2008-07-11 09:39:48 GMT 2008-07-11 17:39:48 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
HONG KONG, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and Macao James B. Cunningham said here Friday that Hong Kong today is not only thriving but also full of promise despite challenges towards its competitiveness.
The consul general made the remarks in his speech titled "an American view of Hong Kong's prospects" at a joint luncheon hosted by AmCham and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.
"Eleven years after Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty, 'One Country, Two Systems' is generally considered to be a success," Cunningham told about 100 business leaders attending the luncheon, "Hong Kong today plays an important role in one of the most rapidly changing parts of the world and in one of the most important countries on earth."
He said before the 1997 return of Hong Kong to China, there was a surge of concern in the international press over its future with their dire predictions and expressions of worry were common.
"Happily, such gloomy predictions were quite far off the mark," Cunningham said. "Just as a prosperous, stable and confident China is in the U.S. national interest, so also is a prosperous, stable, and successful Hong Kong."
He said Hong Kong's talent, values and capital, the China context under 'One Country, Two Systems' and the role of international expertise and finance proved a potent combination that the skeptics in 1995 underestimated.
"As a result, Hong Kong today is not only thriving but full of promise," Cunningham said, adding "its basic values, respect for 'One Country, Two Systems' and its competitiveness make Hong Kong uniquely capable of working with people all over the world to contribute as an international city to its own vibrant and sophisticated society, to China and to the rest of the world."
Looking at Hong Kong's prospects, Cunningham said the question becomes whether Hong Kong is capable and willing to continue to adapt and evolve.
"I am optimistic about Hong Kong's prospects, but do not take them for granted." Cunningham said, "do what it takes to remain competitive and entrepreneurial and stick to the fundamental values that have produced success."
"We will be following the next decade of Hong Kong's development with interest and high expectations," he concluded.