Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, December 14, 2001
Full Text of Tung Chee Hwa's Re-election Speech
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Tung Chee Hwa declared his candidacy for a second term late Thursday afternoon at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Here is the full text of Tung Chee Hwa's re-election speech. In His speech, Tung gave four priorities and promised more efforts in education and administrative cooperation. Tung sought vote of each and every elector and the full support of the community.
I thank you for joining me here today as this is indeed a special day. On this occasion, and with your trust and support, I am announcing formally that I will run for the post of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the upcoming election.
This election is an important one. It will define the leadership that will lead Hong Kong out of one of the worst economic slowdowns in our recent history, re-engineer the government with a view to delivering better services to the public, and continue the successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems." As Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 1997, I have accumulated invaluable experience, and am thus better equipped today to tackle the challenges we face. I will bring solutions to our problems, foster unity of our community, and work in the overall interest for the Hong Kong community.
July 1, 1997 was a significant day in Chinese history. The day marked the beginning of the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" which was an unprecedented and untried concept. The successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" not only held great implication for the people of Hong Kong, but also for the unification of China. We have successfully taken the first step. With support from the community here in Hong Kong, and an immense level of trust from the Central Government, we have successfully preserved social stability, civil and individual rights, and the Hong Kong way of life. It is a fact that the doubts, worries and concerns in the run-up to the handover four years ago have been removed. Since the handover, with "One Country, Two Systems" and closer relations with various layers of mainland authorities, we successfully withstood a full frontal assault during the Asia financial crisis, stabilized the financial markets and ensured the smooth functioning of the economy.
Whilst Hong Kong avoided wide spread systemic failure that plagued other economies, the Asia financial crisis brought about five quarters of negative economic growth in Hong Kong during 1998 and 1999. The economy recovered in 2000. Due to cyclical and simultaneous downturn in all our major markets, however, our economy is being adversely affected this year. During these few years, in order to soften the impact on the people of Hong Kong, we took appropriate measures including tax cuts, rates reduction, and, to the fullest extent possible, creation of new job opportunities. Most importantly, despite the urgency of the short- term measures, we have kept our focus on the long term planning and development of Hong Kong.
The Asian financial crisis fully exposed the weakness of the economy which in turn led to the bursting of the bubble. Globalization, the advent of the knowledge economy, and the rapid economic development of the Chinese mainland have brought to Hong Kong both opportunities and challenges. Hong Kong must restructure its economy by repositioning ourselves and moving up the value chain. We must build our future based on the competitive advantages in our unique geographical location, business friendly environment, well-integrated local and international pool of business talent, and superb infrastructure. After broad-based consultation and deliberation, we are positioning Hong Kong as one of the most important cities of China, leveraging on the enormous opportunities in the mainland, and a world city of Asia. We will be a vibrant society that offers high value added services, and a forward looking community that utilizes innovation and technology.
This positioning, together with the innate advantages under " One Country, Two Systems" as provided by the Basic Law will enable Hong Kong to generate long term and sustainable growth.
With this positioning, we have made major commitments in a number of policy areas. We have committed an enormous amount of resources into the education sector. The objective of this investment is clear. We aim to create the best-educated and most well-rounded generation of youth in the history of Hong Kong. We aim to equip all citizens, regardless of background, with the necessary knowledge and skill set, and the concept of life long learning to meet the coming challenges.
We will continue to commit an enormous amount of resources into infrastructure building. The objective of this investment is clear. We aim to provide Hong Kong with the best infrastructure in an increasingly competitive world. We believe this will lead to more commercial opportunities for Hong Kong, and eventually further creation of wealth in Hong Kong.
We will continue to encourage innovation and technology as this will assist us in our restructuring and better position Hong Kong for the future.
We will continue to improve our environment and enhance the quality of life for all our citizens and overseas investors and visitors alike.
Indeed, much work has been done since the handover. During this period, I have constantly reflected on how we could have done better for there are undoubtedly deficiencies. In particular, I believe implementation of some policy initiatives could have been better managed; the interests of different sectors could have been better balanced; the reform initiatives could have been better prioritized; and the response and reaction of the community could have been better assessed. For these deficiencies and other shortcomings, I will ensure that they are properly addressed.
