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Saturday, October 1, 2016, 16:04

CE leads National Day celebrations


CE leads National Day celebrations

Zhang Xiaoming (left) director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong, and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying ( center) attend a flag raising ceremony in celebration of the National Day, Oct 1, 2016. At right is Leung's wife, Regina. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG - Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the "One Country, Two Systems" is "the most beneficial and practical arrangement for the people of Hong Kong" during a reception to mark the National Day on Saturday.

The CE added it is "necessary for everyone in the community to safeguard” that framework.

The reception, marking the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, was attended by about 4,000 prominent members of the local community.

“Hong Kong enjoys dual advantages under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle,” said Leung, adding that Hong Kong has been benefiting from the nation’s steadfast support and rapid economic and social development.

Leung added that Hong Kong is the most international and open city in China, giving rise to its role as the “super-connector” between the mainland and the rest of the world on all fronts.

Beyond the economic benefits, Hong Kong enjoys  “closer and stronger” ties with people on the mainland, said Leung.

CE leads National Day celebrations
A flag raising ceremony in celebration of the National Day is held at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, Hong Kong on Oct 1, 2016. (Xinhua)

"The relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland is, in essence, mutually beneficial, reciprocal, mutually rewarding and mutually inclusive,” said Leung, noting that 300,000 Hong Kong residents are employed on the mainland or do business there.

According to government statistics, about 38 percent of the marriages in Hong Kong in 2013 were cross-border marriages. As of last year, more than 224,000 Hong Kong residents aged 15 to 64, were living in Guangdong province for at least half of the year. Over 15,000 Hong Kong students currently are seeking admission to higher education institutions, including graduate schools, on the mainland.

The holiday was marked with a series of celebrations in the city, despite unsettled weather. A sudden torrent around 8 am did not damp the enthusiasm of over a thousand residents who turned out for the flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. Some had queued for two hours to secure front row seats.

An eight-year-old boy, who attended the ceremony for the first time, said he was thrilled to be there.

The day’s highlight will be the 23-minute fireworks display above Victoria Harbor in the evening. The show consists of eight scenes, featuring Kungfu and other Chinese cultural elements. Meanwhile, a variety show will be held at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom.

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