Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellowHong Kong people,
Today is the 65th anniversary of the founding of thePeople’s Republic of China. On behalf of theGovernment of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion (HKSAR), I welcome all of you to thisreception.
In the past year, our country has continued to makeencouraging progress and achievements in various areas. In Hong Kong, people from all walksof life have continued to work hard for the country, for Hong Kong and for themselves.
To sustain our development, Hong Kong must capitalise on the combined advantages of “OneCountry” and “Two Systems” at the same time. Under “One Country”, we enjoy the advantageof having the country as our hinterland. We have the staunch support of the country for ourdevelopment, while the huge Mainland market presents us with numerous career opportunities.Under “Two Systems”, we enjoy the advantage of having a set of systems different from thatof the Mainland, especially our legal and financial systems. As overseas businesses andprofessionals are more familiar with Hong Kong’s legal system and commercial practices, manyforeign enterprises choose to set up their businesses here. Besides economic development, thecombined advantages of “One Country” and “Two Systems” also come into play in areas such asculture, arts, education and scientific research.
“One Country, Two System” also fully applies to Hong Kong’s constitutional development. TheStanding Committee of the National People’s Congress has adopted a decision on issuesrelating to the selection of the Chief Executive (CE) by universal suffrage, confirming that theCE can be elected through “one person, one vote” from 2017 onward. It is understandablethat different people may have different ideas about a desirable reform package. But it isdefinitely better to have universal suffrage than not. It is definitely better to have the CEelected by five million eligible voters than by 1 200 people. And it is definitely better to cast yourvote at the polling station than to stay home and watch on television the 1 200 members of theElection Committee cast their votes.
We hope that all sectors of the community will work with the Government in a peaceful,lawful, rational and pragmatic manner to duly complete the subsequent consultation andlegislative work, and make a big step forward in our constitutional development.
Distinguished guests and fellow Hong Kong people, Hong Kong and the Mainland are closelylinked in their development. We must work hand in hand to make the Chinese dream come true.Let me quote a passage from the Conclusion of the White Paper on “The Practice of the ‘OneCountry, Two Systems’ Policy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” to illustrate thispoint: “Continuously enriching and developing the practice of ‘one country, two systems’ in theHKSAR and maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in the region are an integral partof the Chinese dream. It is also a necessary requirement for improving and developing socialismwith Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernisation of the national governancesystem and governing capability.”
As part of the country, Hong Kong should not only strive for its own development but alsomake joint efforts with all people of China to contribute to the progress of our country.Together, let’s write a new chapter of prosperity and development for the Chinese nation.