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Thursday, July 02, 2020, 10:05
Blessings come in pairs
By Gu Mengyan in Hong Kong
Thursday, July 02, 2020, 10:05 By Gu Mengyan in Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents perform a lion dance to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and the promulgation of the national security law for Hong Kong at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island on Wednesday. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region turned one year older on Wednesday, with a gift that marks a turning point for “the Pearl of Orient” to move from turmoil to stability. 

Just an hour before the SAR turned 23 years old, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR came into force. Tailor-made for the city, the law has filled a vacuum left since the SAR’s birth in 1997, safeguarding it from attempts to separate it from its motherland and to disrupt its progress.

Glasses were raised at an annual reception in Wan Chai attended by Hong Kong government officials, central government officials and local community leaders to celebrate the anniversary. HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said a turning point for the city had finally been reached after the “toughest” year in her four-decade long public service career.

Boats sail across the Victoria Harbour with national flags fluttering on them, celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the city return to the motherland and the promulgation of the national security law for Hong Kong. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Residents came out to join a variety of events celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and the enactment of the national security law, showing their pride in the successful implementation of “one country, two systems” over the past 23 years.

Some of them celebrated on decorated ferries and buses, traveling routes on Hong Kong Island, waving national flags — with big smiles on their faces. While some were on Victoria Peak, a Hong Kong landmark, singing the national anthem and chanting “Hong Kong shall start anew”, with the hope that better days will prevail.

Looking into the future, the city’s leader is filled with confidence. “As long as we all make Hong Kong our home, and are willing to put aside our differences and move on, I believe there are always more solutions than problems and Hong Kong can definitely build a better future,” Lam told the reception.

Billboards in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland are seen in the city on Wednesday. (RAYMOND CHAN / CHINA DAILY)

The people of Hong Kong share her confidence. The national security law will help bring the city back on the right track; it will make it less likely to have a resurgence of protest violence; this offers the city the best chance to start anew, they said. 

One year older, one year wiser. Thanks to the new law, the city will embark on a broad path of common development and integration with the mainland. Happy birthday, HKSAR!

jefferygu@chinadailyhk.com

The nation flag and flag of the special administrative region are raised as a billboard saying the national security law will preserve “one country, two systems” and restore stability serves as a background. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (center), Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu attend a press conference, where Lam explained the national security law to the public on Wednesday. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

A barge, displaying five Chinese characters saying “Congratulations on passing the national security law”, sails at Victoria Harbor on Wednesday. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong residents holding national flags pose for a photo at Victoria Peak on Wednesday. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, together with other officials and guests, attend the flag-raising ceremony held at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai on Wednesday morning to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the special administrative region. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

The national flag and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region flag flutter together in Central, Hong Kong. (RAYMOND CHAN / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong residents pose for photos with national flags and regional flags in their hands during a celebration activity on Wednesday. (RAYMOND CHAN / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor makes a toast at a reception to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland on Wednesday. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong residents celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunification with the motherland on a bus tour on Hong Kong Island on Wednesday. (RAYMOND CHAN / CHINA DAILY)


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