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Transcript of SCMA's remarks at media session
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     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Patrick Nip, at a media session after attending the meeting of the Panel on Constitutional Affairs at the Legislative Council today (January 15):
 
Reporter: Does that mean there is no guarantee that people have been disqualified ... because this is really the first time such cases happened. Also, in regard to what the Liaison Office's Director said, "Hong Kong SAR Government and the Liaison Office can walk closer together", does that violate Basic Law Article 18?
 
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: As regards the by-election, as I just mentioned, I would not comment on individual cases but the Returning Officer will exercise his or her power in accordance with the relevant legislation when he or she received the nomination. So at this stage, I would not comment on any speculations or individual cases or circumstances.
 
‚Äč     As regards the role of the CPG Liaison Office (Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), I think it's very clear that the CPG Liaison Office has its role and responsibilities as entrusted by the Central People's Government. It's very clear that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is responsible for governing HKSAR in accordance with the Basic Law. But nowadays, there are increasing areas in our economic development, in social issues, etc, that involve close liaison with the Mainland authorities, be it the Central Authorities or at the provincial government level. My bureau, and also other bureaux as well, will continue to enhance our liaison and co-operation with the Central People's Government, the relevant ministries and also the provincial governments, for example in the development of the Bay Area (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area), the Belt and Road Initiative and also in areas like environmental protection or people studying, working or living in the Mainland. So it's only natural that where circumstances require, we would closely liaise with the Central People's Government in pursuing these initiatives. In this respect, the CPG Liaison Office is performing its liaison role and supporting the HKSAR Government in these areas. But it's very clear that the HKSAR Government is responsible for governing Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law.
 
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
 
Ends/Monday, January 15, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:27
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