(From left) Political Commissar of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison, Major General Cai Yongzhong; Commander-in-chief of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison, Major General Chen Daoxiang; Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Xie Feng; Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Chen Dong; Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung Kin-chung; Acting Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal Roberto Alexandre Vieira Ribeiro; and Acting Financial Secretary Wong Kam-sing raise a toast during National Day celebrations in Hong Kong on Oct 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung Kin-chung vowed to continue dialogue with community in remarks following a flag-raising ceremony in the city’s center.
"We will also be inviting community leaders, professionals and academics to conduct independent studies and reviews of society's deep-seated problems. These include housing and land supply, wealth gap, social justice, opportunities for young people, upward social mobility and public engagement in policy-making. Their recommendations will help the government grasp the crux of the problems and identify practical solutions that can break the deadlock," Cheung said in his speech at a reception held after the flag-raising ceremony.
The central government "has been strongly supportive to the HK chief executive and the SAR...,” acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said
Last week, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor conducted the first community dialogue in a bid to defuse anti-government sentiments and seek solutions to the political deadlock that the city is facing.
Lam is currently leading a delegation to Beijing to participate in activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The central government "has been strongly supportive to the Hong Kong chief executive and the SAR to govern effectively,” Cheung said, referring to the special administrative region. “Hong Kong has been successfully following one country, two systems.”
"Since its establishment, the HKSAR government has received the full support of our country under the policy of "one country, two systems" and successfully warded off the impact of the Asian financial turmoil in 1997, the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003 and the international financial crisis in 2008," Cheung said in his speech.
The country has been transformed into an open, progressive, prosperous and rejuvenated nation after it went through severe tests and challenges with indomitable spirit over the past seven decades, said Cheung.
Hong Kong, in the meantime, has used its strengths to serve the country's needs and benefited from its rapid development, said Cheung.
The rising living standards of people on the mainland and Hong Kong shows that the country and city share common development and prosperity, he said.
Cheung pledged that Hong Kong will continue to adhere to the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law, defend the rule of law and maintain public order, safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and seize the opportunity of developing a diversified economy.
Only through these efforts will Hong Kong continue to thrive in the future, he said.
He also warned about the economic fallout from the protests, saying “trade relationships have turned complicated in recent months and are getting severe.”
A flag-raising ceremony was held at the Golden Bauhinia Square Tuesday morning. Helicopters of the Government Flying Service flew over Victoria Harbor displaying China's national flag and the regional flag of the HKSAR. Some ships in the sea gave water salute.
Riot police guarded the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where government officials and other guests viewed the ceremony amid worries that protesters would try and disrupt the event.
People from all walks of life in Hong Kong took part in various activities to express their blessings and love for the motherland, with songs and flags the most popular signifiers.
Hundreds of students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology watched the military parade and mass parade held in Beijing on television live in a lecture hall.
They then organized a flash-mob style gathering on campus, singing patriot songs to express their pride.
The activity was a great encouragement to patriotic students in Hong Kong, a third-year Ph.D. student surnamed Zhang told China Daily.
Most of them have felt a little frustrated at the recent turmoil, he said.
The participants were thrilled to see the advanced development of their motherland, said Zhang.
When the national anthem rings out, all got up from their seats and sang along with their compatriots in Beijing. They also cheered and applauded as the mighty troops and weapons appeared on screen, Zhang said.
"The singing echoed around the campus and red flags fluttered. Such courage and unity are undoubtedly more precious in the special period," said organizers in a statement thanking participants.
Patriotic citizens brought national flags to multiple attractions in Hong Kong to celebrate National Day.
A group of Hong Kong people brought an eight-meter long Chinese national flag onto a ferry boat and displayed it to both sides of Victoria Harbor.
Another group held up flags up as they climbed two of the city's most famous mountains – Lion Rock and Victoria Peak.
About 2,000 taxis decorated with national flags launched a cruise from Tsing Yi. They toured around districts in Hong Kong, bringing a festive atmosphere to the city.
Chen Zimo contributed to this story
With inputs from Agencies
HONG KONG NEWS