February 17, 1990
After almost five years of hard work, you have produced a law that is of historic and international significance. By historic I mean it is significant not only for the past and the present but also for the future. By international and far-reaching I mean it is significant not only for the Third World but for all mankind. This document is a creative masterpiece. I wish to express my thanks to you for your hard work and my congratulations on its completion.
(Impromptu remarks to members of the Drafting Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region who were attending its Ninth Plenary Meeting. The Basic Law was adopted at the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress on April 4, 1990, and will go into effect on July 1, 1997.)