Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 07-01-12 22:48
New govt, new task
By Ming Yeung , Li Likui , Fan Feifei, Andrea Deng , Michelle Fei
July 2, 2012 - 11:40am http://www.chinadailyapac.com
President Hu Jintao (right) oversees the inauguration ceremony of the 4th-term HKSAR government led by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (center) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday.(Edmond Tang/China Daily)
President Hu Jintao laid out his expectations for the fourth-term HKSAR government which was sworn in on Sunday, urging the city to strive for excellence in promoting harmony and stability, upholding the authority of the Basic Law, enhancing competitiveness and nurturing more talents.
“Harmony and stability underpin development. It’s imperative for the new SAR government to put the people’s interests first, accurately gauge public opinion and take concrete and effective measures to properly address issues concerning people’s livelihood and social tensions,” the president told some 2,300 guests at the swearing-in ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
He called for greater government efforts to ensure equal opportunities, heed disadvantaged groups’ concerns and care about the younger generation so that all sectors in Hong Kong can share the benefits of its development and lead a better life.
Noting that the rule of law is one of Hong Kong’s core values, with the Basic Law enjoying supreme status in the city’s legal system, the president said: “It’s essential to put into practice each and every provision of the Basic Law and improve the institutions and mechanisms related to its implementation.”
“We should continue to advance the democratic process in Hong Kong as provided for in the Basic Law. Never before have Hong Kong residents enjoyed the range of democratic rights and freedoms as they do now,” Hu said in his 15-minute address.
On the challenges faced by the HKSAR amid intense regional and international competition, the president urged the city to work hard to raise their competitiveness.
“It must have better strategic planning for its long-term development and bring into better play the government’s role in promoting economic and social development,” he added.
The president also called the SAR government’s attention to nurturing all types of high-caliber professionals, saying that human resources are at the heart of competition in today’s world.
Priority, he said, should be given to nurturing people with leadership qualities who love the motherland and Hong Kong, by providing opportunities and platforms for them to stand out.
Speaking at the 15th anniversary celebrations, Hu said Hong Kong’s return to the motherland will go down as a great achievement in the annals of China’s history. “It will be remembered as a historic event of major international significance.”
The president pledged that the central government will continue to uphold the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, which he described as “the best solution” to the Hong Kong question left over from history and the “best institutional arrangement” for the city’s long-term prosperity and stability.
The president also urged the SAR government and the people of Hong Kong to correctly and comprehensively understand and implement the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”.
“We must stay committed to keeping a balance between adhering to the ‘One Country’ principle and respecting the differences of the ‘Two Systems’; between upholding the central government’s authority and ensuring a high degree of autonomy of the Hong Kong SAR; between safeguarding the overall national interests and protecting the interests of various social sectors of Hong Kong; and between supporting Hong Kong in actively conducting exchanges with the outside world and opposing interference by external forces in Hong Kong affairs,” he said.
Among the guests at the ceremony were Hong Kong’s first chief executive and currently Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Tung Chee-hwa, outgoing Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Hong Kong NPC deputies, senior government officials, business leaders, representatives of central government agencies in HK, and members of the foreign diplomatic corps.
In his inaugural speech, Leung Chun-ying promised to fulfill his election pledges as well as the trust placed on him by the central government and the people of Hong Kong.
“I will spare no effort in carrying out my election platform and lead Hong Kong in seeking change while preserving stability,” he stressed.
Before the presidential entourage left for the airport, Hu met with the new Chief Executive, Executive and Legislative Councilors, and senior government and judiciary officials.
Celebrations in Hong Kong to mark the 15th anniversary continued on Sunday. More than 40,000 people packed Hong Kong Stadium to watch a spectacular performance by an 80-member parachute team from the People’s Liberation Army. The display was originally scheduled to have been held on Saturday but was canceled because of bad weather.
On Sunday evening, hundreds of thousands of people crowded the promenades on both sides of Victoria Harbor to enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.
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