Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session tonight (October 21) after meeting with representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students on constitutional development at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Jockey Club Building:
Reporter: The students want changes to the selection method for the Chief Executive in 2017, but the platform that you proposed as well as the report will only address changes after 2017 - maybe 2022. So how could that convince other students to retreat, and are there any other concessions that you could make?
Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, I notice that there are already a lot of groups that have come out in public to make this plea to the student community to retreat from the protest scenes, because it has been causing a lot of disruptions to our daily life as well as to the local business. Of course, today's dialogue is the first, hopefully, of several rounds of dialogue, and that's why we have taken this opportunity to exchange views with the student representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students on matters concerning constitutional development. As far as their position is concerned, I'm afraid that we can only agree to disagree, because our firm position is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017 has to be done in accordance with the legal framework laid down by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on the 31st of August. If the students could not accept this position, then I'm afraid we will continue to have different views.
Reporter: The talks have ended in disagreement, basically. So, you know, what happens if the protesters don't clear? Is Beijing going to intervene? C Y alluded or hinted that it could be an option.
Chief Secretary for Administration: We do not expect to reach agreement with the student representatives in a single dialogue tonight, but I do find the discussion very constructive, because we are able to exchange views on important subjects relating to constitutional development. And we have made a plea that we should not just look at the election in 2017, and that's why I've suggested that we will seriously consider, together with various stakeholders, the idea of a platform to consider the long-term constitutional development for Hong Kong. So there are indeed some sort of positive responses from the Government in this dialogue, and I very much look forward to receiving similar reactions from the student representatives.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 22:38