Remarks of Ambassador Cui Tiankai
at the Reception Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong's
Return to China


The Honorable ...

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening. Welcome to the Chinese Embassy to celebrate with us the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.

Twenty years ago, China and the world witnessed together the historic moment of Hong Kong's return to China after more than a century of extraordinary journey. The moment when China's national flag was raised at the ceremony on the night of June 30, 1997, Hong Kong started a new chapter of history and the innovative idea of "one country, two systems" started to be put into practice. It was a great step forward for China's national unification and rejuvenation, and blazed a new trail in our efforts to address problems left over from history.

The world has since then seen complex and profound changes, where unprecedented opportunities have emerged together with challenges. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), as a part of the China family, has withstood the test and forged ahead, telling a proud success story. Hong Kong's accomplishment is outstanding. It has enjoyed sustained prosperity and stability, remained a global financial, trade and shipping center and led the world in major indicators of social and economic development. Today, Hong Kong, the"Pearl of the East", is shining with ever bright glory in the hand of the Chinese people.

History has validated the vigor and vitality of "one country, two systems". In accordance with the Constitution of China and the Hong Kong Basic Law, the central government has faithfully followed the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong. On this basis, Hong Kong has enjoyed great progress thanks to the diligent service of the SAR government and the tireless efforts of the Hong Kong people. The success of "one country, two systems" has earned the recognition by the international community.

History has also shown the unbreakable bond and shared future of Hong Kong and the rest of the Chinese nation. The past twenty years have witnessed a prosperous and stable Hong Kong, as well as a fast-developing China. Hong Kong supported the growth of the Mainland, while the Mainland drove Hong Kong's prosperity. Hong Kong and the Mainland stood together when facing challenges from the financial crisis to the SARS epidemic, and helped each other when struck by natural disasters. Indeed, Hong Kong's interest is the interest of the Motherland, and when the Motherland grows, Hong Kong will prosper.

Hong Kong's success in the past twenty years gives us greater confidence in Hong Kong's future.

President Xi Jinping has pointed out that, "one country two systems" is not only the best solution to the problems in Hong Kong left over from history, but also the best institutional arrangement to ensure Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability after its return. The commitment of the central government to the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy of Hong Kongwill not change nor waver.

Reforms and development in the Mainland will continue to bring endless opportunities to Hong Kong. Arrangements such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area Plan opens up new horizon for Hong Kong to fully utilize its competitive edge. Embracing the Motherland and facing the world, Hong Kong will be powered with stronger competitive edge and move forward with greater vitality.

Realizing the two centenary goals and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the shared Chinese dream of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong people. It is also our common goal to realize the complete unification of our nation. We will continue our journey together with our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong to translate our dream into reality and embrace a better future. Nothing and no one can stop the Chinese people from achieving the goals of national rejuvenation and unification.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, the China-US relationship is given opportunities for further progress at a new starting point. Hong Kong plays an important role in the cooperation between China and the U.S., as it enjoys growing economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges with the U.S. In 2016, two-way trade between Hong Kong and the U.S. delivered a U.S. surplus of U.S.$28.9billion. Thousands of American businesses prosper in Hong Kong, while about 85,000 Americans live in Hong Kong. Continued prosperity and stability of Hong Kong is in line with the interest of the U.S., and contributes to regional and global development.

We are happy to see that economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges between Hong Kong and the U.S. keep growing, and more and more American people put Hong Kong as a top choice to live, run business or spend vacations. We hope that the U.S. will fully respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, support with concrete actions the practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, in an effort to validate its commitment to the sustainable, healthy and steady development of China-US relations that benefit our two peoples.

Now, I would like to propose a toast,

To the success of "one country, two systems",

To Hong Kong's sustained prosperity and stability,

To the further growth of China-U.S. relations and the friendship between the Chinese and the American people,

To our shared and brighter future,



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