Liaison office head is adamant the city will stay on course after Tung leaves Tung Chee-hwa's resignation will not set back Hong Kong's economic development or social stability, Beijing's top representative in the city said yesterday. Gao Siren , director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, emphasised that the central government would continue to give steady support to the chief executive and the Hong Kong government. He said Mr Tung had dealt effectively with a series of political, economic and social problems in the city in the past seven years. 'Mr Tung has done a lot of fruitful and innovative work in the successful implementation of the concepts of 'one country, two systems' and 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong',' Mr Gao said. Mr Gao said the central government would give serious consideration to the chief executive's resignation. 'This is a big issue but it will not affect Hong Kong's economic development and social stability,' Mr Gao said. 'That is because Hong Kong is known for its sound rule of law, mature social system and people's mentality.' He was adamant that the Hong Kong community would remain stable following Mr Tung's resignation. 'The central government will continue to unswervingly support the chief executive and the special administrative region government, to govern Hong Kong in accordance with laws so as to maintain prosperity and stability,' Mr Gao said. He declined to comment on whether the National People's Congress Standing Committee would make an interpretation of the Basic Law to clarify the provisions concerning the term of the successor to a chief executive who had left office before his tenure was over. Foreign consulates in Hong Kong yesterday expressed hope that the chief executive's successor would be selected in accordance with the rule of law and the wishes of Hong Kong people. A spokeswoman for the American consulate said the United States had had a close relationship with Hong Kong for many years, 'and has worked constructively with Mr Tung and with the Hong Kong government'. 'The US strongly supports the aspirations of the Hong Kong people for democracy through electoral reform and universal suffrage, as provided for by the Basic Law and within the framework of one country, two systems.' A spokesman at the British consulate said the consulate understood the resignation had been prompted by 'health reasons', and declined to comment on speculation about the role of mainland authorities.