The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Draft) Consultation Report/Volume 1/Section 2

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1. Publicity and explanation of the Basic Law is important to the collection of opinions. Regarding the publicity programmes for this round of consultations, the CCBL having benefited from last year's experience in the first round of consultations continued to adopt some of the more effective forms of publicity. It has also improved and supplemented these forms in accordance with the characteristics and conditions of this round of consultations to achieve better results.

Themes of Publicity

2. The themes of publicity in this round of consultations are:

( 1 ) results of the first consultation exercise;

( 2 ) making the Hong Kong public understand that the drafting of the Basic Law has gone through repeated consultations. After this round of consultations, the Basic Law (Draft) will be further amended and improved;

( 3 ) deepening Hong Kong people's understanding of the Basic Law (Draft);

( 4 ) key issues for this round of consultations; and

( 5 ) urging the public to take this last opportunity to put forward their views and amendment proposals.

Publicity Efforts

3. On 26 February, the CCBL held a press conference to brief the press on the distribution of copies of the Basic Law (Draft) and on the consultation, and to call on the public to take this final opportunity to express their views.

4. Printing and distributing the Basic Law (Draft)

4.1 The CCBL was entrusted by the Drafting Committee for the Basic Law with the responsibility of printing and distributing copies of the Basic Law (Draft), both in Chinese (in traditional Chinese characters) and English, in Hong Kong.

4.2 A total of 576,000 copies of the Basic Law (Draft) were printed, 435,000 copies in Chinese and 141,000 copies in English. These copies were available to the public at the CCBL premises, the venues of the Basic Law exhibition organized by the CCBL and 876 distribution points through the following banks (listed in alphabetical order):

( 1 ) Bank of China Group

( 2 ) The Bank of East Asia, Ltd.

( 3 ) The Bank of Tokyo Ltd.

( 4 ) The Commercial Bank of Hong Kong Ltd.

( 5 ) The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.

( 6 ) Hang Seng Bank Ltd.

( 7 ) The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation

( 8 ) Liu Chong Hing Bank Ltd.

( 9 ) Standard Chartered Bank

( 10 ) Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd.

( 11 ) Union Bank of Hong Kong Ltd.

4.3 At the same time, more than 500 schools and organizations wrote to the CCBL for large quantities of the Draft to be distributed among their students and members. As a result, the distribution of the Draft was more extensive, reaching every stratum of society. With the assistance of overseas Chinese organizations and bookstores, as well as two Hong Kong banks, copies of the Draft were made available in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States to people abroad, especially overseas Chinese, for reference.

4.4 By the end of the consultation period, a total of 574,300 copies of the Draft were distributed, 434,300 copies in Chinese and 140,000 copies in English.

4.5 The CCBL also prepared Chinese and English tapes as well as braille copies of the Basic Law (Draft) for distribution through the Hong Kong Society for the Blind.

5. Printing of the Reference Papers for the Basic Law (Draft)

To help the public understand the drafting process, the amendments made after the first round of comprehensive consultations as well as the background of the controversy about the future political structure, the Secretariat of the CCBL published a set of reference papers to be distributed together with the Basic Law (Draft). The reference papers were made up of three parts:

( 1 ) The Basic Law: Drafting and Consultation

( 2 ) Table of Comparison between the Draft Basic Law for Solicitation of Opinions and the Basic Law (Draft)

( 3 ) Discussion on the Design of the Political Structure and Its Development

By the end of the consultation period, a total of 320,800 copies of the reference papers, 251,150 copies in Chinese and 69,650 copies in English, were distributed by the CCBL.

6. Printing of the Basic Law (Draft) Made Simple booklets

The contents of the Basic Law involve many complicated legal concepts. To make them readily comprehensible to the general public, the Secretariat of the CCBL published the Basic Law (Draft) Made Simple. The booklet introduces the various parts of the Basic Law with pictures and in simple language. This presentation is welcomed by schools and grass-roots individuals and organizations. A total of 253,710 copies of the booklet were given away, 244,000 copies in Chinese and 9,710 copies in English.

