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Monday, 20 December, 1999, 00:38 GMT
Chinese president hails new era

jiang President Jiang welcomed Macau to 'embrace of motherland'


The following is the full text of Chinese President Jiang Zemin's speech at the Macau handover ceremony, broadcast on Chinese TV and carried by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua:

President Jorge Sampaio, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, at this refreshing moon-lit night and by the mirror-like water, the government of China and the government of Portugal are holding a solemn ceremony here to mark the transfer of government of Macau and to announce the Chinese Government's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Macau.

This important event, which is a focus of world attention, will be remembered forever in history.

Beginning from this moment, Macau has entered on a brand-new era in its development. I would like to extend, on behalf of the Central Government and people of all ethnic groups in China, our cordial greetings and good wishes to the Macau compatriots who are returning to the embrace of the motherland.

Beginning from this moment, the friendship between the two peoples and the amicable co-operation between the two countries will develop from a new starting point.

Our two sides have worked together in conformity with the historical trend of the times and brought about the smooth transition and transfer of government of Macau.

I wish to sincerely thank all those who have made contribution to the settlement of the question of Macau and people across the world who care for and support the return of Macau.

The Chinese Government has, in accordance with the great concept of "one country, two systems" initiated by Deng Xiaoping, successfully resolved the questions of Hong Kong and of Macau.

This marks a significant progress made by the Chinese people in accomplishing the great task of national reunification.

The Taiwan question

The implementation of the concept of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong and Macau has played and will continue to play an important exemplary role for our eventual settlement of the Taiwan question.

The Chinese Government and people are confident and capable of an early settlement of the Taiwan question and the complete national reunification.

After the return of Macau, the Chinese Government will unswervingly implement the policies of "one country, two systems", Macau people administering Macau, and a high degree of autonomy.

The Macau Special Administrative Region will, in accordance with the law, be vested with executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.

Macau inhabitants, irrespective of race and belief, will all be masters of this land, enjoying, as equals, the rights and freedoms guaranteed by law.

After the return of Macau, the economic interests of all countries and regions in Macau will be protected in accordance with the law.

I hope that the countries and regions with investment and trade interests in Macau will continue to work for the stability and development of Macau.

'Embrace of the motherland'

Our Macau compatriots have a glorious tradition of patriotism, and they have always been related by blood and mutual affinity with people of the rest of the country.

It is our firm belief that, with the support of the Central Government and people of all ethnic groups in China, the Macau Special Administrative Region Government and Macau compatriots will do a good job in the administration, building-up and development of Macau.

Macau, now back in the embrace of the motherland, will surely have an even brighter tomorrow. Thank you.

BBC Monitoring http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages

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See also:
19 Dec 99 |  Media reports
Portuguese president bids Macau farewell
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