Donald Tsang, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said Hong Kong has experienced a lot in the past 10 years and these experiences have proved the principle of "one country, two systems " a unprecedented success.
"Hong Kong is now stronger, maturer, and knowing more about its own future," said Tsang in Cantonese-accent Mandarin when interviewed by Xinhua.
Wearing his trademark bowtie, Tsang said he began to learn Mandarin when he was 45 years old. Though not perfectly fluent, he tried to use Mandarin every time when interviewed by reporters from the Chinese mainland.
Tsang said that Hong Kong experienced a series of difficulties in the past 10 years, including the Asian financial crisis, bird flu and SARS.
"Every event has caused some economically or socially changes in Hong Kong, but we have survived all these difficulties," said Tsang, adding that with the ups and downs, Hong Kong has enhanced its capability in dealing with emergencies.
After the Asian financial crisis, Hong Kong's financial market has become more resistible to international speculators' attacks, and after the SARS, Hong Kong has upgraded its sanitary system and now it is more capable of dealing with urgent sanitary crisis, said Tsang.
"In Hong Kong, we could always learn about something in everything," said Tsang, "the tradition will keep on. It's the basic Hong Kong spirit that we 'never give up'."
Tsang, serving the Hong Kong government on different positions, witnessed every change of Hong Kong in the past 10 years. In June 2005, Tsang was first elected as the chief executive of the HKSAR when his predecessor Tung Chee Hwa resigned mid-way through his second term due to ill health.
On March 25, 2007, Tsang won a landslide election for the third term chief executive of HKSAR. He will begin serving his new term on July 1, 2007, which will end on June 30, 2012.
He said that in the past 10 years, the central government always stood by Hong Kong's side and gave an all-out support to Hong Kong whenever it needed. In the meantime, Hong Kong's identity was getting clearer day by day and Hong Kong residents are heartily proud of the rapid development of the motherland.
"In the past 10 years, Hong Kong's life style, core value, freedom, a fair society, everything Hong Kong citizen valued most, is not weakened but getting stronger," he said.
He added that while keeping its own core value, Hong Kong is contributing to the motherland in a lot of fields, for example, in the financial development.
"Currently speaking, 'one country' and 'two systems' have both been put into effect in Hong Kong and proved a success," he said.
As for the linkage with the motherland, Tsang said that in China's 11th Five-Year Plan, which outlines the development of the whole country from 2006 to 2010, the central government has set an accurate orientation for Hong Kong as keeping its financial, trade and shipping center.
"The rapid development of the whole country has given a great opportunity to Hong Kong," said Tsang. "It shows the support and expectation of the central government to Hong Kong."
Tsang admitted that there will be competition between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland in some fields, but he added that Hong Kong as an international financial center, 90 percent of its economic power comes from service industry. Hong Kong's development orientation will be different from that of the Chinese mainland and it will always adjust itself according to the need of the market and the development of the mainland.
"Everything I do, I bear the thought on how to get a 'win-win' result for both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong," said Tsang.
As Hong Kong's third term CE, Tsang has a detailed plan for the city's development in the next five years. He said that he will try to go out more to contact Hong Kong residents and let them fully join in the work of the HKSAR government.
"I have the confidence to bring Hong Kong's development to a new height in the next five years," said Tsang.
(Xinhua News Agency June 21, 2007)