7. Basic Law exhibition

7.1 The opening ceremony of the Basic Law exhibition organized by the Secretariat of the CCBL was held on 28 March at the ground floor plaza of the HongkongBank Headquarters Building in Central District. The ceremony was performed by Mr Xu Jiatuan, Director of the Xin Hua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch) and Dr Ann Tse Kai, Chairman of the CCBL. The itinerant exhibition was later held at 10 venues across the territory. There were more than 25,700 visitor- counts. The schedule of the exhibition was as follows:

Venue Date
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Head Office 28 March -- 2 April
New Town Plaza, Shatin 3 April -- 9 April
City Plaza, Taikooshing 12 April -- 19 April
Tuen Mun Town Plaza 20 April -- 30 April
New World Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui 3 May -- 14 May

7.2 After the Basic Law exhibition was held at the above-mentioned venues, the exhibition panels were lent to the Caritas for half a month to be displayed at its five community and youth centres.

8. Publicity through the mass media

8.1 To facilitate consultation on the Basic Law (Draft), from February onwards the CCBL continued to appoint People and Grey Advertising Ltd. as its media consultant for this round of consultations, to be responsible for drawing up a publicity programme for promoting the Basic Law.

8.2 The objectives of the advertising programme in this round of consultations were to build up a good image for the Basic Law (Draft), encourage the public to read the text of the Basic Law (Draft), and emphasize that the consultation on the Basic Law would soon be over, urging the public to put forward their views in this final round of consultations.

8.3 Under the initial work plan for this consultation period, the publicity campaign through the mass media was launched in three stages:

( 1 ) Announcement of the date of publication of the Basic Law (Draft);

( 2 ) Consultation period following the publication of the Basic Law (Draft); and

( 3 ) Final phase of the consultation period.

8.4 In this round of consultations, with the assistance of the government and the coorperation of the four broadcasting stations, Basic Law-related messages such as those on Basic Law-related activities and the call on the public to take this last chance to voice their opinions were broadcast at A.P.I. time. Other media also provided advertising spaces either on preferential terms or free of charge. In addition, seven CCBL members also helped in the publicity drive by appearing in television promos.

8.5 Media tactics

8.5.1 Publicity through the mass media took the forms of advertisement on television, radio and in the newspapers, and posters at MTR stations.

8.5.2 On television, the CCBL first of all released a 10-second and a 15-second reminder advertisements from 27 February onwards, officially announcing the distribution of copies of the Basic Law (Draft). From mid-March onwards, a 30-second thematic advertisement with "painting" as the theme was officially released. In April, advertisements in which the amendments to the Draft Basic Law for Solicitation of Opinions were introduced by CCBL members were released. In May. the theme for the thematic advertisement was switched to "time". In addition, several reminder advertisements on the open seminars and discussion sessions organized by the Secretariat of the CCBL were also released during the consultation period.

8.5.3 In the press, various thematic, reminder and testimonial advertisements were placed, basically in line with the themes and messages broadcast on television. In addition, there were four types of tactical advertisements.

8.5.4 On the radio, a 30-second advertisement was broadcast announcing the distribution of copies of the Basic Law (Draft). Thematic advertisements with "painting" and "time" as the themes were also broadcast. In addition, there were several reminder advertisements on seminars and discussion sessions.

8.5.5 Posters with the themes of "painting" and "time" were produced and put up at MTR stations in March and May.

8.6 Throughout the consultation period, news concerning the Basic Law was frequently and widely covered by the mass media. This was effective in arousing the public's attention to the Basic Law.

8.7 The media publicity on the Basic Law was once suspended in June and July as a result of the Beijing incident. Only after the consultations were fully resumed at the end of July did the CCBL again publicize the Basic Law through various media. On 21 July, the CCBL released a statement in Hong Kong's major newspapers urging the public to continue to express their opinions on the Basic Law (Draft). Meanwhile, the Executive Committee also issued a statement calling on all people in the territory to work together for a better Hong Kong, to viphold the policy of "one country, two systems" and to work on the Basic Law. Some previous publicity promos were replaced with new ones (including a publicity footage using historical events as the theme was broadcast on television, five different thematic advertisements were placed in the newspapers and two types of posters were put up at MTR stations). The theme of publicity was on the spirit of the Executive Committee's statement mentioned above. It was hoped that the Hong Kong public will adopt a positive attitude in facing the present and future challenges.