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SAR applauds Xi's 'significant visit'

By Willa Wu | China Daily HK Edition | Updated: 2017-06-26 14:12

Hong Kong leaders and a wide spectrum of the community have warmly hailed President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to the city, saying it demonstrates the significance the central government attaches to the special administrative region.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and incoming leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed their welcome and gratitude for Xi's three-day trip from Thursday to Saturday, during which the president will preside over the swearing-in of the fifth-term HKSAR government and join in the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.

It will be Xi's first visit to the HKSAR since he became head of state in 2013.

"President Xi's visit to the HKSAR at this important moment to attend the celebration activities and the inauguration ceremony (of the new-term administration of the Hong Kong government) fully shows the importance the central authorities attach to and their support for Hong Kong. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the president," Leung said.

Starry Lee Wai-king, legislator and chairperson of Hong Kong's biggest political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said Xi's visit underlines the central government's care for Hong Kong and shows it values Hong Kong and its people.

She urged members of different political affiliations to grasp the opportunity to interact with the president, saying this would help build mutual understanding, better implement "One Country, Two Systems" and boost the city's development.

The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA), which represents the city's professionals and businessmen, extended its sincere welcome to Xi, saying Hong Kong people greatly look forward to the visit and that it once again proves the central government's determination to support Hong Kong.

The BPA said its members believe that Xi's visit would bring new insights into the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems".

Meanwhile, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said on Sunday Hong Kong has sufficient police manpower to handle any emergency that might arise during Xi's visit, describing the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the country as an event of great importance.

Noting that the terror threat level still remains "moderate" in Hong Kong, he said the police will continue to be on high alert. He appealed for the public's understanding of the special security arrangements that will be in force for the president's visit and the anniversary's activities.

The city will kick off a series of major celebration events this week, ranging from a fireworks display to themed exhibitions, performances and street carnivals.

The fireworks display is slated to start at 8 pm on Saturday over Victoria Harbour and is expected to last about 20 minutes.

An exhibition, showcasing more than 200 exhibits from the Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin Dian) — one of the most popular attractions at the Palace Museum in Beijing — will be held from Thursday to Oct 15 at Hong Kong Heritage Museum. The exhibition will be jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Palace Museum.

Another exhibition featuring the nation's achievements in aerospace, science and technology will be held at Victoria Park from Thursday to Sunday.

A street carnival called "Heritage Vogue•Hollywood Road" will be staged from Saturday to Sunday in Central. Visitors can enjoy local foods while watching performances by street dances, as well as magic and fashion shows, and attend various workshops.

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