President Xi Jinping delivers a speech upon arrival at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon high-speed rail station, June 30, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that facts have proven the great strength of "one country, two systems" as he said his heart is always with Hong Kong compatriots and that he has been concerned about Hong Kong all along.
"It has been five years since my last visit to Hong Kong," said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, upon arrival at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon high-speed rail station.
"Over the past five years, I have been all along concerned about and caring for Hong Kong, and my heart is always with Hong Kong compatriots," Xi said.
It has been five years since my last visit to Hong Kong. Over the past five years, I have been all along concerned about and caring for Hong Kong, and my heart is always with Hong Kong compatriots.
President Xi Jinping
The president congratulated Hong Kong compatriots and extended his best wishes on the occasion marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. He added that he is very pleased to visit Hong Kong once again.
"Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. People of all ethnic groups across the country will join Hong Kong compatriots in celebrating this joyous event. I would like to extend my warm congratulations and best wishes to the compatriots of Hong Kong," said Xi.
The president also said that facts have proven the great strength of "one country, two systems," which guarantees Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and ensures the well-being of the Hong Kong compatriots.
In a period of time, Hong Kong had withstood a series of grave tests and overcome a series of risks and challenges. Hong Kong has since emerged stronger and shown great vigor, he noted.
As long as "one country, two systems" is upheld unswervingly, Hong Kong will surely have an even brighter future and make new, greater contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said.
"A brighter future will beckon, if we forge ahead with perseverance," according to Xi.
President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan wave to the welcoming party upon arrival at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon high-speed rail station, June 30, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The president is in the special administrative region to attend events celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of the Hong Kong SAR.
President Xi's entourage was greeted at the station by Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Lam's husband Lam Siu-por, and Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Luo Huining
The five key officials who accompanied Xi include Ding Xuexiang, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee; Xu Qiliang, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission; Shen Yueyue, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress; Wang Yi, state councilor and foreign minister; and Xia Baolong, vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
It will be the second time that Xi has presided over the city's anniversary event, after a trip in 2017.
His wife, Peng Liyuan, was among the entourage from Beijing. They were greeted at the station by Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Lam's husband Lam Siu-por, and Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Luo Huining.
Hundreds of Hong Kong young people and members of the public waved flags and flowers at the welcome ceremony featuring the performance by the Hong Kong Police Band and lion dancing at the concourse of the station.
Other members of the welcoming party at the concourse included Chief Executive-designate John Lee Ka-chiu, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Leung Chun-ying, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, President of the Legislative Council Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council Bernard Chan.
Patrons visiting a restaurant in Tseung Kwan O take photos as President Xi Jinping's arrival in Hong Kong is telecast on June 30, 2022. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Head of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Zheng Yanxiong, Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR Liu Guangyuan, Commander-in-chief of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison Major General Peng Jingtang, Political Commissar of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison Navy Rear Admiral Lai Ruxin were also part of the welcoming party.
Xi waved to the welcoming party along the way and gave brief remarks to reporters.
President Xi Jinping meets people from various sectors and representatives of disciplined services in Hong Kong, June 30, 2022.
In the afternoon, Xi, accompanied by Lam, met some 160 people from various sectors of Hong Kong and representatives of the disciplined services at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
After that, the president visited the Hong Kong Science Park to inspect Hong Kong's development of innovation and technology while his wife Peng Liyuan visited Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Xi inspected the Hong Kong Science Park and was briefed by government officials and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation on Hong Kong's innovation and technology (I&T) development and prospects. He also inspected a research laboratory under the InnoHK research clusters and encouraged the Hong Kong scientific researchers and I&T entrepreneurs present to strive for excellence. Lam, who was accompanying Xi, expressed her gratitude for the focused opportunities afforded by the National 14th Five-Year Plan.
In the evening, Xi and his wife attended a dinner hosted by Lam and her husband at Government House. Also in attendance were Chief Executive-designate Lee and his wife Janet Lee.
Xu Wei contributed to this report
HONG KONG NEWS