Exhibition Celebrates Hong Kong’s Return to the Motherland
An exhibition displays more than 200 photos and over 40 sets of exhibits, showcasing a colourful urbanscape, Hong Kong’s latest development, and its blueprint.
July 1, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. On the same date 20 years ago, the People’s Republic of China resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong and established the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), opening a new chapter of the territory.
For 20 years, according to the policies of “one country, two systems,” “Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy, Hong Kong has remained prosperous in the long term, with stable development, and made contributions to China’s progress. From June 27 to July 16, 2017, an exhibition of achievements marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s returning to the motherland, themed on“Togetherness, Progress, Opportunity,” is being held at the National Museum of China. More than 200 photos and over 40 sets (pieces) of exhibits in 10 units showcase a colourful urbanscape and the latest development results of Hong Kong and its future development blueprint, in addition to its setup of models, multimedia and interactive devices.
One Country Two Systems
At midnight on July 1, 1997, the national flag of the People’s Republic of China was raised over Hong Kong to the accompaniment of the national anthem at the ceremony of Hong Kong’s handover. At 1:30 a.m., the HKSAR founding ceremony and inauguration ceremony of the HKSAR Government was held. These were moments expected by the Chinese for so long and recorded forever in world history.
At the exhibition, two photographs reminded viewers of the stirring night 20 years ago. Hong Kong’s return to China after a century-long separation symbolised Hong Kong was entering a new era.
The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (the Basic Law) is the constitutional document for the HKSAR. The Basic Law was
prepared by the National People’s Congress (NPC) according to the state constitution, enshrining a system applied in the HKSAR to guarantee implementation of the state’s basic guidelines and polices in the HKSAR.
There is no precedent for the Basic Law. In April 1985, the NPC decided to establish a Basic Law Drafting Committee of the HKSAR. To canvass views, the NPC decided to set up a broad representative Basic Law Consultative Committee, and authorised the Basic Law Drafting Committee to organise it. Its functions were to extensively canvass opinions and suggestions of the Basic Law from Hong Kong's citizens, receive consultancy of the Basic Law Drafting Committee, and collect and analyse these opinions and suggestions for the reference of the Basic Law Drafting Committee. The Basic Law Consultative Committee acted as a bridge between citizens of Hong Kong and the Basic Law Drafting Committee, and an important channel for their opinions and suggestions of Basic Law. The exhibited “plaque of ‘Office of the Basic Law Consultative Committee’” represented the collection of opinions and suggestions during that time.
With the “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong brought its advantages to drive China's development. According the “13th Five-year Plan,” more efforts will be made to improve the role of Hong Kong in national economic development and opening up to the outside world. In the “Together for Opportunity” section, the exhibition shows regional cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, the layout of offices of the HKSAR Government, the Hong Kong part in the “13th Five-year Plan,” and the new driving force by the “Belt and Road” behind Hong Kong's development. Hong Kong will act as a “super contact” involved in China’s strategy of “going out” and “bringing in.”
With the efforts of generations of Hong Kong citizens, Hong Kong became the vital and dynamic international metropolis in Asia and is rated as the freest economy in the world as evaluated by several international institutions. Hong Kong is also one of the safest cities around the globe with high- quality medical services, a pool of global talents and the preferred venue for the world’s top scientific and research agencies. It also boasts advanced aviation and logistics, the longest suspension bridge used for vehicles and its railway system. Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability has gained fruitful results in its economy, people’s livelihood and communications and cooperation with the Chinese mainland.
Innovative Development of Business and Trade
Trade and professional services are Hong Kong's most competitive industries, especially in terms of legal service, resolving disputes, accounting, constructional engineering and medical service. Its advantages in international accredited professional qualification certificates, international network and management experience, and knowledge of national conditions and market of the Chinese mainland make Hong Kong a dominate player in introducing foreign investments and for enterprises based in the Chinese mainland to enter the global market.
In the “Together for Trade” exhibit, photos of Shanghai–hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen–hong Kong Stock Connect showed two milestone events. On November 17, 2014, the Shanghai–hong Kong Stock Connect was opened. On December 5, 2016, the Shenzhen–hong Kong Stock Connect was opened. The two systems let capital markets in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong interconnected, enabling investors to invest in stocks listed in two regions. Their opening marks a solid step towards the legal, marketbased and international development of a Chinese market.
The souvenir presented to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) by Bank of China (BOC) in the ceremony of listing on HKEX is an important exhibit in the part. On June 1, 2006, BOC was listed on HKEX Main Board, becoming the second large-scale state-owned commercial bank for a public offering from the Chinese mainland. The public listing reflected confidence of international investors in the long-term economic prosperity and reform and opening-up in China, and their recognition of the BOC brand.
Nowadays, innovation and sci-tech industries are gradually becoming a new impetus for Hong Kong's economic development. The HKSAR has actively promoted and subsidised its sci-tech infrastructure, research institutions, talent building, innovative culture, and the Guangdong–hong Kong sci-tech cooperation fund. The cultural and creative
industry, which took root in traditional Chinese culture, makes Hong Kong a major centre with flourishing cultures in the global art circle, with its own characteristics in films, arts and sports.
In the exhibit “Together for Innovation”, a photo of a “golden egg”— the Charles K. Kao Auditorium in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) attracts many visitors. HKSTP is engaged in research-based hightech and applied science and technology (including electronics, biotechnology, precision engineering, as well as message technology and telecommunications). The golden- egg-shaped Charles K. Kao Auditorium is a landmark building of its phase II project, and was named after Charles K. Kao, an expert of fibre- optic communication and electric engineering, honoured as the “father of fibre- optic communication.” A series of exhibits display Business of Design Week (BODW, the biggest design forum in Asia), the electrodynamic Along the River during the Tomb-sweeping Day which was exhibited in Hong Kong in 2010, and the Hong Kong team winning the gold prize of the football final during the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games. They all demonstrate development achievements in scientific and technological innovation, intellectual property rights, design, films, culture and art, as well as sports in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a traffic hub in Asia, with well-established transport infrastructure connected with that in the Chinese mainland. It boasts an international and regional aviation centre and one of the busiest and most effective container service ports in the world, making it the logistics hub between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the globe.
