Confirmation of principles sought

Fanny Wong

THE Chinese side produced an eight-point text on principles for confirmation with the British side before going into negotiations on the 1994-95 electoral proposal.

The points mainly sought the British side's confirmation on the various agreements, including the Joint Declaration and convergence with Basic Law, that the two sides had reached in the past.

The Foreign Ministry said: ''The British side had all along refused to confirm some of the agreements and understandings already reached between the two sides.

''For the rest, it tried to avoid confirming their substance by paying lip service with no intention to observe or implement them when it came to concrete matters.'' The White Paper published by the British side touched on the fact that the Chinese side had spent the first three rounds of talks insisting that ''before discussion could move on to matters of substance, it was necessary for the two sides to reach agreement on a list of principles''.

The British side said it maintained that to be productive, the talks should deal with matters of substance, that is the practical electoral arrangements, on which no prior agreement had been reached.

Beijing sought confirmation of a gradual development of Hong Kong's political structure and the retention of an ''executive-led'' political structure before 1997 so that the system would converge with the Basic Law.

It also sought to confirm that the number of directly elected geographical seats in Legco should be confined to 20 and ''shall not be increased openly or in a disguised manner'' and that the functional constituency polls should not be turned into a form of direct elections on occupational basis.