Speech by Postmaster General at "The 600th
Anniversary of Zheng He's Maritime Expeditions"
Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony
Following is a speech by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at "The 600th Anniversary of Zheng He's Maritime Expeditions" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony today (June 28) (translation):
Mr Xie, Mr Lopes, distinguished guests and friends from the media,
Welcome to "The 600th Anniversary of Zheng He's Maritime Expeditions" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony. Zheng He, the greatest seafarer of our nation, had accomplished seven epic voyages that every Chinese is proud of. To commemorate the 600th Anniversary of his first voyage, China Post, Hongkong Post and Macao Post jointly issue a set of special stamps today, which also marks the fifth joint venture of the three postal administrations. On behalf of Hongkong Post, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our officiating guests, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr Xie Xiaoyan and Board Chairman of Macao Post Mr Carlos Alberto Roldao Lopes for joining us despite their busy schedules. The three postal administrations have long been close partners in promotion of philately, enhancement of postal products and rollouts of diversified value-added services towards a common goal of providing up-to-date products and services for the benefits of the region's economic developments.
The seven adventures of Zheng He to the "Western Oceans" have been passed down from generation to generation. I am sure that all of you must be very familiar with them. The production of this set of stamps has enriched my understanding of the greatest adventurer and navigator of our nation. To say that Zheng He is the pioneer of maritime expeditions is not an overstatement. His first expedition started in 1405 ? almost a century earlier than the famous voyages of Columbus and Magellan ? followed by another six adventures visiting more than 30 countries and regions in Asia and Africa. He set sail for each voyage with a flotilla of more than 200 ships and a crew of more than 20,000. The size of the fleets sent, the equipment used and the distance travelled were unprecedented in history.
Zheng He's expeditions successfully extended Chinese influence in culture and technology as well as fostered trade and goodwill. His success was attributable to a number of factors: a well-equipped fleet led by a determined and adventurous leader with clear objectives set before each mission, supported by a crew with high team spirit. With Zheng He's successful experience in mind, Hongkong Post has drawn up a similar strategic direction - capitalising on the unmatched advantage of Hongkong Post's extensive delivery and sales network with a 7,000-strong workforce who are enterprising and innovative enough for business diversification and enhanced efficiency, so we are well-equipped with the soft- and hardware needed in sailing through the rough sea of competitive business environment. With a clear mission of Linking People, Delivering Business, we are performing our unique social function comparable to Zheng He's voyages of fostering trade and goodwill.
At the times of Zheng He, it was no easy task to complete the mission of fostering cultural exchange with other nations. Years of planning and extra courage were required to survive through the hostile weather and rough seas that led to a foreign land. Today is another story. Our stamps serve as an ambassador spreading our culture to people all over the world. They can be easily bought at any post offices and through posting, they carry letters of love and care or business opportunities to faraway friends, relatives or business partners, accomplishing our mission of linking people and delivering business.
Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Issued at HKT 17:03