Speech by President Jiang Zemin at the Public Gathering in Beijing in Celebration of Macao's Return to China
December 20, 1999
Today, with the hoisting of the sacred 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 Chinais formally established.This is another great event for the Chinese nation following the return of Hong Kongand another important milestone in our march towards the national reunification.The return of Macaois a result of the protracted tenacious struggles and hard work of the Chinese people, the glory and pride of the socialist motherland and the entire Chinese sons and daughters and a great victory of the world cause of justice and progress.
The separation and reunion of Macaowith the motherland was an epitome of the modern history of the development of the Chinese nation. Macaoof old time gradually fell prey to Portuguese colonial rule against the background of an old Chinaentrenched in poverty and weakness and bullied by the imperialists.Macaoof today has victoriously returned to Chinaas the New China is confidently marching towards prosperity and strength.This historic change fully testifies to the great strength of the present-day Chinaand the Chinese people.
At this exciting moment, we cherish with deep affection the memory of Comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and other proletariat revolutionaries of the elder generation and the memory of all the martyrs and other revolutionaries who have bravely devoted all their lives to the emancipation of the nation, the well-being of the people and the reunification and prosperity of the motherland.We will forever remember their great contributions to the country and the people.
The successful implementation of the concept of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong has provided valuable practical experience for Macao.The Central Government will unswervingly implement the policies of "one country, two systems", "the Macaopeople administering Macao" and a high degree of autonomy.Macao's existing social and economic systems and way of life will remain unchanged and the existing laws will remain basically unchanged.We will firmly support the Chief Executive and the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region in their efforts to administer Macaoaccording to law.And we will do all we can to fully protect the rights and freedoms of the Macaoresidents bestowed on them by the Basic Law.The interests of foreign investors in Macaowill be protected by law.We are confident that, with their talents and wisdom, the Macaocompatriots and other people from various circles will be able to create an even better future for Macao.
This particular moment reminds me of a famous poem by a poet of the Tang dynasty called 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 Taiwanwill entertain the same joyful sentiments as the people in the mainland and the Hong Kongand Macaocompatriots.
All patriotic compatriots at home and abroad and all farsighted people in the world have seen from the smooth return of Hong Kongand Macaothat the "one country, two systems" policy is most appropriate and correct and is the best approach to solving the Taiwanquestion.To achieve a complete national reunification in accordance with the "one China" principle is the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people including the Taiwancompatriots, and is an inevitable historical trend that cannot be stopped by any force on earth.
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, advance with the times, persist in self-reliance and hard work, and brace up for progress and prosperity, so as to constantly build on China's economic strength, national defence and cohesiveness.In face of intense competition in the contemporary world, there is either progress or retrogress.We must persist in applying Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory in particular, in assessing the trends in the world and envisaging the future of our country, persist in proceeding from the reality of China, unswervingly keep to our own road, carry the socialist reform and socialist modernization through to the end, and constantly open up new vistas for China's development and prosperity.