A photo of the Hong Kong–zhuhai– Macau Bridge (HZMB) is also a highlight in the exhibition. The HZMB is praised as the longest sea crossing, the longest undersea submerged tunnel and the longest steel bridge in the world. Made in China, it started its construction in 2009 and will be completed and put into use by the end of 2017. Having the world’s most dynamic economic regions connected, the HZMB will reduce the driving distance from Hong Kong to Zhuhai from over three and half hours to half an hour or more, benefitting Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.
A photo of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-shenzhen-hong Kong Express Rail Link (Express Rail Link) connecting with the state high-speed railway network also drew attention from visitors. The 140-kilometre long Express Rail Link will help realise high-speed railway service between Hong Kong and 80 percent big cities in the Chinese mainland after the 26-kilometre long Hong Kong Section be put to use in the third quarter of 2018. This will help enhance people’s communications and promote
developments in economic trade, tourism and professional services between Hong Kong and the rest of the Chinese mainland.
In the “Hand in Hand” exhibit, many photos showcase close links between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. In July 1997, Hong Kong citizens proposed to build and indicate the first “Chinese Health Express,” which is an ophthalmology training hospital specialising in charity medical care. The hospital is composed of four carriages equipped with high-end medical facilities. When it stops along the railway line, eye doctors and nurses from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland carry out ophthalmologic operations like cataract extraction and intraocular lens throughout the year. The train hospital has stopped at 160 stations in 28 provinces, cities and autonomous regions for 20 years, helping 180,000 cataract patients regain their sight.
The exhibition also displays Hong Kong's efforts to help districts that were affected by the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008. In particular, a silk banner, presented to the Hong Kong Search and Rescue Team by the Earthquake and Disaster Relief Headquarters of the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province, demonstrated the selfless humanitarian aid given by the Hong Kong Search and Rescue Team.
Joint Strength, Conservation and Inheritance
The “Joint Strength” and “Conservation and Inheritance” parts introduce Hong Kong's achievements in population structure optimisation, education, people's livelihood and public security, and its efforts in nature conservation, historical heritage, intangible cultural heritage and management of green environment.
A wax hand in the “Joint Strength” part is also impressive, which was made jointly by students of Hop Yat Church School in Hong Kong and its sister school Yuexiu District Dongfeng Xilu Primary School in Guangzhou in December 2015. It stands as a witness of exchange and cooperation of students from the two schools, which signed an agreement of becoming sister schools in November 2009. Today, the two sister schools have walked together for eight years.
A green and picturesque countryside takes up 75 percent of Hong Kong's total area, including 24 country parks, 22 special conservation regions, 5 marine parks and a coastal protection area. The “Conservation and Inheritance” part presents a series of achievements in nature conservation and intangible cultural heritage in Hong Kong, and joint efforts in environment governance of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province to promote cooperation in regional environmental protection.
A photo of Mai Po Nature Reserve is also eye-catching. Mai Po Nature Reserve is the most important nature reserve in Hong Kong, and its main protected objects are a mangrove forest with an area of 300 hectares and rare animals and plants. Located along the flyway of 50 million of migratory waterbirds every year, Mai Po Nature Reserve is a main midway station and wintering area for migratory waterbirds, thus becoming a haven for them along with the surrounding Inner Deep Bay wetlands. In 1995, Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay wetlands was recognised as a “Wetland of International Importance” under the prestigious Ramsar Convention. It sets an example of successful conservation for regional wetlands, and offers visitors a chance to get close to wildlife and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Cantonese Opera, known as Guangdong Opera, is a main form of drama in Hong Kong. Originating from the Southern Opera, Cantonese Opera began to take shape in areas of Guangdong and Guangxi during the Ming Emperor Jiajing (reign: 1522–1566). Integrating chang (singing), nian (speaking), zuo (acting) and da (acrobatic fighting), background music, costumes, and abstract gestures, Cantonese Opera has a high artistic value. Aside from audiences from the Chinese mainland, spectators in Hong Kong are fond of Cantonese Opera; Tianping, Gaosheng (Ko Shing), Central and Puqing theatres witnessed the golden times of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong. Cantonese Opera, which was applied jointly by Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau's SAR governments, was inscribed on UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in September 2009. Also shown is a photo of Wu Junli in costume, a famous Cantonese film actress in Hong Kong in the 1960s, is exhibited, reminding visitors of her charm during the past. She was good at playing female roles of qingyi and daomadan, and was praised as one of the “Eight Peonies” with other seven Cantonese Opera actresses. Wu Junli acted in many classic operas written by Tang Disheng
(or Tang Ti-sheng, a famous playwright of Cantonese Opera), including The Beauty’s Grave, Two Immortals of the Moon Pavilion and Lee Sam-neung, and became a rising star of many Cantonese Opera troupes.
Pieces from exhibits constitute the brilliant achievements made by Hong Kong since its return to China. In the future, Hong Kong will grasp an opportunity of the nation's sustained development to advance wider cooperation with the Chinese mainland, in order to realise its greater development and the Chinese Dream of the prosperity and rejuvenating the Chinese nation.
Visitors peruse exhibits.
Visitors play with a concentric device at the exhibition.
A wax hand mould made by students from Hop Yat Church School in Hong Kong and Guangzhou City Yuexiu District Dongfeng West Road Primary School