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Saturday, July 2, 2016, 00:05

Xi hails success of ‘One Country, Two Systems’

By Shadow Li
Xi hails success of ‘One Country, Two Systems’

Police officers hoist national and Hong Kong SAR flags during a ceremony to mark the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai on Friday morning. (Information Services Department)

HONG KONG - President Xi Jinping on Friday said the successful practice of "One Country, Two Systems" was widely recognized worldwide - and the principle had great vitality.

He said any difficulties or challenges which might arise in future would never affect the country's confidence in "One Country, Two Systems".

Xi made the remarks at a gathering in Beijing marking the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China - the same day as the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the nation.

Xi pledged to continue implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, and the policy of “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy.

The central government will also continue to support the SAR government and Chief Executive and to administer Hong Kong in accordance with the law, he added.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, in the annual reception on Friday morning commemorating the anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR, called for unity and cooperation from all sectors of society. This was needed so Hong Kong could make continuous progress. Then, people could enjoy a better way of life and a more prosperous future, he added.

Summing up the SAR government’s achievements in housing, poverty alleviation, helping the aging population and other sections of society in the past four years, Leung said the government had been proactive. It had been seeking to make changes while maintaining stability.

He noted that the government had collected record-high profits tax in the previous fiscal year. This reflected Hong Kong’s sound economic situation.

“As long as we make good use of development opportunities in the nation and in the region, we can certainly overcome challenges large and small,” added Leung.

He said Hong Kong, which benefited greatly from the nation’s economic liberalization in the past three decades, could take advantage of overseas opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative - the nation’s strategic blueprint promoted by President Xi in 2013 to connect major Eurasia economies through infrastructure, trade and investment.

The Chief Executive also paid tribute to the two firemen who died in a four-alarm fire at a mini-storage facility at an industrial building in Ngau Tau Kok last week, and expressed condolence to their families.

The celebrations carried out by various civic groups across the city on Friday, including variety shows and outdoor carnivals, also took time to observe a moment’s silence out of respect for the two fallen firemen.

Carrying her 2-year-old son, housewife Winnie Tam, who attended a carnival at Mong Kok, said the celebrations were meaningful, reminding participants of the history of Hong Kong.

A 48-year-old man, surnamed Choi, who brought his two daughters to the carnival with his wife, said he would definitely take his daughters to join similar activities next year.

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