MACAO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Sunday that the cause of "one country, two systems" is an important part of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, stressing that "the great motherland is always a strong back-up force for the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao."
Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when delivering an important speech at the celebration gathering marking the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland.
The advance of the great cause of "one country, two systems" calls for the joint efforts of the central government, the governments of the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR as well as people of all circles, the president noted.
The central government will remain firmly committed to the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong", "Macao people governing Macao" with a high degree of autonomy.
The central government will continue to act in strict accordance with the basic laws of the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR and give full support to the chief executives and governments of the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR in their governance according to law, he said.
The president pledged that all policies adopted by the central government on Hong Kong and Macao always adhere to the principles of benefiting the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, the improvement of the livelihood of all residents in Hong Kong and Macao as well as benefiting the common development of Hong Kong, Macao and the country.
Before his speech, the president administered the swearing-in ceremony of the Macao SAR Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, principal officials of the SAR government and members of the Executive Council.
The return of Macao to the motherland fulfilled the common aspiration of the people of all ethnic groups of the nation, including the Macao compatriots, said Hu.
The event opens a new chapter in the history of Macao and is an important milestone in the development of the Chinese nation, he noted.
Hu said that the past decade after Macao's return to the motherland witnessed the successful practice of "one country, two systems" in Macao, the smooth implementation of the Basic Law of the Macao SAR and the constant progress made by Macao people of all circles in pursuing a development road that conforms to Macao's realities.
"Important inspiration can be obtained by reviewing the uncommon process of the past decade since Macao's return to the motherland," said Hu.
First of all, it is imperative to have a full and correct understanding and implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, he said, noting that the key is to realize the most extensive unity under the banner of loving the motherland and loving Macao.
Hu noted that "one country, two systems" is a complete concept, with "one country" closely linked with " two system."
On the one hand, the existing social and economic system and the way of life in Macao must be maintained, and on the other hand, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of the country must be safeguarded, and meanwhile, the socialist system practice in the main body of the country must be respected, the president noted.
Hu said that it is imperative to safeguard the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Macao SAR and fully protect the master status of the Macao compatriots, but it is also imperative to respect the power endowed upon the central government by laws, and to firmly oppose any external forces in their interference in Macao's affairs.
Early this year, the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law of the Macao SAR passed smoothly, a move Hu said fully reflects the strong sense of responsibility of the Government, Legislative Assembly and people of all circles of the Macao SAR to safeguard national security and interests.
"The move also provides a strong guarantee for Macao's long-term stability," said the president.
"As long as the compatriots of Macao unite under the banner of loving the motherland and loving Macao, they will be able to lay a solid political foundation for Macao's long-term prosperity and stability," said Hu.
The president said that it is also imperative to act in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the Macao SAR, to focus on development, to maintain social harmony and stability and to cultivate talents.
The compatriots of Macao are not only master of the Macao SAR but also the country, said Hu.
Since its return to the motherland, Macao has obtained endless power of development and increasingly more opportunities of development from the fast development of the mainland, and shared the dignity and glory of the great motherland on the international arena, said Hu.
The president said that people of all ethnic groups of the country will not forget the important contribution made by the compatriots of Macao to the country's reform and opening-up, socialist modernization drive and the great cause of reunification of the motherland in a peaceful manner.
"We firmly believe that like the great motherland, Macao will enjoy a better tomorrow," said Hu.