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NY, SF celebrate Hong Kong's anniversary

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-06-26 09:55

Thousands turn out for lion and dragon dancing, traditional singing and more

The 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China was celebrated by thousands in New York and San Francisco over the weekend.

Zhang Qiyue, China's consul general in New York, said at a ceremony in Foley Square next to Chinatown on Sunday that the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle has been "very successful".

She spoke highly of Hong Kong's stability and economic development since China resumed sovereignty over the territory on July 1, 1997.

"The Chinese community in the Eastern USA will always support and care for our Hong Kong compatriots," Zhang said.

Many waved China's national flag and the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the celebration.

Steve Barclay, director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in New York, and Felix W. Ortiz, the assistant speaker of the New York state Assembly, also attended the event.

Dragon and lion dancing, and traditional Chinese singing and dancing were part of the celebration.

Guanjun Liang, chairman of the Chinese Associations General in New York, said that more than 200 associations participated. "It's the first time that we organized an event on this scale," Liang said.

On Friday in San Francisco, around 400 people from local businesses, political and academic communities in the Bay Area gathered to celebrate the anniversary.

"Twenty years ago, Hong Kong proudly reunited with our homeland. Under the 'one country, two systems' arrangement, we are part of China but are able to maintain a unique identity," Clement Leung, Hong Kong commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, told guests at a celebratory gala reception hosted by the HKETO in San Francisco.

Over the past two decades, Hong Kong continues to be a premier international business center in Asia, with its economy nearly doubling in size, Leung said.

"We are the undefeated champion as the freest economy of the world for 23 years. We are the No. 1 IPO stock market," he said.

Besides the pillar economic sectors of trade, financial services, tourism and professional services, new sectors and opportunities have emerged in Hong Kong.

Those include the development of RMB business, the implementation of the Stock Connect programs that enable international investors to access the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, the vibrant innovation and technology startup ecosystem, wine auction and distribution, arts, culture and creative industries, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Leung.

The HKETO in San Francisco presented a concert titled A Musical Journey following the reception, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Oratorio Society, the largest choir with the longest history in Hong Kong.

The celebratory activities began in January when six giant, vase-shaped bamboo sculptures, designed by Hong Kong designer Freeman Lau, were installed outside of San Francisco City Hall.

A Hong Kong young entrepreneur competition recently concluded, and five US college students who won the competition will travel to Hong Kong next month to witness the city's start-up business ecosystem.

Rui Nan in New York contributed to this story.

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