Integration between Hong Kong and the mainland is inevitable and closer ties will not damage the SAR's autonomy, visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said. Mr Straw also said he was satisfied that 'one country, two systems' has been well implemented since 1997 and was confident that both Beijing and the SAR will democratise the political system in accordance with the Basic Law. Speaking after a whirlwind visit on which he met Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and lawmakers from all major parties, Mr Straw disputed concerns that cross-border ties would increase at the expense of Hong Kong's autonomy. 'I think it's self-evident that there will be even closer economic association between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta,' he said. 'Does Hong Kong's economic future and prosperity lie to a significant degree with the growth and prosperity of China? Yes.' Mr Straw was commenting on warnings by the former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang of the danger of blurring the two systems. He said he was confident Hong Kong could endure the present economic challenges, make use of opportunities and remain prosperous. During his meetings, Mr Straw raised issues such as the progress towards democracy, the new ministerial system and the proposed anti-subversion law. In a statement, Mr Tung said he told Mr Straw the main task of his second term would be the economy. 'We have to reposition ourselves as the world city of Asia to harness our competitive advantages and unique qualities,' Mr Tung said. Mr Straw said Britain considered the SAR's high degree of autonomy, the rule of law and independence of the courts were unaffected after the change of flags. Asked whether remarks made by Vice-Premier Qian Qichen last month about a fast democratic pace breaching the spirit of the Joint Declaration, Mr Straw said he had confidence in Beijing. '[China is] as committed as we are to implementing the Joint Declaration and in their case, the Basic Law,' he said.