CE's speech at National Day reception
Following is the English translation of the speech made by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, this (October 1) morning at the National Day reception at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Honourable Vice-Chairman Henry Fok, Director Gao Siren, Commissioner Yang Wenchang, Commander Wang Jitang, distinguished guests and friends,
Today we mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The people of Hong Kong join all Chinese people to share the joy of the festivities, the glory of our country's achievements and the pride of its rising international status. Yesterday I led the biggest ever delegation comprising representatives from different sectors of the Hong Kong
community to Beijing. I am particularly glad that we had the opportunity to attend the National Day celebrations in the capital and to share with Mainland compatriots their joy on this festive occasion.
The changes that have taken place since the birth of 'New China' have been breathtaking. In particular, 25 years of reform and opening up have enabled rapid modernisation. Now that we are re-united with the motherland, we can feel the impact of the surge in China's overall national strength. In the past year, China's first astronaut Yang Liwei and the Olympians who won 32
gold medals have visited Hong Kong one after the other. Their achievements have shown the world what China is capable of in the areas of technological advancement and sporting endeavour. They have demonstrated our nation's great progress in the area of physical fitness and, more importantly, intellectual and ideological quality. We are a vast country of 1.3 billion people,
yet our nation has met the population's basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. Now, we are moving on to build a more prosperous society where each and every person can realise his or her full potential. That is why we are confident about, and take pride in, our nation's future prosperity.
The fourth plenum of the 16th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has noted that maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong is a new subject in the Party's governance of the country under new circumstances. It called for adherence to the principles of "One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong people running Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy,
strict observance of the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region, and continuous progress in implementing the cause of "One Country, Two Systems". We deeply appreciate our country's care and concern for Hong Kong. A powerful and thriving motherland is the best guarantee for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. And, a Hong Kong that works well will
enable us to even better play our unique role in the country's modernisation.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will continue its initiatives to maintain the momentum of the economic recovery and sustain growth. We have to seize all opportunities leveraging on the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. We need to do practical work to allow more people to enjoy the benefits of the economic rebound and improve their
The HKSAR Government will also continue to strive to improve governance. We are committed to strengthening communication with people of different backgrounds and sectors, proactively responding to the voice of our citizenry and fostering social solidarity. We will take forward constitutional development towards democracy in a gradual and orderly manner in accordance with
the Basic Law. Universal suffrage is our ultimate goal.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is uplifting to see the bright prospects of the Chinese nation. The "One Country, Two Systems" policy has enabled Hong Kong people to participate in the country's peaceful rise to power and the historical process of the nation's complete reunification. Hong Kong people will join the whole nation as masters of our own, seize all opportunities and
fulfil all aspirations to build our country into a more splendid land.
Now, let us have a toast:
To the success of the country;
To the solidarity and unification of the Chinese nation;
To the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong; and
To the health and happiness of all guests.
Ends/Friday, October 1, 2004