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Triumph of 'one country, two systems'
By Le Tian (China Daily)

Triumph of 'one country, two systems'

President Hu Jintao greets Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang at the swearing-in ceremony of the third-term government of Hong Kong SAR yesterday.Xu Jingxing

HONG KONG: President Hu Jintao yesterday said the central government will adhere to the "one country, two systems" principle and stressed the importance of Hong Kong's economic development and improvement in the life of its residents.

Hu's remarks came after he administered the oath of office to Chief Executive Donald Tsang at the swearing-in ceremony of the third-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR),

The day coincided with the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification with the motherland, which was celebrated on a grand scale throughout the region.

The celebrations began with a flag-raising ceremony, which was attended by more than 1,000 people, and ended with a magical fireworks show in the evening.

The central government has been following the "one country, two systems" principle ever since Hong Kong's reunification, helping its social and economic systems and its residents' lifestyle to remain unchanged, Hu said.

He also reiterated the central government's commitment to the principles of "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.

The central government will always and firmly support Hong Kong to promote economic development, improve the life of its people and develop democracy that suits its "actual conditions", he said.

Beijing will encourage exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong vigorously, and support the SAR actively to have more exchanges with the rest of the world, he added.

"In short, all central government policies on Hong Kong are designed to promote the interests of the SAR and its people and create a better future for it and its people," said Hu, who is also the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

"Only through continued economic development can Hong Kong improve the life of its people, maintain stability and develop a democratic system that suits its actual conditions," Hu said. "It's important to uphold social harmony and stability in Hong Kong."

He urged Hong Kong residents to be united and forget their differences for the greater cause of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

"As you do this, all problems and differences can be settled, and you can promote economic and social development in Hong Kong and share its benefits," he said.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by about 2,000 people, including central government officials, members of Hong Kong's executive and legislative councils, political, social and business personalities and the foreign diplomatic corps.

The "one country, two systems" principle is a "great success", Goldlion Holdings Chairman Tsang Hin-chi said, echoing the belief of most Hong Kong people.

As a native of Hong Kong, Tsang feels the "development of Hong Kong in the past decade has been unprecedented".

"Thanks to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement of the central government, we overcame the shocks of the Asian financial crisis and SARS epidemic and achieved rapid economic growth. This fully demonstrates the vigor and vitality of the 'one country, two systems' principle," he said.

Triumph of 'one country, two systems'

Fireworks light up the sky above Victoria Harbor last night as Hong Kong celebrated the 10th anniversary of its reunification with the motherland.Xu Jingxing

(China Daily 07/02/2007 page1)

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