I. K. Gujral - Prime Minister of India The First of July, 1997, marks the end of an era as well as the birth of a new age in the history of Hong Kong. On this momentous occasion, China resumes sovereignty over the territory after a lapse of a century-and-a-half. The Chinese people have cause for celebration. The last remnants of colonialism recede from the Asian shore. We, in India, having experienced a colonial past, fully understand the joyous sentiments of the Chinese people on this occasion. The people of India join the rest of the world in extending their warm felicitations to the leadership and people of China on the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has acquired a unique identity. The residents of Hong Kong by dint of their hard work and indefatigable energy, have transformed the territory from a small trading post into one of the world's most vibrant role in facilitating and furthering economic and commercial co-operation between India and China. This will also contribute to the growing relationship of constructive co-operation between our two countries. Hong Kong has attracted best talents from different parts of the globe. The Indian community is an integral part of this rich mosaic of Hong Kong's diversity. It has made a significant contribution to its economic success and modernisation. We expect that it will continue to play an important role in the years to come. The Government and people of India wish the people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region continued prosperity and well-being.