The second term government will face formidable tasks and challenges. In my view, the most important task for the second administration is to continue the implementation of policy initiatives of the first administration, particularly in educational reforms. In addition, I believe the following areas will be critical.
First, we should ensure that policy planning, development and implementation are in step with the times. In this respect, we need to:
Re-engineer the government and intensify a service oriented culture within the civil service. Furthermore, we need to ensure that all policy initiatives are implemented in a comprehensive and appropriate manner.
Implement the new accountability system by July next year. Through a more accountable system, the senior officials will become more answerable in their service of the community. In addition, we believe that it will foster an accountability culture within the entire civil service that is more in tune with the times.
Following the introduction of the new accountability system, restructure the Executive Council to ensure that the body performs its role in the effective manner.
Put in place an effective opinion survey system to ensure highest level of government awareness to community attitude, sensitivity, and reaction to policy initiatives.
Review the current advisory committees system to ensure that all views can be heard without prejudice and in an unobstructed manner. Particularly during policy planning stage, we will seek views and active participation by experts in related areas, especially those from the academia.
Strengthen work at the District level to ensure that the views and interest of all sectors of society are properly considered.
In the face of an enormous deficit, work under the principle of reducing government expenditure while ensuring quality and efficient service delivery.
Second, we should make full use of China's accession to WTO for the benefit of Hong Kong. With her accession, China will become the global center for manufacturing and consumer activities. In anticipation of these developments, China has become a focal point for many nations around the world. Especially within Asia, nations are positioning themselves according to this development. Hong Kong needs to be similarly aware of this opportunity and challenge, and take full advantage of the situation to help in this period of economic restructuring. After further consideration, consultation and deliberation, I have proposed the following to the Central Government:
To devise specific policies in support of Hong Kong's position as an international financial center, a trade and logistic center, and tourism center. Specifically, we asked the Central Government to fully recognize and utilize Hong Kong's established competitive advantages when they make overall planning for economic development, infrastructure and other large scale investments. In this respect, we are delighted to see that in the area of tourism, the Central Government has already taken steps to ease the travelling restrictions of mainland tourists to Hong Kong.
To establish a free trade area arrangement between Hong Kong and the Mainland which will provide greater opportunity to Hong Kong businesses and professionals. With this arrangement, we hope to fully explore the potential for greater economic cooperation with the Pearl River Delta area. This cooperation needs to move beyond the single aspect of OEM manufacturing into areas including finance, tourism, transportation, real estate, communications, professional services and other commercial activities.
Third, during this period of economic restructuring, our initiatives must be directed towards those that are affected. The Government first priority must be to create more job opportunities. At the same time, the Government must provide resources for training and retraining to help those affected re-enter the work force in a meaningful manner. Finally, we must continue to provide a comprehensive and appropriate safety net to those who are ultimately unable to adapt. The Government must explore all alternatives and better utilize community resources in building a caring society.
Fourth, to foster a can-do attitude and a spirit of excellence, we should encourage unity of purpose and promote the fine traditions of the community at large.
Recently, I read from the newspaper regarding Ms. Wong Sau Yung. Over the past 20 years, she has suffered from strokes and cancer while facing the prospect of raising three children as a single mother under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme. She admitted that during her darkest hours, she even pondered the possibility of taking her own life. She did not, however, give up. She held on to her unyielding belief of a better tomorrow, and a desire to secure a better future for her children. Today, her two daughters have graduated from university, and her son has found employment after finishing secondary school. In addition, the family is no longer a recipient of CSSA, and recently moved into a newly purchased home under the Home Ownership Scheme.
Another piece of interesting news is about the Hong Kong cyclists, Mr. Wong Kam Po and Mr. Ho Siu Lin, both medalists from the All China Games. During their quest for the medals, they demonstrated their spirit of dedication, excellence and above all cooperation. In an event that demands both individual diligence and unselfish teamwork, they performed their respective roles to perfection. The duo won the gold medal for themselves and gave Hong Kong its first ever gold medal in the All China Games.
