The Policy Address 2000

Constitutional Development

106. Our political structure outlined in the Basic Law is the manifestation of a spirit which encompasses respect for history and respect for reality. It establishes the principle of gradual and orderly progress and provides the SAR with ten years during which we can strengthen the foundation of our political structure and accumulate experience through the process of implementation before taking the next steps. Over the past three years, there have been different voices in the community: some favour expediting political reforms, while others are concerned that Hong Kong's political environment may be changing too rapidly. Constitutional development is obviously a most important subject. It encompasses a wide spectrum of issues. It will have a fundamental bearing on society as a whole. We need to allow for a period of gestation. We also need to create the appropriate conditions and environment, and to enable views to mature through implementation. We have ample time to go through this evolutionary process.

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