|"One Country, Two Systems" works in HK: British official|
HONG KONG, May 22 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said here Monday Hong Kong had scored great success since it returned to the motherland in 1997, meaning "One Country, Two Systems" had worked.
"Hong Kong today is a fast growing, extremely active international center; a key pillar in a 24 hour global economy with New York and London," she said at a British Chamber of Commerce Lunch.
Beckett first came to Hong Kong shortly after the handover in 1997 as Trade and Industry Secretary, and she was also the first British minister in the newly elected Labor government to come either to Hong Kong or the Chinese mainland.
"And whilst there was a little nervousness in the air, I was confident then as I am today that the people of Hong Kong would make sure that this city remained one of the great cities of the world," she told the audience.
"Looking around me a decade later, I see that my confidence was well placed," she said, noting that the people of Hong Kong had retained the rights and freedoms upon which that success is founded.
"So I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the success of one of the globe's most vibrant, adaptive and dynamic communities," she said.
"Over the past 10 years there have been some bumpy moments politically and economically, but some of the more dire predictions I remember so vividly from 1997 have not come true. 'One country, two systems' has worked," she said.
She said the success of Hong Kong also lies in its transparent,fair and efficient systems of law and regulation, its vibrant, dynamic and liberal society, its independent judiciary, its free press as well as the impartial, honest and skilled administration.
"The financial and intellectual resources which flow like a river through this great center, acting like a dynamo which helps to power growth not just in China, but all across the fastest growing region in the global economy," the foreign secretary said.
Most of the credit for Hong Kong's success should goes to the Hong Kong people, she said.
"Credit must of course go to the government in Beijing as well for coming up with the visionary and historic concept of 'one country two systems' and then helping to ensure that it works as well in practice as it sounds on paper," she said.
Beckett pointed to the fact that when congratulating on what had been achieved in the past decade, people shouldn't forget that the challenges in the next 10 years will be just as tough.
"2007 marks the end of 10 years of the Special Administrative Region. But it's very far from the end of UK engagement here. It marks only another page in the story of a very special relationship," Beckett said.
"The next chapter in that story will be about all of us--Beijing, Hong Kong, London--working together on common challenges. Challenges right here in Hong Kong but challenges across the globe too," said the foreign secretary.