These examples are more than "feel good" stories. To me, they raise what I believe to be interesting questions for our community. Does the community treasure and foster such self-reliant and unyielding spirit as demonstrated by Ms. Wong? Does the community recognize and encourage the teamwork and the pursuit of excellence shown by Mr. Wong and Mr.Ho While safeguarding the openness and diversity of our society, should we not have a set of community values which foster mutual help and support? The answer is definitely affirmative. I believe the next administration not only needs to lead Hong Kong to economic recovery, but also to foster a community discussion on these issues. Our aim should not only be economic fulfillment. It is only with such shared values that we can take pride in our identity.
The first Administration of the HKSAR has been setting the direction and laying the groundwork for the 21st century. We are aware of the existing deficiencies of Hong Kong, and we have a firm grasp of the solutions and tasks at hand. We are confident that we can do better.
If I am so elected, I will ensure the second term includes the following efforts:
--To strengthen communication with youth, parents, and educators and ensure that the next generation is better educated and provided with better opportunities;
-- To strengthen cooperation between the Executive and the Legislature, and ensure that together we will better serve the community;
-- To strengthen communication with the business community, and in so doing, provide an even better business friendly environment, attract more investment, and create more job opportunities;
-- To strengthen communication with the academic, professional and cultural sectors and ensure that they are given the opportunity to develop and deploy their expertise to the fullest extent;
-- To strengthen communication with the labor sector to ensure that their interest is protected in a reasonable and appropriate manner;
-- I wish to emphasize that I share the importance which the community attaches to the democratic ideal. I will work with all sectors of society to lay the best possible foundation for the development of democracy, including upholding the rule of law, protecting individual and civil rights, and creating broader participation for the community in public affairs, so that democracy can continue to develop smoothly in Hong Kong.
I hope that through increased interaction and cooperation, the government and Hong Kong people can work in genuine partnership. I hope this partnership will enable more unity of purpose and engender greater accord. With this partnership, I believe Hong Kong will be well positioned for the future.
The path ahead is not an easy one. But I believe that with dedication, an unyielding attitude, and a unity of purpose, we can ensure that Hong Kong will enjoy an unparalleled vitality and spirit.
Five years ago, as a Chinese, I stood as candidate of Chief Executive of Hong Kong out of a sense of mission. I also had a vision for Hong Kong in the 21st century. The realization of this vision will take time, but we have already begun our work. Indeed, our responsibility is to create a better Hong Kong for generations to come.
Serving only one term as Chief Executive was my original intention. I had no plan to contest for the second term. However, it is clear to me that my work has only begun. Especially today, as we face great economical difficulties, and are laying the foundation for the future, I believe there is no greater duty or challenge than to work with the community to realize our shared vision. I am offering myself again for election for the second term.
I am determined to continue to serve Hong Kong with dedication, honesty, integrity, wisdom and vision.
I sincerely seek the vote of each and every elector on the Election Committee, and at the same time, seek the community's full support, in other words, your support, for my endeavor.
Tung Chee Hwa Chief Executive, HK SAR, People's Republic of China
Mr. Tung Chee Hwa was born in Shanghai on May 29, 1937, the first child of shipping businessman Tung Chao Yung &Koo Lee Ching. Mr. Tung has a brother and three sisters.In 1947 his family moved to HK. After completing secondary school, Mr. Tung studied in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in marine engineering.
Mr. Tung then worked for General Electric and the family business in the United States before returning to Hong Kong in 1969 to join the family group business. On December 11, 1996 Mr. Tung won by a wide margin in the first election to the post of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). He was formally appointed by the Central People's Government on December 16, 1996 and assumed office as the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR on July 1, 1997 for a five-year term. Prior to his election, Mr. Tung was vice-chairman of the then Preparatory Committee of the HKSAR and a Hong Kong Affairs Adviser to the PRC. He was a member of the Eighth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.