Hong Kong Handover

Presidents & Prime Ministers, July-August 1997 | Go to article overview

Hong Kong Handover


The national flag of the People's Republic of China and the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China have now solemnly risen over this land. At this moment, people of all countries in the world are casting their eyes on Hong Kong. In accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, the two governments have held on schedule the handover ceremony to mark China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the official establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. This is both a festival for the Chinese nation and a victory for the universal cause of peace and justice.

Thus, July 1, 1997 will go down in the annals of history as a day that merits eternal memory. The return of Hong Kong to the motherland after going through more than one century of vicissitudes indicates that from now on, Hong Kong compatriots have become true masters of this Chinese land and that Hong Kong has now entered a new era of development.

History will remember Deng Xiaoping for his creative concept of "one country, two systems." It is precisely along the course envisaged by this great concept that we have successfully resolved the Hong Kong question through diplomatic negotiations and finally achieved Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

On this solemn occasion, I wish to express thanks to all the personages in both China and Britain who have contributed to the settlement of the Hong Kong question and to all those in the world who have cared for and supported Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

On this solemn occasion, I wish to extend cordial greetings and best wishes to more than six million Hong Kong compatriots who have now returned to the embrace of the motherland.

After the return of Hong Kong, the Chinese Government will unswervingly implement the basic policies of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and "a high degree of autonomy" and keep Hong Kong's previous socio-economic system and way of life of Hong Kong unchanged and its previous laws basically unchanged. …

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