Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies. (PHOTO / CHINADAILY.COM.CN)
Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, was impressed by the nation's young people participating in the parade.
What I have seen today is a country full of vigor and vitality, with young people forging ahead in high spirits
Lau Siu-kai, vice-president, Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies
"What I have seen today is a country full of vigor and vitality, with young people forging ahead in high spirits. This presents a sharp contrast to young people in the Western world who feel confused and pessimistic about their countries' prospects and those lost sheep in Hong Kong who go around preaching violence," Lau told China Daily.
"The ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong could never hinder the rise of our motherland. Instead it is the peaceful emergence of our country that could get Hong Kong back on the right track," Lau said.
Hong Kong scientist Chan Ching-chuen was also in Beijing for the parade.
The world-renowned electricity expert has been invited to observe the grand gatherings and military parades for China's 50th and 60th anniversaries.
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This year's celebrations were grander than ever before from scale to content, Chan said.
In his opening speech before the parade on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping, speaking atop the iconic Tian'anmen Rostrum, which overlooks the square, said that China would "uphold 'one country, two systems', and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao".
Such remarks echoed the speech that Xi delivered at a reception on the eve of the massive National Day celebrations, where he pledged unwavering commitment to the policies of "one country, two systems", "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong", "the people of Macao governing Macao" and a high degree of autonomy.
Xi told the reception he has every faith that "Hong Kong and Macao will prosper and progress alongside the mainland, and that the regions will embrace a brighter future".
Seven decades after Chairman Mao Zedong stood on Tian'anmen Rostrum and declared the foundation of the People's Republic of China, the country has transformed from a poor agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse -- a development miracle never seen before in the history of mankind.
Chan said Xi's speeches will serve as a guide to embark on a new journey for the next stage of national development.
"With the unswerving support from the Chinese mainland and unremitting efforts from patriotic people, Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, has what it takes to develop jointly with our motherland and head for a better tomorrow," Chan said.
Business leaders were also invited.
This was the first time Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, watched the military parade together with State leaders.
Choi, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said it was a great honor.
"This military parade, as well as all the cities and units that have been displayed by different phalanxes – including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan – epitomize the rapid development of our country in the past 70 years," Choi said.
"It's not easy to mobilize so many people and hold an event of such scale. Only when the country is united and highly mobilized can this be done. We are very proud of being Chinese."
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They are among a delegation of 240 led by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to attend the National Day celebrations.
The delegation departed for Beijing on Monday for a three-day trip.
Business heavyweights, professionals and award-winning athletes, as well as top officials and pro-establishment lawmakers are in the delegation, with Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong special administrative region, as adviser.
HONG KONG NEWS