The central government has the power under the Basic Law to decide whether there is a 'need' to change Hong Kong's political system, one of the drafters of the city's mini-constitution says. Xu Chongde was one of four mainland legal experts Xinhua quoted on Thursday as saying that any change in how the chief executive and legislature was elected would not be decided solely by people in Hong Kong. Elaborating on those comments on RTHK yesterday, he said that whether Hong Kong's demand for universal suffrage to elect the next chief executive was reasonable or not could be open to discussion. 'Whether this demand will be accepted ... depends on [meeting] the requirements of the Basic Law. Another [consideration] is 'need'. Who will decide whether there is such a need? My view is that it's the central government who will make the decision.' Annex I of the Basic Law states that 'if there is a need' to amend the electoral method, it must be approved by two-thirds of the Legislative Council, the chief executive and the NPC Standing Committee. Asked whether Hong Kong people could make such a decision by themselves, Mr Xu said: '[If that were the case] isn't it tantamount to independence?' Mr Tung said yesterday the government would find an arrangement in the public interest. 'President Hu has said the central government was highly concerned with Hong Kong's constitutional review, the remarks by mainland legal experts have expressed this concern and reflected the role of the central government.' Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung denied the mainland experts were exerting pressure against public demand for greater democracy, saying they had only 'reminded' Hong Kong of the role of the central government and the principle of 'one country, two systems'.