SECRETARY-GENERAL WISHES PROSPEROUS, SUCCESSFUL FUTURE TO PEOPLE OF HONG KONG19970630 Kofi Annan Calls Peaceful Transfer of Sovereignty Over Hong Kong to China 'Milestone in Long History of Decolonization'
Following is the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the resumption of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong issued today:
I am delighted to be in Hong Kong on this momentous day, a milestone in the long history of decolonization.
I congratulate the Governments of the People's Republic of China and of the United Kingdom on today's peaceful transfer of sovereignty.
The world has viewed with admiration and respect the process that has come to this satisfactory conclusion today. For the resumption of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong has come about in peace, through negotiation.
As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have come here both to join in the celebrations and to be the witness of the international community at these important proceedings. I come to witness this transfer of sovereignty, including the commitments that are being given.
For the resourceful and dynamic people of Hong Kong, a new future beckons, based on the solid foundations already laid down. The economy of Hong Kong is both strong and vibrant. Important commitments have been given to the people of Hong Kong, guaranteeing that the way of life and rich diversity of Hong Kong society will be preserved and enhanced under the formula of "one country, two systems".
I therefore believe that we can look forward to a further strengthening of the new Special Administrative Region of China as a world financial and economic centre.
I have wished Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region, every success as he works with the people of Hong Kong to bring about an even more prosperous and dynamic Hong Kong, in which the rule of law and respect for human rights remain a major unifying factor.
Today, the world congratulates the Governments of the People's Republic of China and of the United Kingdom, shares in the joy of the people of Hong Kong, and wishes them a prosperous and successful future.
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