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Speech by the Postmaster General


Following is the English translation of the speech given by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the "Centenary of the Birth of Deng Xiaoping" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony today (August 22):

Dr Ho, distinguished guests and friends from the media,

Welcome to the "Centenary of the Birth of Deng Xiaoping" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony. For many people, the only use of stamps is to prepay postage; seldom do they realise the cultural and historical significance stamps have come to represent go far deeper than their sizes may suggest. Today marks the centennial birthday of Mr Deng Xiaoping, one of our nation's greatest political leaders. Commemorative activities have been organised in all parts of China, including Hong Kong and Macao. We think it is only fitting to remember this towering figure, who has given our nation and Hong Kong people an inspiring vision of our place in the world and affected our lives in ways big and small by issuing a set of commemorative stamps.

Mr Deng Xiaoping has done a great deal for modern China. His perseverance in implementing the open-door policy put China on the map of international politics and economy, and fulfilled our hundred-year dream of a strong nation. His relation with Hong Kong is more elaborate that you might first expect. It was he who initiated the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", which helped steer our course over a 13-year long transitional period. He also played a pivotal role in drafting the "Basic Law", laying down a solid foundation upon which Hong Kong continues to prosper and to achieve long-term stability. He is well known for his deep and enduring affection for Hong Kong, too. Once he vowed, in all sincerity and frankness, and here I quote: "I would like to visit Hong Kong even if I am restrained to a wheelchair. I don't care if I get to stand on that piece of land for only a short minute. It'll still be wonderful." Hong Kong people have developed a great respect for this giant of our times and we have a lot to thank him for. Today is the perfect day for us to honor and cherish the memory of him.

Guided by the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong became the first special administrative region (SAR) within China on 1 July 1997. Macao SAR was established two years later in much the same way. Therefore, it is all the more worthwhile for China Post, Hongkong Post and Macao Post to issue commemorative stamps in remembrance of Mr Deng on this very day. This is also the fourth joint stamp issue of the three postal administrations so far. With a colourful palette, the stamps we issue today feature moments of Mr Deng's life, as well as snapshots of Hong Kong's transitions over the centuries. To pay tribute to his guidance during the transitional period and the contributions he made to Hong Kong, the stamps set his portraits against scenes of a prospering Hong Kong that he helped create. Although it is regretful that he could not be with us on the historic moment of Hong Kong's changeover, his legacy lives on through these fine stamps, which should for a long time remind us of Mr Deng's legendary life and accomplishments.

Thank you.

Ends/Sunday, August 22, 2004


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