BEIJING, Aug. 22 -- China's central government is resolute and sincere in realizing universal suffrage in Hong Kong's chief executive election in 2017, a senior official of the Chinese mainland said on Friday.
Zhou Bo, deputy head of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua that universal suffrage in the election of a chief executive and the Legislative Council is a goal set out in the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
He said that the central government's basic policy toward the special administrative region will not change.
Zhou hoped people from all walks of life in Hong Kong will create favorable conditions to help achieve this goal.
The HKSAR government has launched the legal procedure to revise the method for the selection of chief executive in 2017 and Legislative Council in 2016. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, is going to deliberate on the chief executive's report and make a decision.
"The central government is consistent, explicit and determined on the position and the principles concerning the development of Hong Kong's political system," said Zhou.
"Practices show that democracy must develop on the tracks of rule of law, otherwise it will sink into anarchy," he said. "Democracy must conform to local conditions and make progress step by step, otherwise it will lead to social turbulence and the people will suffer."
Only a person who loves the country and Hong Kong can hold the post of chief executive and properly take responsibility for safeguarding national interests and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
"One who acts against the central authority cannot become HKSAR chief executive," he said, adding it is natural political ethics.
The central government in June published a white paper named "The practice of the 'One country, two systems' policy in HKSAR". At a critical time of Hong Kong's political system development, some people in Hong Kong interpreted it as a change in the central government's policy toward the SAR.
Zhou denied the assertion, saying it is groundless. He added the white paper only reiterated the central government's consistent policies and guidelines.
"As a long-term basic state policy, the 'One country, two systems' will not change," Zhou said.
Continued and accurate implementation of the central government's basic policy toward Hong Kong conforms to the fundamental interests of the country, and is aligned with Hong Kong's overall and long-term interests, Zhou said, noting there is no need to change the policy.