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China commemorates 10th anniversary of HKSAR Basic Law
2007-06-05 20:13:52 Xinhua English

A seminar is held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of implementing the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday morning, June 6, 2007. (Photo: china.com.cn)

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang, right, is introduced near his predecessor Tung Chee-hwa as they attend a seminar to mark the 10th anniversary for the Hong Kong's constitution, or Basic Law to come into force, held at the Great Hall of the

Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Wu Bangguo (L) delivers a speech as China's Vice President Zeng Qinghong listens during the seminar marking the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Hong Kong Basic L

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- China held a seminar on Wednesday morning to commemorate the 10th anniversary of implementing the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Wu Bangguo and Vice President Zeng Qinghong attended the seminar.

Delivering a speech at the seminar, Wu said what has happened has proved and will continue to prove that the principle of "one country, two systems" is workable and feasible and the Basic Law is a sound law able to withstand the test of practice.

Wu emphasized that Hong Kong must uphold state sovereignty, exercise a high degree of autonomy and ensure prosperity and stability.

Being an administrative region directly under the central government, Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is authorized by the central government, Wu said.

"The practice of capitalist system and policies in the HKSAR is predicated upon there is only one China and the practice of socialist system is in the main body of China," said Wu.

At the same time, the central government will never interfere in the affairs within the autonomy of the HKSAR, Wu said.

"To practice the capitalist system in Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy is necessary for the maintenance of the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong," he said.

"What I wish to stress here is that to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong has always been the fundamental objective of the central government when addressing issues concerning Hong Kong," he said.

The Basic Law is the legal guarantee of the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, said Wu.

He noted that Hong Kong's GDP hit another record high in 2006, registering a 6.8-percent increase over the previous year, export of goods was up by 10.2 percent, consumer spending up by 5.1 percent and unemployment rate down by 4.4 percent.

What's most gratifying is that the fiscal situation of the HKSAR government has notably improved with a surplus of 55.1 billion HK dollars in the fiscal year of 2006-2007 and treasury reserve up to 365.7 billion HK dollars, said Wu.

He said Hong Kong has kept its features as a free port and a cosmopolitan city, continued to be an international financial, trade and shipping center and remained one of the world's most open and liberal economies with the strongest dynamism for development.

HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang said at the seminar that Hong Kong has retained its international features, rule by law and various kinds of freedom guaranteed by the Basic Law after its return (to the motherland).

"With state care and assistance, we have strived to display our unique advantages and made significant achievements widely recognized by the international community," Tsang said.

Enacted in accordance with the nation's Constitution, the Basic Law specifies the guidelines of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy, Tsang noted.

"The Basic Law has laid a solid foundation for Hong Kong's economic and social development and the improvement of people's livelihood," he said.

He said Hong Kong will strengthen cooperation with mainland against the backdrop of global competition.

Hong Kong should expand the network with the inland provinces and municipalities and join hands with inland cities to avoid vicious competition, he said.

The chief executive citied Hong Kong's trade offices set up in Shanghai and Chengdu last year, saying these offices have facilitated Hong Kong's economic and trade cooperation with the inland areas.

To reinforce its position as an international financial center of Asia, Hong Kong needs to get support from the inland areas and enhance interaction and complementation in the financial sector, he said.

In the meantime, Hong Kong will maintain its role as an international metropolitan, he said, adding Hong Kong will adopt an open and active attitude to enhance contacts with international community in terms of trade, education and culture.

Authorized by the Basic Law, the HKSAR can handle its external affairs and the central government has always supported the region to carry out exchanges with other countries and regions, which is very important to consolidate the region's role as an international metropolitan, he said.

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