Universal suffrage talks to start next month
Extensive consultation on the election of Hong Kong's chief executive and the formation of the Legislative Council will begin next month.
In his policy address, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen devoted 25 lines in two paragraphs to the contentious universal suffrage issue that has not endeared him to pan-democrats.
''We will listen closely to the views of different sectors of the community with an accommodating and open attitude,'' he said.
Based on the ''extensive public consultations,'' Tsang said ''we will put forth the relevant motions to the Legislative Council.''
''We hope that the final version of the motions would be passed by a two-thirds majority in the Legislative Council, so as to roll forward the democratic development of Hong Kong's constitutional arrangements.''
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decided in December 2007 that Hong Kong may implement universal suffrage for electing the chief executive in 2017 and for electing all Legco members in 2020.
Tsang devoted three paragraphs to the promotion of ''national education'' as Hong Kong's long-term mission.
''We will strengthen the elements on China in various key learning areas under the primary and secondary curricula.''
Mainland exchange activities for students will be organized. ''By aligning experiential learning with curriculum objectives and content, we hope to deepen national education.''
Tsang also devoted two paragraphs on the dispute over the proposed pay cut for civil servants in the upper salary and on the three grade structure review reports.
He said it was understandable that civil servants are seeking a better remuneration package.
But he believes staff unions will ''bear in mind the mission to serve the public and ensure the smooth operation of society.''
Tsang hoped that unions will continue dialogue with management through existing consultation channels.