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Tuesday, December 21, 1999, updated at 09:20(GMT+8)
China Full Text of Jiang's Speech at the Beijing Rally in Celebration of Macao's Return

Following is the full text of the speech by Jiang Zemin, president of the People's Republic of China, at the rally held on the evening of December 20 in Beijing in celebration of Macao's return to China.

Comrades and Friends,

Today, with the hoisting of the awe-inspiring Five-Star Red Flag and the Regional Flag of the Macao Special Administrative Region in Macao, the Government of China has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Macao and the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China is officially established. This is another great event for the Chinese nation following the return of Hong Kong and another important milestone in our march towards the national reunification. The return of Macao is a result of the protracted tenacious struggle and hard work, a glory and pride of the socialist motherland and the entire Chinese nation and also a great victory of the world cause for justice and progress.

At this exciting moment, we can not but think of comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and other proletariat revolutionaries of the elder generation. It has also revived our profound memory of all martyrs and other revolutionaries who had bravely devoted all their lives to the emancipation of the nation, well-being of the people and the reunification and prosperity of the motherland. We will forever remember what they have done for the country and the people.

The return of Macao opens up a new era in the history of Macao. From today on, our compatriots in Macao will truly become the masters of that land. The ever-thriving modernization drive on the mainland is bound to inject new vitality into Macao's development continuously. And the people on the mainland will forever be the strong backing behind the Macao compatriots on their way.

Macao's separation from and reunion with the motherland epitomize the modern history of the Chinese nation. In old days, Macao gradually fell prey to Portuguese colonial rule against the background of an old China entrenched in poverty and weakness and bullied by imperialists. Today, Macao has victoriously returned to China as new China is confidently marching towards prosperity and strength. This historic change fully testifies to the great strength of the present-day China and its people.

The great concept of "one country, two systems" proposed by Comrade Deng Xiaoping is the sole correct guideline for solutions to the questions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and hence for achieving the complete reunification of the motherland. The successful implementation of the concept in Hong Kong has provided valuable practical experience for Macao. The Central Government will unswervingly implement the policies of "one country, two systems", "the Macao people administering Macao" and a high degree of autonomy. Macao SAR will retain its current social system, economic structure, way of life and the bulk of its existing laws. We will firmly support the Chief Executive and the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region in their efforts to administer Macao according to law. And we will do all we can to fully protect the rights and freedoms of the Macao residents bestowed on them by the Basic Law. The interests of foreign investors in Macao will be lawfully protected. We are confident that compatriots and other people from various circles in Macao will, with their talents and wisdom, be able to create an even better future for Macao.

This particular moment reminds me of a famous poem by the Tang Poet Wang Wei, the second half of which goes like this: "I know my brothers would, with dogwood spray in hand, climb up the mountain and miss me so far away". On this joyous occasion of celebrating the return of Macao, a great event for the Chinese nation, I am sure that our compatriots in Taiwan will share the joyful sentiments of the people in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. All patriotic compatriots at home and abroad and all far-sighted people in the world have seen, from the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao, that the "one country, two systems" policy is most appropriate and correct and is the best approach to solving the Taiwan question. To achieve a complete national reunification in accordance with the "one China" principle is the shared aspiration of all the Chinese people including the Taiwan compatriots, and an inevitable historical trend which no force on earth can ever resist. It is our hope that the Taiwan authorities will not go against the tide of history, erect obstacles to the development of the cross-Straits ties or act against the fundamental interests of the Taiwan compatriots and the entire Chinese nation. The Chinese Government and people will never tolerate any attempt to split China. We have both the determination and the ability to resolve the Taiwan question at an early date and accomplish the great cause of reunifying our motherland in accordance with the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems".

Since new China emerged from the horizon in the East like a rising sun, earthshaking changes have taken place against all the vicissitudes. The Chinese people with their destiny in their own hands have worked hard under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, embarked on the broad road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and are building brilliant prospects for an all-round rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

History tells us that in order to stand firm on our own among all nations of the world, we Chinese nation must adopt a global perspective, adhere to the principle of advancing with the times, self-reliance and hard work, and brace up for progress and prosperity, so as to constantly build on China's economic strength, national defense and cohesiveness. In face of intense competition in the contemporary world, there is either progress or retrogress. We must assess the trends in the world and envisage the future of our country with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory in particular, never deviate from the reality of China, unswervingly keep to our own road and carry the socialist reform and socialist modernization through to the end so as to constantly open up new vistas for China's development and prosperity.

The bell is ringing for the advent of the 21st century. Political multipolarity and economic globalization are the two major trends in the future world. We are faced with not only grim challenges, but also rare development opportunities. Both challenges and opportunities are testing our wits and strength. The Chinese people of all ethnic groups should rally around the Communist Party of China more closely and work in unison and in a pioneering spirit so as to build China into a modern socialist state with a high degree of prosperity, democracy and civilization and to make new and greater contribution to the noble cause of peace and progress for mankind! (Xinhua)

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