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第七屆立法會是在完善選舉制度下,透過公平、公開及公正的選舉選出的議會。會期由今年一月開始,90名立法會議員今天﹙1月3日﹚早上在行政長官監誓下宣誓就職。我祝賀第七屆立法會議員依法履職,議會實現良好開局,香港步入良政善治的時代。

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今天是2022年元旦,我向全港市民送上祝福,祝願大家新年進步、身體健康。

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I welcome and support the Central Government’s white paper on “Hong Kong: Democratic Progress under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems” published two days ago. Based on historical facts, the white paper gives a full account of the development of Hong Kong from having no democracy under British colonial rule to making democratic progress since its return to the Motherland. It spells out to the world that Hong Kong’s democratic system was established by the Central Authorities in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law after the handover. It is not a legacy of the British colonial rule, not to mention that it is neither established by any foreign country nor a concession forced from the Central Authorities.

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Tomorrow (December 19) will be the Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election Polling Day.  With great anticipation, I am ready to cast my vote to usher in a new term of LegCo.  This election, being the first to be held under the improved electoral system and on the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, bears great significance.  A total of 90 Members will be returned by the Election Committee constituency, functional constituencies and geographical constituencies.  I call on all electors to take part in the voting, both for the sake of Hong Kong and for our own future.

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The Legislative Council (LegCo) election is this Sunday (December 19). Undoubtedly, anti-China disruptors would be the last to wish for its success. Unhappy to see Hong Kong regaining order and prosperity and disgruntled by the success of “One Country, Two Systems”, these people have tried every means to vilify the Hong Kong National Security Law and showed disapproval of “patriots administering Hong Kong” while plotting to sabotage and interfere with the upcoming election.

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December 4 marks the national Constitution Day. To deepen public understanding of the constitutional basis of Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government has organised the Constitution Day Seminar for today. This is the fifth year that a promotional event for the Constitution Day is being held in the HKSAR. The seminar, with the theme “The Constitution and ‘One Country, Two Systems’” and the aim of promoting awareness and the spirit of the Constitution in the community, will look into the relationship between the Constitution and the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and explore ways to better implement the latter in Hong Kong under the framework of the former. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government for co-organising this seminar with the HKSAR Government, and my thanks to the Endeavour Education Centre for being the supporting organisation.

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The seventh Legislative Council (LegCo) Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will be held on December 19. This is the first LegCo Election held under the improved electoral system, whereby a total of 90 LegCo Members will be elected from the Election Committee constituency, functional constituencies and geographical constituencies, marking a significant milestone in the implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”.

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The Legislative Council (LegCo) delivers important constitutional functions, from enacting laws, approving budgets, taxation and public expenditure, to monitoring the Government, raising questions and debating issues, as well as receiving public complaints.

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Upon assumption of office as Chief Secretary for Administration in June this year, I embarked on reviewing and improving the operation and implementation of our legal aid system. This was in response to the discontent of society, in particular the Legislative Council (LegCo), with the abuse, monopolisation and other procedural problems of legal aid. A steering group chaired by me, comprising staff of the Legal Aid Department (LAD) and the Administration Wing, has recently completed the review and proposed a series of enhancement measures.

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Last Wednesday, the Chief Executive delivered her fifth Policy Address entitled “Building a Bright Future Together”, the first policy speech since double safeguards have been provided by the Hong Kong National Security Law and the improved electoral system in the HKSAR. A total of some 310 new initiatives are introduced in the Policy Address and its Supplement to outline a blueprint for Hong Kong’s future development. With a new development pattern designed to further capitalise on our strengths and focus on addressing public concerns, a new era of good administration and governance is unfolding.

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The Central Government Offices (CGO) recaptured its original look earlier this morning. All the water-filled barriers outside the CGO were removed to restore the original image of Hong Kong as a safe city. As the CGO is the symbol of Hong Kong’s governing core, its revived image of safety signifies the return of security, stability and confidence to the city. With water-filled barriers elsewhere either having been or about to be removed, Hong Kong has fully resumed the normalcy of safety.

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The Chief Executive and I, together with Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux, attended the flag-raising ceremony and the National Day reception held at the Golden Bauhinia Square this morning in celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On this day of significance, I wish our country continued peace, prosperity and vibrancy, and may Hong Kong prosper with social harmony and stability.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the People’s Republic of China yesterday published the “Facts Sheet: US Interference in Hong Kong Affairs and Support for Anti-China, Destabilising Forces”, which sets out the facts and evidence to prove that the US has grossly interfered in Hong Kong’s affairs and intervened to support anti-China, destabilising forces. I fully support the MFA’s approach of publishing the fact sheet to sternly denounce the hegemonic acts of the US.

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The 2021 Election Committee (EC) Subsector Ordinary Elections are taking place tomorrow (September 19). Enormous efforts have been made by the Government to ensure that these very important elections will be held successfully in a fair, impartial and clean manner. After visiting the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) four days ago to hear an update about the preparatory work, I went to the central counting station and polling station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai today to oversee the preparations and arrangements for polling and counting. It was heartening indeed to see the staff there working full steam ahead in the run-up to the elections. As a token of support for their hard work, I offered them encouragement and recognition right away. For the upcoming elections, new measures, including electronic distribution of ballot papers and setting up of special queues for voters in need, are in place to streamline and better safeguard the voting process. Being the first election held under the improved electoral system, the EC election bears unique significance as it represents a major step in our implementation of the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle.

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Hong Kong is gearing up for three key elections in the coming eight months. By virtue of the newly amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law and the corresponding local legislation, the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee (CERC) was established and commenced operation on July 6, with its first meeting held on July 14.

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The violent riots that had taken place in Hong Kong since June 2019, including acts of assault on innocent people, vandalism of public properties, wanton hurling of petrol bombs, serious disruption of traffic and so on, not only shattered the overall safety of the territory, but also had the more profound consequences of ruining people’s law-abidingness and breeding homegrown terrorism. Although the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR (National Security Law) has put an instant end to the chaotic situation and restored the overall security of Hong Kong, pro-independence activists and saboteurs have not given up on their pursuit.

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