The Communist Party made the most of its 75th anniversary in yesterday's press, pushing the handover of Hong Kong to the back pages. A red letter issue of the People's Daily highlighted a political speech by President Jiang Zemin and his visit to Romania, while an editorial urged members to study Mr Jiang's thoughts on strengthening the Party. A backpage editorial devoted to Hong Kong denied the 'weird theory' that the Opium War brought Western civilisation to China. 'This is an extreme example of complete Westernisation,' it said, opposing the view that without Western imperialists China would have remained a backward country. Only the overseas edition of the People's Daily carried a full page on Hong Kong. In an interview, Lu Ping , Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, talked of the inevitability of Hong Kong's return. Asked why China had not taken Hong Kong back after the founding of the new China in 1949, he pleaded that there were other more pressing problems, including a western economic embargo. Mr Lu said Britain had continued to create problems in recent years. He voiced the hope that Britain would stick to the Sino-British Joint Declaration in the next year. The paper reported that school children all over China began a range of activities along the theme 'We love the motherland, We love Hong Kong'. In Chongqing, there were symposiums and knowledge contests and the university opened a Hong Kong and Macau research institute. In Lhasa, over 1,000 Tibetan youths held a celebration meeting and distributed leaflets. 'This way we strengthen our confidence and determination to safeguard the unity of the motherland and to oppose separatism,' one said.