1st July 2007 marks a milestone as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The big day itself promises to be a mix of ceremonial and celebratory events for people of Hong Kong, mainland China, oversea Chinese both locally and globally.
Chinese Australian in Sydney likes our counterparts all the world, it does not matter whether you are in New York, Toronto, London, Paris or Johannesburg , will join in to celebrate this event. Hence we are here tonight.
The anniversary provides us with opportunity to look back and reflect.
At the heart of this celebration is the recognition of the success of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
Hong Kong people are running Hong Kong with the high degree of autonomy and the Central Government has been unwavering in its commitment to make this happen.
Ten years ago, Time’s sister magazine, Fortune, predicted that the return of Hong Kong to the motherland would sound the death knell for the Pearl of the East.
However, in its latest cover story entitled “Hong Kong’s future: Sunshine, with clouds”.
Time admits it made a mistake.
The following are excerpts of the article.
“So it is with Hong Kong. At just past midnight on July 1 1977,in the glittering and poignant ceremony ,Hong Kong passed from being the last jewel of an old empire to a component of a new global power.
Hong Kong matters not only because it is vital driveshaft of the global economy, transmitting the raw power of China’s manufacturing capability into a worldwide system of distributing consumer goods. The city matters because it is a unique experiment that will probably succeed but could possibly fail: the creation of a free, international city within China .In the short period since a collection of fishing villages were turned into a modern metropolis, Hong Kong has survived war, waves of refugees, pestilence, drought and economic near-implosions, consistently defying the doomsayers, repeatedly rebounding.”
Hong Kong is more alive than ever.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I like to give you some facts and figures if it has not been given by the previous few speakers.
In 1997, the stock index, a key barometer of Hong Kong’s health, stood at the then record of 15200, today it hover near the 21000 mark.
From 1997 to 2007,
The total external trade almost double from HK $2.9 trillion to HK $5 trillion.
The mobile phone penetration increased 4 times from 2.1 million sets to 9.4 million sets.
The GDP per capital has increased to US $27,600, despite the fact that during the period Hong Kong has weathered the Asian financial crisis, Avian Flu, a property slump, high employment and the SARS outbreak.
So Ladies and Gentlemen:
There are many reasons that we should celebrate .Let’s party on.
In closing, I would like to quote the Economist Mr. David O’Rear:
“Hong Kong is a pulsating organism made up of the most enterprising conglomeration humanity the world has ever known. That will never change. Identity crisis or no, Hong Kong understands that it’s damned lucky to have become a part of China at so fortuitous a time, when the mainland is becoming ever freer and more open and in a position to give its hybrid, somewhat alien, child, more opportunity than it could possibly have dreamed of.”
I sincerely hope that across the straits, Mr. Chen and his mob will understand all these.
To Hong Kong.