X. Closing Remarks: United for a Future
165. Mr President, Honourable Members and fellow citizens, as I sum up the last Policy Address for my five-year term of office, I would like to express a few words that are dear to my heart.
166. I left university and joined the Government 41 years ago. It has always been my belief that, with a vision to serve the community and the readiness to act with a proactive style, I could help build a fairer and more compassionate society for Hong Kong from within the establishment. It has been my honour to participate in the successful return of Hong Kong to the Motherland. Since Reunification, I have worked in different positions to implement “One Country, Two Systems” to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. When I assumed office as the Chief Executive of the HKSAR some four years ago, I deeply felt that I was charged with a heavy responsibility. I realised that this would be the greatest honour in my career, and no doubt the biggest challenge in my life.
167. Within two years of taking office, I came under unprecedented pressure due to opposition to the proposed legislative amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, the social unrest, the incessant and gross interference in Hong Kong affairs by external forces as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The driving force backing me up in overcoming all these challenges comes from the earnest words of the Central Government that it will always provide staunch support to Hong Kong, my pledge to always stand by the side of the people of Hong Kong when I took office, and the unfailing trust and support of my family. Today, under the double safeguards of national security and the improved electoral system, Hong Kong is back on the right track of “One Country, Two Systems”. I am confident that Hong Kong is much stronger than ever, and I am most convinced that Hong Kong can integrate into the overall development of the country and play an irreplaceable role as our country strides towards the second centenary goal of the nation. And of course, I wish that we can nurture a new generation with a sense of national identity and social responsibility as well as an affection for Hong Kong, and pass on the torch to them.
168. The coming year 2022 will mark the important occasion of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland. Led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, a committee comprising bureaux and departments has commenced preparatory work for a series of celebration activities, and will liaise with various sectors of the community in due course to jointly organise more exciting events for the public to rejoice in celebration of our return to the Motherland. There have been views that the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR is halfway of the journey that things shall remain “unchanged for 50 years” as enshrined in the Basic Law, and the beginning to the second half of the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”. In my view, however, under the steer of the Central Government and with the co-operation of the HKSAR, we have, through “One Country, Two Systems”, improved our legal system and the enforcement mechanisms required for safeguarding national safety, and enhanced our electoral system that conforms to the constitutional order of the HKSAR. Safeguarded by the Constitution and the Basic Law, “One Country, Two Systems” has already become one of the strengths of the governance system of our country. So long as the HKSAR firmly observes and upholds the principle of “One Country” and fulfils the requirement of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, the “Two Systems” will definitely thrive and flourish, and Hong Kong will continue to be cherished by our country. At this new start, the 2021 Policy Address has unfolded a new paradigm and set out a new blueprint. Let us stand united and set off to build a bright future together!