In a speech to New York business leaders, chief executive insists that HK people support the political package The political reform proposal represents a major step forward to universal suffrage, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen told Americans yesterday, insisting that the package had the support of Hong Kong people. 'Each and every element of the proposal represents advancement for democracy,' he said. 'None of the elements is a retrograde step as implied by some legislators.' Mr Tsang was talking in New York after a speech to 350 business leaders in which he said Hong Kong had to take a building block approach to political reform and could not just 'clone a foreign system' onto the present structure. Asked what the government would do if the proposal failed to get the required two-thirds majority in the Legislative Council, Mr Tsang said the question should be referred back to opponents of the package. 'The important thing is that they have to consider very carefully this package - supported by Hong Kong people, devised after extensive consultation and also representing a major step forward. 'We will all be very disappointed if this package is going to fail.' Mr Tsang said some of the 'building blocks' were still missing, such as the structure of the legislature after universal suffrage is reached. 'There is a question of the political institutions underpinning a mature system exercising universal suffrage ... there is a question of grooming politicians in the process,' he said. On his first trip to New York as chief executive, Mr Tsang also made his feelings known regarding the recent trade quota wrangling between China and the United States. 'We are for free trade, we don't believe in quotas,' he said in his speech. 'In the case of the relationship between mainland China and the United States, there is trade surplus to China's advantage,' he said. 'But you must remember that the money that China makes is ploughed back into America, in terms of buying your Treasury bills. So whatever money it gets, it gives it back to America. If you look at the whole thing in its totality, one wonders: what's the complaint?' The address was delivered hours before he was due to fly to Washington to meet government officials - including US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He urged business leaders to not look upon Hong Kong as 'just another Chinese city'. Drawing heavily on parallels between Hong Kong's self-appointment as 'Asia's World City' and New York, which he referred to as 'America's World City' he highlighted the 'outstanding opportunities sprouting up in Hong Kong for American businesspeople'. The lunch was part of a hectic itinerary that saw Mr Tsang rushing off to a meeting with former president Bill Clinton to discuss Hong Kong's economic development, political reform, and Sino-US relations.