Updated at 6.51pm: The government on Thursday dismissed a US-based human rights group report critical of Hong Kong?s democratic development as a ?distorted picture?. This comes a day after the Human Rights Watch released its annual report on more than 70 countries. The report said that when Hong Kong?s government discussed constitutional reform last October, it failed to mention how and when the territory would achieve universal suffrage. This had been outlined in the Basic Law, the city?s mini-constitution, it noted. But a government spokesman on Thursday defended its reforms, saying they would take Hong Kong closer to achieving full democracy. ?The government?s package of proposals for the 2007/08 elections, if approved by the Legislative Council, would have broadened substantially public participation in the Chief Executive and Legco elections,? the spokesman said. ?Regrettably, as 24 legislators decided to vote against the package, it did not receive the required two-thirds majority support of all Legco members for it to be processed further,? he added. At the time, the government proposed doubling the size of the territory?s 800-member leader selection committee and expanding the legislature. The plan entailed adding 529 city councilors to the leader selection panel and adding five legislative seats for the councillors. But in December, pro-democracy legislators voted down the proposals, which they said did not state when the city could enjoy full democracy. The Human Rights Watch report also criticised China?s central government for not promoting democracy in Hong Kong. ?There is no indication that Beijing . . . will support any initiative to further ?one-person, one-vote? democracy in Hong Kong,? the report said. Commenting on the central government?s role, the spokesman said it had the power to determine Hong Kong?s political system. ?Unlike sovereign states, Hong Kong could not decide its political structure on its own,? he said. ?We hope that commentators will respect this constitutional fact when commenting on Hong Kong?s constitutional development,? he added. Hong Kong?s pro-democracy camp, which holds 25 seats in the 60-member legislature, wants full democracy by 2012. Many Hong Kong people want the right to choose their leader and lawmakers. But Beijing officials ruled out these demands in 2004, saying such changes had to be made gradually.