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|Tuesday, June 13, 2000, updated at 12:53(GMT+8)
Funeral for Ann Tse-Kai Held in Hong KongA public memorial service was held in Hong Kong Monday to pay tribute to Ann Tse-Kai, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who died of illness at the age of 88 in Hong Kong at 15:12 hours on June 3, 2000.
Ann was known as an outstanding social activist, a famous patriot and a renowned entrepreneur.
On behalf of the Chinese central government, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Ye Xuanping, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Wang Zhaoguo and concerned officials Zheng Wantong, Liao Hui and Liu Yandong came to Hong Kong to attend the funeral.
Also present at the funeral were Vice Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Henry Ying Tung Fok, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Edmund Ho Hau Wah and Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR Jiang Enzhu.
The funeral began at 09:30. After paying a silent tribute, all the mourners bid farewell to Ann Tse-Kai, whose body, covered by the national flag of the People's Republic of China, was placed amid flowers.
During Ann's hospitalization, the central government was very concerned about him and sent a special medical team to Hong Kong for his treatment. Zheng Wantong visited Ann on behalf of senior Chinese leaders headed by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
Jiang Enzhu has also expressed condolences to Ann's relatives on behalf of Jiang Zemin and other Chinese leaders including Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Hu Jintao, Wei Jianxing and Li Lanqing.
Ann Tse-kai, a well-known public figure in Hong Kong, was elected a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC in 1993, enjoying the status of a state leader.
Ann was also a member of the Standing Committees of the Sixth and Seventh CPPCC National Committees.
Ann Tse-kai was born in Shanghai in 1912. He studied Chinese literature and economics in his early years, and later learned foreign languages including English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish, laying a strong foundation for his later life in international trade.
Ann came to Hong Kong after the Japanese invasion in 1938. He headed for the southwestern city of Chongqing when Hong Kong fought a war against Japanese troops in 1941.
After the war, Ann returned to Hong Kong and settled down here in 1949, beginning his success story in the worlds of business, politics and linguistics. He engaged in textile industry in Hong Kong in the 1950s, served in Hong Kong as member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council and chaired the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries in the 1970s.
And in the 1980s, Ann served as a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee while serving as vice- chairman of the Committee for Drafting the Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and chairman of the Consultative Committee on Hong Kong Basic Law.
In the 1970s, Ann made painstaking efforts to promote development of Hong Kong's foreign trade by traveling around the world to promote sales of Hong Kong products.
In the early 1980s when some people in Hong Kong, due to lack of knowledge about China's policy, were worried about their future in connection with China resuming the exercise of its sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, Ann was very confident.
During his 1982 trip to Beijing, Ann expressed his opinions to Chinese leaders on the importance of continuance of Hong Kong economic progress. He wrote articles on interdependence of economies in Hong Kong and the mainland, calling for strengthening economic ties.
At the second session of the Sixth CPPCC National Committee held in 1984, Ann put forward 16 suggestions on maintaining Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.
In Hong Kong, Ann was described as a gifted man of great attainments in languages, classic Chinese, modern Chinese and statistics and a man who dabbles in medicine, arts philosophy, archaeology, economy, literature and music.
Starting in 1979, he spent more than four years writing a five- volume book on Chinese characters in English which provides a new and easy way to foreigners learning Chinese. He published a total of 21 books on the Chinese language during the 16 years from 1979 to 1995.
In his last years, Ann was very concerned about the reunification of the motherland, hoping an imminent settlement of the Taiwan issue on the basis of the principle of "one country, two systems."
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