Published: 11:47, December 2, 2022 | Updated: 11:51, December 2, 2022
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Jiang remembered as ‘an outstanding leader’ in the SARs
By Oasis Hu in Hong Kong

Members of the public leave condolence messages to mourn former president Jiang Zemin outside the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Thursday. (ANDY CHONG / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Communities in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Jiang Zemin, former president of the People’s Republic of China, saying that Jiang was an outstanding and great leader whose contribution to the country and people will always be remembered.

Jiang passed away in Shanghai on Wednesday at the age of 96, due to leukemia and multiple organ failure. From Thursday, national flags and regional flags were flown at half-staff at main government buildings in Hong Kong and Macao. The central government’s liaison offices in the two SARs have each set up a mourning hall to receive condolences from the community. Groups of local residents and many influential figures, including the chief executives of the two SARs, have visited the mourning halls to express their grief.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that, as the core of the Communist Party of China’s third generation of central collective leadership and the principal founder of the Theory of Three Represents, Jiang was widely recognized as an outstanding leader with high prestige.

Jiang broke new ground for the country’s comprehensive reform and opening-up, implemented the basic policies of law-based governance of the country, and upheld the principles of “peaceful reunification of China” and “one country, two systems”, making great contributions to the realization of the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao, Lee said.

Lee pledged to spare no effort in the full and faithful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle to ensure Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, contributing to the realization of national rejuvenation.

Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng also expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of Jiang, saying that Jiang cared deeply about the development of Macao and the lives of Macao compatriots.

Jiang attended the handover ceremony of Macao’s return to the motherland in 1999, which was Macao’s most important historical moment. In December 2000, on the first anniversary of the city’s return to the motherland, he also visited Macao and had close contact with local residents. Macao will always remember and miss Jiang’s contribution to the country and the people, Ho said.

Tung Chee-hwa, a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the first chief executive of Hong Kong SAR, hailed Jiang as a great and wise political leader, who successfully implemented the principles of “one country, two systems” and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”.

Leung Chun-ying, who is also a vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, said that under Jiang’s leadership, the HKSAR was able to overcome various difficulties during its crucial transition period after the handover. Jiang had always supported the social and economic development of Hong Kong and provided great development room for the city, under the reform and opening-up policy and the nation’s efforts to build a modern socialist country.

On behalf of all lawmakers, the president of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, said Jiang had fostered a closer relationship and better mutual understanding between the Chinese mainland and the HKSAR, and contributed a lot to the SAR’s long-term stability and prosperity.