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Monday, 1 July, 2002, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
China criticises HK Government
Hong Kong police stop human rights protesters from throwing a coffin over a barricade
Activists say HK's return to China has killed democracy
The Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, has urged the government of Hong Kong to do a better job for its people as the territory marks the fifth anniversary of its handover from British control.

Tung Chee-hwa
Mr Tung admitted the last five years had been difficult
He was speaking as Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Tung Chee-hwa, was sworn in for a new five-year term on Monday.

Mr Tung himself admitted that the past five years had been difficult ones for Hong Kong.

And that sentiment was echoed in the angry protests nearby by pro-democracy activists, who are concerned that Hong Kong's freedoms are being eroded by Beijing rule.

Surprise reprimand

The BBC's correspondent in Hong Kong, Damian Grammaticas, says that President Jiang surprised many when he delivered some carefully-worded criticisms of the Hong Kong administration.

The president said that hoped the executive, legislative and judicial bodies would constantly improve their job performances to provide better services to society.

And he had criticisms too for Hong Kong's people, calling on them to become "better masters" of their territory, and to help the development of the motherland.

In the past five years, the territory's economy has taken a battering. Property prices - a major source of wealth - have fallen by half, unemployment has tripled and many people's wages are being cut.

Our correspondent says there is a real sense of pessimism that Hong Kong has lost its way.

Tung's rallying cry

But Mr Tung said that despite the territory's present difficulties "we need not be pessimistic".

"We can't stand still... We have to forge ahead."

He pledged to uphold Hong Kong's constitution, known as the Basic Law, and to remain accountable to Beijing, as a band struck up and the flags of Hong Kong and China were raised by the waterfront.

Mr Tung has recently completed an overhaul of his administration, replacing civil servants with political appointees whom critics worry will increase the chief executive's power.


Demonstrators out of earshot of the ceremonies railed against the close ties between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Falun Gong protest in Hong Kong
Falun Gong followers have been detained at Hong Kong's airport

"Down with Jiang Zemin," dozens of activists chanted as they marched with a mock coffin condemning China's "murderous regime".

About 100 practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement performed a silent appeal for Beijing to stop its crackdown on the group.

Though illegal in mainland China, Falun Gong is officially tolerated in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the Hong Kong Government is busy prosecuting Falun Gong members and local political activists for staging public demonstrations.

And about 100 Falun Gong members who have arrived in Hong Kong over the last 10 days to join demonstrations have been deported.

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas
"Tung Chee-hwa is highly unpopular in Hong Kong"
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