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Excerpts from speeches marking the Hong Kong handover:

The Associated PressJune 30, 1997

Excerpts from speeches by Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Prince Charles’ at the handover ceremony, from Tung Chee-hwa’s inaugural speech as chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, and outgoing Gov. Chris Patten’s farewell speech:

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JIANG ZEMIN:

``At this moment, people of all countries in the world are casting their eyes on Hong Kong. ...This is both a festival for the Chinese nation and a victory for the universal cause of peace and justice.″

``...July 1, 1997, will go down in the annals of history as a day that merits eternal memory. The return of Hong Kong to the motherland after going through a century of vicissitudes indicates that from now on, the Hong Kong compatriots have become true masters of this Chinese land and that Hong Kong has entered a new era of development.″

``...History will remember Mr. Deng Xiaoping for his creative concept of `one country, two systems.′ It is precisely along the course envisaged by this great concept that we have successfully resolved the Hong Kong question through diplomatic negotiations and finally achieved Hong Kong’s return to the motherland.″

``...On this solemn occasion, I wish to extend my cordial greetings and best wishes to the 6 million or more Hong Kong compatriots who have now returned to the embrace of the motherland.″

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TUNG CHEE-HWA:

``After 156 years of separation, Hong Kong and China are whole again. This is a solemn, stately and proud moment. We are here today to announce to the world, in our own language, that Hong Kong has entered a new era.

``...Never have we, as a nation, had such prosperity and potential to achieve greatness as we do today. Nor have we achieved greater recognition and dignity in the international community as we do today.

``...For the first time in history, we, the people of Hong Kong, will be master of our own destiny. The Special Administrative Region Government is fully committed to preserving the Hong Kong way of life, maintaining Hong Kong’s free and open economic system, upholding the rule of law and building a more democratic society.″

``...I am mindful of the enormous responsibilities which lie ahead. Throughout my life, I have experienced the joy and satisfaction of success and the pain of frustration of failure. I understand the hopes and aspirations of Hong Kong people.″

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CHRIS PATTEN:

``History is not just a matter of dates. What makes history is what comes before and what comes after the dates we all remember. The story of this great city is about the years before this night and the years of success that will surely follow it.

``...What we celebrate this evening is the restless energy, the hard work, the audacity of the men and women who have written Hong Kong’s success story _ mostly Chinese men and Chinese women. They were only ordinary in the sense that most of them came here with nothing. They are extraordinary in what they have achieved against the odds.

``...Hong Kong’s values are decent values. They are universal values. They are values of the future in Asia as elsewhere _ a future in which the happiest and the richest communities, and the most confident and most stable, too, will be those that best combine political liberty and economic freedom as we do here today.″

``...Now Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong. That is the promise _ and that is the unshakable destiny.″

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PRINCE CHARLES:

``I should like to pay tribute to the people of Hong Kong themselves for all that they have achieved in the last century and a half. The triumphant success of Hong Kong demands _ and deserves _ to be maintained.″

``...Hong Kong has shown the world how dynamism and stability can be defining characteristics of a successful society. These have together created a great economy which is the envy of the world. Hong Kong has shown the world how East and West can live and work together. As a flourishing commercial and cultural cross-roads, it has brought us together and enriched all our lives.″

``...China will tonight take responsibility for a place and a people which matter greatly to us. The solemn pledges made before the world in the 1984 Joint Declaration guarantee the continuity of Hong Kong’s way of life. For its part the United Kingdom will maintain its unwavering support for the Joint Declaration. Our commitment and our strong links to Hong Kong will continue, and will, I am confident, flourish as Hong Kong and its people themselves continue to flourish.″

``...We not forget you, and we shall watch with the closest interest as you embark on this new era of your remarkable history.″

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