The Policy Address 2000

A. Our Governing Philosophy

100. With reunification, Hong Kong has been exercising a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the Basic Law. The approach of our governance has been to engage Hong Kong people in a collective effort to build a better future while balancing and looking after the interests of all. Governance in a modern society involves three main elements: first, to ensure equality for all before the law, judicial independence and that the rule of law prevails in all spheres of society; second, to respect the rights and dignity, and to safeguard the freedoms of each individual; and third, to maintain a highly transparent and accountable government which supports civic participation. These three elements are not only protected by the Basic Law, but have become a reality in the daily life of the Hong Kong SAR.

101. As Chief Executive, my primary concern is to ensure the successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems", so as to enable Hong Kong to continue to progress. Now that Hong Kong has returned to the motherland, future development of the region is inextricably linked with that of the Mainland. Over the past two decades, Hong Kong and the Mainland have forged even closer economic ties and have strengthened mutual co-operation. Hong Kong has long benefited from the country's strong support. I still firmly believe that when China succeeds, Hong Kong will prosper.

102. Hong Kong's residents are mostly Chinese, who take pride in their nation. It is only natural that they should stand up and strongly support the nation. Since the reunification, we have had more opportunities to get to know and understand our country. I am pleased to see that this enhanced understanding is affirming the identification of Hong Kong people with our cultural and historical roots. This will provide a basis for developing our future political structure.

103. To safeguard the interests of Hong Kong and our country, we must abide by the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law. We must earnestly maintain the two systems and work in accordance with the law to preserve our existing systems and way of life, and to protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people.

104. Hong Kong is a pluralistic society. People have the freedom of speech, of assembly, of demonstration, of the press, of academic research and of religious belief. Hong Kong citizens hold diverse views, which are often reflected by the variety of public comments on controversial issues. Nevertheless, our community shares a set of common values, including the importance attached to education, respect for the elderly, caring for children, the emphasis on self-improvement, on charity and on benevolence. We all support upholding the rule of law, maintaining prosperity and stability, and adhering to the principle of "One Country, Two Systems". This provides a basis for us to broaden community consensus while accommodating differences. This can help establish social harmony and facilitate concerted efforts to further the progress of our society.

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