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CE's Speech at the Welcome Banquet in Honour of President Hu Jintao (with photos/video)

    Following is the speech (English translation) by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the Welcome Banquet in Honour of the President, Mr Hu Jintao, today (June 30):

Honourable President Hu, distinguished guests,

     In a few hours, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will mark its 10th anniversary. Such a moment warrants jubilant celebration in Hong Kong and throughout our country. We are most delighted to welcome President Hu from the Central Government's delegation. His presence symbolises the heartfelt wishes and support of the Central Government for our community. On behalf of the people of Hong Kong and the SAR Government, I extend our warmest welcome and deepest gratitude to them.

     Looking back over this past decade, we can rightly take pride in our achievements and the many unforgettable challenges we have overcome. The one that stands out the most is our success in working together to turn the great concept of "One Country, Two Systems" into a living reality.

     Today, the world can see that under "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong is more vibrant than ever. The rapid development of the Mainland has undoubtedly presented us with more opportunities. Globalisation, and the rise of our nation, have become a single driver for Hong Kong's development. As China's revolving door to the international arena, Hong Kong plays a significant role in the development of our Motherland. As a result, Hong Kong has become more prosperous and we have consolidated our status as an international centre for finance, trade and shipping.

     Our community has wholeheartedly embraced the celebratory mood. From last December until the end of this year more than 400 public events will have been held. I am sure that members of the Central Government's delegation will be able to see and feel the joy of the community celebrating this milestone in our history and the successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems".

     The new governing team for the third-term SAR Government has been chosen. As the SAR enters its second decade, I and my team will strive to serve the community and deliver on the pledges I made during my election campaign. Given the valuable experience we have gained over the past decade, I, along with the SAR Government and the people of Hong Kong, are even more confident that Hong Kong will shine brighter under the innovative concept of "One Country, Two Systems" and be able to contribute even more to our country's development in the years ahead.

     Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, June 30, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:52


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