go to court and detailed the legal difficulties posed by any laws made by the appointed legislature.  Chairman Martin Lee said their position on the Provisional Legislature was well understood by Mr. Tung.

The Party also disputed the description of them as "anti-China", citing a number of instances where the Democratic supported China – including the Joint Declaration, the resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong, lobbying for renewal of China's Most Favoured Nation status in the US and supporting the peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan.  Martin Lee said the Party would always support a policy if it was good for Hong Kong and would continue to oppose policies that were not in Hong Kong's best interests.

Mr. Tung said he would like to see the Democrat Party continue to work constructively for the Special Administrative Region.  He agreed it was important to meet frequently and that meetings would be held once every two months, with additional meetings for urgent matters.  Another meeting in March will continue the dialogue.


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