Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), announced on Thursday in Hong Kong that he would run for a second term of the HKSAR chief executive in the upcoming election.
Tung made the announcement at a gathering of about 1,000 supporters for his re-election in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center and expressed that he seeks the vote of each and every elector and the community's full support.
President Jiang Zemin, in Myanmar for a state visit, told Hong Kong journalists in Yangon that he supports Tung's decision. Jiang also said he believes that Tung will succeed.
Three Important Significances of the Election
"The election is an important one. It will define the leadership that will lead Hong Kong out of one of the worst economic slowdowns in the recent history, re-engineer the government with a view to delivering better services to the public, and continue the successful implementation of 'One Country, Two Systems'," he said.
Tung said Hong Kong has successfully taken the first step in the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" principle.
"With support from the community here in Hong Kong, and an immense level of trust from the central government, we have successfully preserved social stability, civil and individual rights and the Hong Kong way of life," he said.
Four Critical Areas for Priority
Tung noted that the second term government will face formidable tasks and challenges, and that the most important task for the second administration is to continue the implementation of policy initiatives of the first administration, particularly in educational reforms.
He also outlined four critical areas that the government needs to give priority to.
Civil Service in Step with Times
First, he said, the government should ensure that policy planning, development and implementation are in step with the times.
--New Accountability System
"In this respect, we need to re-engineer the government and intensify a service oriented culture within the civil service," he said, adding that the new accountability system will be implemented by July next year.
"Through a more accountable system, the senior officials will become more answerable in their service of the community," he said. "In addition, we believe that it will foster an accountability culture within the entire civil service that is more in tune with the times."
Following the introduction of the new accountability system, the government will restructure the Executive Council to ensure that the body performs its role in the effective manner, he said.
--Opinion Survey System
Tung said an effective opinion survey system is needed to be put in place to ensure highest level of government awareness to community attitude, sensitivity, and reaction to policy initiatives.
--Current Advisory Committes
The government need to review the current advisory committees system, strengthen work at the district level, and work under the principle of reducing government expenditure while ensuring quality and efficient service delivery, he added.
Full Use of China's WTO Accession
For the second area, Tung pointed out that the government should also make full use of China's accession to WTO for the benefit of Hong Kong, and that Hong Kong needs to be aware of this opportunity and challenge, and take full advantage of the situation to help the economic restructuring.
Tung said he had proposed the central government devise specific policies in support of Hong Kong's position as an international financial center, a trade and logistic center, and tourism center.
--Free Trade Area
He also proposed to establish a free trade area arrangement between Hong Kong and the mainland which will provide greater opportunity to Hong Kong business and professionals.
Initiatives Towards Those That Affected
"Third, during this period of economic restructuring, our initiatives must be directed towards those that affected," he said.
The government first priority must be to create more job opportunities, and at the same time provide resources for training and re-training to help those affected to re-enter the work force in a meaningful manner, he added.
Unity of Purpose, Fine Tradition to Be Encouraged
Fourth, to foster a can-do attitude and a spirit of excellence, the government should encourage unity of purpose and promote the fine tradition of the community at large, he said.
He said the first administration of the HKSAR has been setting the direction and laying the groundwork for the 21st century.
Other Focal Points of Tung if Re-elected
If re-elected, Tung pledged that in his second term he would strengthen communication with youth, parents, and educators to ensure that the next generation is better educated and provided with better opportunities.
--Cooperation Between Executive, Legislature
He would also strengthen cooperation between the Executive and the Legislature and strengthen communication with the business community, the academic, professional, culture and labor.
"I hope that through increased interaction and cooperation, the government and the Hong Kong people can work in genuine partnership," he said. "With this partnership, I believe Hong Kong will be well positioned for the future."
He said he is determined to continue to service Hong Kong with dedication, honesty, integrity, wisdom and vision.
"I sincerely seek the vote of each and every elector on the Election Committee, and at the same time, seek the community's full support," he said in conclusion.
At the gathering, eight representatives from various sectors delivered speeches and expressed support for Tung in the run for the second term of the HKSAR chief executive.
(People's Daily December 14, 2001)