Hong Kong CE’s Speech at Inauguration Ceremony
(Following is the translation of the speech delivered by the Chief Executive, Mr. Donald Tsang, at the Third Term HKSAR Government Inauguration Ceremony, at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today, 1 July 2008)
Honorable President Hu, Distinguished Guests, Friends and Fellow Citizens,
I would like to once again extend my gratitude to the Central People’s Government and the people of Hong Kong for their staunch support to serve as the Chief Executive of the Third Term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government of the People’s Republic of China. I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to get my job done in the best interests of Hong Kong and our country, as I promised during my election campaign.
Hong Kong is where I grew up. I have always believed in this city and in the drive and diligence of our people to strive for excellence and to do their best. This spirit of “getting the job done” is an innate quality of our community. We should never underestimate this spirit. Over the past ten years, this spirit has led us to overcome each and every challenge that has come our way and allowed us to continue to move forward. The competition ahead is fierce. We are not only competing with neighboring cities, but with cities around the world. If we embrace our professionalism, there is no reason for us to doubt our strengths.
In the coming five years, I hope to build a new Hong Kong together with the people based on the spirit of professionalism shared amongst us. Hong Kong is not the biggest city in China, but it can be the best－the best city to bring up children; the best city to enjoy life; and, the best city to create wealth for both the people of Hong Kong and those of our country. Of course, achieving these goals will not be easy. Hong Kong’s success has been founded on the hard work of past generations, and the opportunities brought about by our country’s rapid development. Over the next five years, Hong Kong needs to transform itself. We must fully realize the potential of our people, and enhance our strengths, by tapping into the opportunities created by our country’s rapid economic development. Hong Kong can contribute even more to our country, and scale new heights.
I want to build a professional, experienced and energetic administration in the new term of the SAR Government. My team and I will be solely committed to adhering to the principle of people-based governance and to delivering on the pledges made in my election platform. In the next five years:
We will build a government that is more open－the public will not only be the focus of our policies, the public will be our partners in devising them;
We will develop a system that is more democratic－a green paper will be published this year, so that we can all work together to identify the most acceptable mode of universal suffrage to best serve the interests of Hong Kong;
We will promote a new mode of economic development－the financial sector will be expanded and investment in infrastructure will be increased to drive wage increases and create more job opportunities for grassroots workers;
We will create a better quality of life－our people deserve to enjoy clean food, clean air, a beautiful environment and the protection of our heritage; and We will promote a new caring culture－there are many in society who are still unable to benefit from our strong economic revival and are facing tremendous pressure in their daily lives. The Government will invest more in community development projects to create jobs through social enterprises and bring hope to less advantaged groups.
Ten years ago, we returned to the motherland under the innovative concept of “One Country, Two Systems”. Over the past decade, we, as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, have witnessed our country’s marvelous achievements in areas such as the economy, foreign affairs, social affairs, culture and sports－all a result of independent innovation and ability. We are no longer bystanders, but active participants. We have benefited from the process, but also contributed to it. Hong Kong needs our country, and our country also needs us. The greatest contribution we can make to our nation is to ensure the full implementation of ”One Country, Two Systems” and ”Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” under the Basic Law, harnessing the creativity brought about through the interaction of the two systems and making the best of the advantages of our own systems, to bring a greater momentum for the advancement of both the country and Hong Kong.
If we can accomplish this, I am most confident that the next ten years will be a glorious decade shared by both our country and Hong Kong. Today marks the beginning of our next decade of development as a Special Administrative Region. We must aspire to achieve greater things for our country, without forgetting the pragmatic attitude on which our city’s success has been founded. Together, let us embark upon a new journey for a new decade. Thank you all.