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Anniversary advances Hong Kong 'confidence'

By  AN BAIJIE in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-30 05:22

Anniversary advances Hong Kong 'confidence'

President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan arrive at Hong Kong International Airport on Thursday. Xi is making a three-day visit. EDMOND TANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

President's visit demonstrates support for SAR

The central government will as always support Hong Kong in growing its economy and improving the people's livelihoods, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday during his trip to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.

The president's remarks received positive feedback from the Hong Kong public, with many people expressing confidence for a better future.

Arriving at the airport, Xi told reporters his three-day Hong Kong trip showcases the support for Hong Kong from the central government, which has offered its strong backing for the past 20 years.

"I believe that through the series of events to be staged in Hong Kong, our determination and confidence in developing and building a better Hong Kong will surely be enhanced," he said.

Xi will attend celebrations for the anniversary and the inauguration of the fifth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return from British rule and the establishment of the HKSAR.

Xi congratulated the special administrative region on its great achievements over the 20 years since its establishment, and he encouraged the HKSAR to create new glory.

He also said he will join people from all walks of life in Hong Kong to review the HKSAR's extraordinary 20-year journey, sum up its experience and plan the future to ensure the smooth and long-term successful practice of the "one country, two systems" policy.

"I'm pleased to have set foot in Hong Kong once again after nine years," Xi said. "Hong Kong's development has always pulled at my heartstrings."

Xi's last trip to Hong Kong was in July 2008, when he was the vice-president of China. He visited two local families and talked with the residents about housing prices, mortgage loans and incomes.

The president received a warm welcome and appreciation from the public. Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the president's visit has shown the central government's support for Hong Kong and the special attention to the "one country, two systems" principle.

She expressed gratitude to Xi for his wishes for Hong Kong. The central government's continuous support for "one country, two systems" has helped and will enhance Hong Kong's cooperation with mainland cities and provinces, which will push forward Hong Kong's development, Lee said.

She said the president's call for planning the future should be seen as a reminder for Hong Kong people to consider how the city can boost competitiveness.

Irons Sze Wing-wai, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said that Xi's inspection visit is an affirmation of Hong Kong's successful implementation of "one country, two systems".

"I hope that the visit by President Xi will further advance the economic ties and trade cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, enabling Hong Kong to get aboard the nation's high-speed development train, and join the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," he said.

Luis Liu and Shadow Li in Hong Kong contributed to this story.

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