Auspicious future seen for Hong Kong
President Xi Jinping joins the chorus after the grand variety show on Friday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of the event celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. Photo: China Daily
 
President Xi Jinping called on Friday for Hong Kong people to have confidence in themselves, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the country, ahead of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.
 
Hong Kong people have made tremendous contributions to the country's reform and opening-up in the past decades, which will never be forgotten by the central government and the whole nation, Xi said while delivering a speech at a banquet hosted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government to welcome the president.
 
Xi pointed out that Hong Kong has many advantages, including an open and free economy, free flow of talent, cargo and capital, an advanced judicial system and clean government.
 
Hong Kong also has policy advantages, as some pilot projects take place in Hong Kong under the framework of "one country, two systems", the president said, adding that such projects will bring more opportunities for the development of the Hong Kong SAR.
 
As long as Hong Kong strengthens those advantages, it will definitely continue to attract international capital and talent, Xi said.
 
Noting that China has become the largest contributor to global economic growth, Xi said the country's rapid development means great opportunities for Hong Kong. The country's prosperity will help Hong Kong resist risks and boost development, he said.
 
Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return from British rule and the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. Xi will attend the inauguration of the fifth-term government of the Hong Kong SAR on Saturday.
 
The implementation of "one country, two systems" proved to be a great success in Hong Kong in the past two decades, Xi said. He reaffirmed that the principle will not be changed.
 
It's a historic move that China created "one country, two systems", to implement socialism in the main part of the country while practicing capitalism in some special regions, Xi said, adding that such an innovative path had never before been created in any other country.
 
Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying expressed gratitude for the central government's support for him and the Hong Kong SAR government. The country has attached great importance to Hong Kong's function and needs and has spared no efforts to support Hong Kong, he said.

Singers perform at the grand variety show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. Photo: Xinhua
 
Saying he was confident about the future of Hong Kong, Leung also extended best wishes for the next term of the Hong Kong SAR government, which will be led by Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor starting from Saturday.
 
David Wong Yau-kar, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress and chairman of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority in Hong Kong, said Xi's speech gives Hong Kong confidence to pursue a brighter future by actively joining the nation's development, such as through the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
 
Hong Kong's successful transformation from a small fishing village to a metropolis is built on abundant opportunities brought by the nation's development, a well-established system under the "one country, two systems" principle and its own efforts, he said.
 
Irons Sze Wing-wai, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said Xi's speech has pointed a clear direction for the city's commercial and industrial sectors in exploring its future.
 
Eddy Li Sau-hung, president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, said Xi's remarks have reminded Hong Kong that "one country, two systems" is the best arrangement for Hong Kong, with the city taking the lead in various competitiveness indexes and rankings worldwide.
 
Remarks from President Xi Jinping
 
"For Hong Kong, the focus is not whether the 'ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS' principle will change or not, but how to implement it comprehensively and accurately."
 
"Every generation of youths has its own historic missions and opportunities. Contemporary youths of Hong Kong should seize the historic opportunities and choose the right path forward to serve Hong Kong and the country."
 
"The (PLA) garrison (in Hong Kong) is an important embodiment of national sovereignty, an important force to safeguard 'one country, two systems', and an important cornerstone of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability."
 
THE PRESIDENT PARAPHRASED
 
Hong Kong people have made tremendous contributions to the country's reform and opening-up in the past decades, which will never be forgotten by the central government and the whole nation.
 
New situations and new problems emerging in practice should be treated in a correct and reasonable manner, and ways must be found to solve the problems. When difficulties are overcome and problems solved, progress is made in the practice of the "one country, two systems" principle.

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