Chief executive says inadequacies in his administration need to be ironed out Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said yesterday the government had improved its performance since last year's July 1 march but there was still room for improvement. He said the administration had striven to address public grievances since the 500,000-strong demonstration a year ago. 'I have to thank our citizens for their advice, encouragement and assistance throughout the year,' he said at a reception to mark the seventh anniversary of the handover. 'We have indeed improved our governance. Yet there are still inadequacies that need further improvement.' He said many people took to the streets on July 1 last year to express their discontent over the economy, their worries about the future and their criticisms of the government. Mr Tung said his administration had since made strides to address public grievances and improve governance in the face of severe challenges over the year. Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong said he was glad the chief executive had admitted the shortcomings in his governance. 'The government should step up communication with the public and heed their aspirations,' he said. Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun said Mr Tung's recognition of these inadequacies demonstrated only the chief executive's improvement in his public relations skills. 'What is more crucial is that Mr Tung must make genuine improvement [in his governance] in the future,' Mr To said. Mr Tung told more than 1,000 guests at the reception in the Convention and Exhibition Centre that the economy was seeing a strong rebound and people's confidence in the future had been restored. Efforts in the past year had produced good social and economic results but a lot more needed to be done to consolidate them. Many people had not benefited and their livelihoods had yet to improve, he said. Hong Kong's future was closely linked with the revival and advancement of the entire nation. 'It is our common goal and duty to maintain a healthy relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland,' he said. He also stressed that universal suffrage remained the ultimate goal. 'Taking forward constitutional development towards democracy in a gradual and orderly manner in accordance with the Basic Law, with the ultimate aim of practising universal suffrage, is our common goal,' he said. 'With seven years' experience in implementing 'one country, two systems', we are confident that Hong Kong will emerge stronger from any challenges in the future,' he said. Earlier, about 3,000 guests, including officials of the Hong Kong and Beijing governments, legislators and community leaders, attended a flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai to mark the anniversary.