Zhang Dejiang (2nd R, rear), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) and a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, joins a discussion with deputies from south China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region during the second session of the 12th NPC, in Beijing, capital of China, March 6, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang on Thursday called for a smooth election of Hong Kong's next chief executive by universal suffrage.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the call during a panel discussion with lawmakers from Hong Kong at the ongoing annual parliamentary session.
"It has been the persistent standpoint of the central government to support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in developing democracy step by step in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law," Zhang said.
Realizing universal suffrage in the chief executive election, an important change in Hong Kong's political system, is related to Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability as well as national sovereignty, security and development, he said.
The universal suffrage must be in line with Hong Kong's actual situation, the HKSAR Basic Law and related NPC Standing Committee decisions, Zhang said, adding that the chief executive must love the country and Hong Kong.
Zhang said the "one country, two systems" policy has been a success. He called for confidence in the policy to ensure prosperity and stability in the region.
The top legislator encouraged NPC deputies from HKSAR to actively take part in public consultation, engage in practical discussion and reasonable communication, and pool consensus, in a bid to create favorable conditions for realizing universal suffrage in the chief executive election.
The SAR government launched a public consultation in December on the methods for selecting the chief executive in 2017 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2016.
Zhang also expressed his hope that the deputies could give full support to the HKSAR chief executive and government in exercising their administration as mandated by law.
While participating in a panel discussion with lawmakers from Macao SAR, Zhang said the country's current comprehensive reform has brought new opportunity for Macao.
Macao should make good use of this opportunity and be prepared for adversity while in prosperity and work on long-term plans, Zhang said.
The top legislator hoped the deputies from Macao to continue to support the chief executive and government in realizing all-round and sustainable economic social development in the region.
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