Press Release



Monument in commemoration of Hong Kong's return to China


Following is the translation of the inscription on the Monument in Commemoration of the Return of Hong Kong to China :

In Commemoration of the Return of Hong Kong to China

Situated in southern China and endowed with a deep-water harbour, Hong Kong is home to generations of inhabitants who have traded by sea. In the wake of the Opium War in 1840, Britain seized and occupied Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and later took the "New Territories" by lease.

Benefiting from the interaction between East and West, Hong Kong has developed into a free port that promotes international trade and operates under the rule of law. The people of Hong Kong, with their diligence, vigour and entrepreneurial skills, and supported by the motherland, have achieved great success in their endeavours and have turned Hong Kong into an international centre of finance, trade and transportation.

In the last century, China was plagued by turmoil and suffering, and her patriots remained determined to reclaim lost territories. Having gained in strength steadily since the implementation of the policy of reform and opening-up, our country declared its decision to recover Hong Kong in 1997. The great statesman Deng Xiaoping put forward the ingenious concept of "one country, two systems", and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy. This won popular and enthusiastic support. China and the United Kingdom signed the Joint Declaration after diplomatic negotiations. The British Government agreed to return Hong Kong to China, while the Chinese Government decided to establish the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in accordance with the Chinese Constitution.

Consequently, the National People's Congress established the Drafting Committee for the Basic Law of the HKSAR. After extensive public consultations, the National People's Congress adopted the Basic Law. The Preparatory Committee was then formed, charged with the duty of preparing the establishment of the HKSAR. Subsequently, following the election of the Selection Committee, the Central People's Government appointed Tung Chee Hwa as the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR.

At midnight of 30 June 1997, the governments of China and the United Kingdom held a Handover Ceremony in Hong Kong. President Jiang Zemin and the Prince of Wales jointly officiated at the ceremony. Thousands of guests from all over the world attended and witnessed this spectacular ceremony. The national flag and the HKSAR flag were raised high amidst thundering cheers; the People's Liberation Army moved into Hong Kong. It was indeed a glorious and historic moment.

Two years have now passed. Both the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government have strictly abided by the Basic Law, and the people in Hong Kong have lived in peace and contentment. To commemorate the return of Hong Kong to China, the Preparatory Committee decided to erect this monument. It is hoped that all Chinese and future generations of Hong Kong people will follow their predecessors in perseverance and observance of the law, will love the country and Hong Kong, and will continue to develop, in a gradual and orderly manner, a democratic system for their prosperity. Hong Kong will stand as a great cosmopolitan city and an important economic, trade, and cultural centre in south China. May Hong Kong thrive and prosper forever!

Erected by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, on this First Day of July, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-nine.

End/Thursday, July 1, 1999