Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday that Tung Chee Hwa's resignation from the post of Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been "out of his own sincere will", and his contributions to Hong Kong will be remembered by the Hong Kong people and treated fairly by history.
He said at a press conference after the conclusion of the National People's Congress annual session that Tung's proposal to resign from the post would win understanding from the Hong Kong people and would be respected by the Central Government.
Wen said that he believes that the Hong Kong people are fully capable of running Hong Kong well and the central government will unswervingly stick to the principle of "one country, two systems" and "the Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and "a high degree of autonomy".
The election of a new chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will be done fully in accordance with the Basic Law and other laws, he said.
"The central government will always strictly follow the Basic Law," Wen added.
He said he hopes the Hong Kong people, with one accord, would make further contributions to prosperity and stability in the special administrative region.
Since the People's Republic of China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, Wen said, the HKSAR has implemented in a real earnest way the principle of "one country, two systems".
"The capitalism has remained in Hong Kong, laws have been basically intact and life style of the Hong Kong people has remained unchanged," he said.
Despite the Asian financial crisis, Hong Kong's economy has picked up and living standard of its people has further been improved, Wen said.
"Over the seven and more years," he said, "Mr. Tung has done a tremendous and creative job."
"He was hardworking with few complaints and showed his strong sense of responsibility," Wen said.