Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the press conference on the 2016 Policy Address at Central Government Offices, Tamar, this afternoon (January 13):
Reporter: Can I ask, have you raised the case of the missing booksellers with the authorities in Beijing, and do you have any credible information about where they are and what's happened to them?
Chief Executive: I have. The short answer is I have, and I said as much at the press standup yesterday before the Executive Council meeting. The Hong Kong Government places a great deal of emphasis on this case. I returned to Hong Kong after my overseas leave on the 31st of December last year. On the 1st of January, namely the following day, a report was received by the Police from the wife of the missing person, and on the following day I had a telephone conversation and then in the same afternoon I had a meeting with the Acting Secretary for Security and asked him to provide a report on the case. And we've been following up on the case and, despite the fact that the wife of the missing person had withdrawn the case from the Police, basically cancelling her report, the Police is still carrying out investigation. And all these really underline the fact that we attach a great deal of emphasis to this case. And as I said, on the 4th of January - and I called a special press meeting in that early afternoon - and I said that because there had been reports of Mainland authorities arresting the person or abducting the person in Hong Kong, and said if that was the case then it would not be acceptable under the "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy principle and would not be acceptable under the Basic Law. And we've been repeating, not just myself but also my senior colleagues in Government, we've been repeating the same statement, the same position and the same message ever since the case was received on the 1st of January.
Reporter: Sir, are you proposing a ban on the lawful, legal sale of ivory in Hong Kong, and if so, what do you think the time frame of that would be? When would it potentially be implemented?
Chief Executive: We will take steps ... we will take steps to ban totally the sale of ivory in Hong Kong. It will be a total ban. As to the matter of timing, we will do it expeditiously, as quickly as we can, but this will, as you probably appreciate, require legislative amendments and that will be a matter for the Legislative Council.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:12