The Policy Address 2000

VI. Moving Forward

124. Madam President, today, I have spoken at some length about the Government's work in the coming year, focusing mainly on three areas -education, poverty and governance. Education reform should be a matter of concern for society generally; the poor need our support; the implementation of various policies requires the monitoring, support and participation of the public. I sincerely hope that every member of the community can join hands with me, sharing common goals, so together we can build a better Hong Kong.

125. Four years ago, when I stood for election as Chief Executive, I presented my vision for Hong Kong entitled "Building a 21st Century Hong Kong Together". In my manifesto I said, "I see a stable, equitable, compassionate and democratic society with clarity of direction and unity of purpose; I see an increasingly affluent and well-educated population, proud of our new identity and our Chinese heritage; I see an economy that is one of the most important in the world; I see Hong Kong, as a Special Administrative Region of China, making significant contributions as China emerges as a leader amongst the community of nations." This vision was well-received. Since I took office, the SAR Government has been working hard towards this vision under my leadership. We have carried out a wide range of measures and reforms. Considerable progress has been made. However, as I mentioned earlier, certain new initiatives such as those on environmental protection take time to realise the full effects or to see positive results. In achieving our vision, we must move forward with conviction and perseverance.

126. Over the past three years, it has been widely recognised, both locally and internationally, that the Central Government has honoured all its pledges on Hong Kong. The concept of "One Country, Two Systems" has been fully implemented. The Central Government has not interfered in the affairs within the scope of our autonomy and this should have eliminated all the doubts and anxieties that some people had before 1997. With such a high degree of autonomy, it is up to us to determine how well we perform and whether we can continue to progress in the 21st Century. Indeed, Hong Kong has achieved remarkable success in many areas. For instance, the consolidation of our judicial system, the further development of our free market economy and the enhancement of our position as an international financial centre have all won widespread recognition. We can certainly take pride in this and look ahead to our future with full confidence.

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