Liaon­ing sets sail from Hong Kong

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAR­RIE QIU in Hong Kong car­rieqiu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Hong Kong res­i­dents waved good­bye to the coun­try’s first air­craft car­rier, the Liaon­ing, on Tues­day af­ter it con­cluded a five-day good­will visit mark­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army be­ing sta­tioned in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion.

The Liaon­ing de­parted from Hong Kong at 10:30 am af­ter a farewell cer­e­mony. It left via the East Lamma Chan­nel, the same route it took on ar­rival, as it is too big to sail into Vic­to­ria Har­bour.

The three ves­sels that ac­com­pa­nied the Liaon­ing — guided-mis­sile frigate Yan­tai and guided-mis­sile de­stroy­ers Ji­nan and Yinchuan — sailed across Vic­to­ria Har­bour to sa­lute the peo­ple of Hong Kong once more be­fore leav­ing the SAR’s wa­ters.

The naval flotilla then sailed to a ren­dezvous at sea to con­tinue with sched­uled train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Some 700 peo­ple gath­ered at Stone­cut­ters Is­land to wish the ships bon voy­age on their jour­ney.

Since the flotilla ar­rived on Fri­day, more than 4,000 res­i­dents were al­lowed to step aboard the air­craft car­rier. The other three ships wel­comed over 40,000 vis­i­tors. Thou­sands of Hong Kong res­i­dents had lined up overnight for tick­ets to visit the car­rier.

Speak­ing at the farewell cer­e­mony at the PLA Hong Kong Gar­ri­son’s Ngong Shuen Chau Bar­racks on Tues­day morn­ing, Matthew Che­ung Kinchung, the Hong Kong govern­ment’s chief sec­re­tary for administration, said the visit of the PLA naval group pro­vided a rare op­por­tu­nity for res­i­dents, who he said were hon­ored and ex­cited.

He said crew mem­bers took time to in­ter­act with the res­i­dents, both aboard the ships and at an el­der­care home, which en­hanced the pub­lic’s un­der­stand­ing of the coun­try’s achieve­ments in de­fense.

Che­ung re­it­er­ated the city’s grat­i­tude for the coun­try’s “care and sup­port” for Hong Kong, as well as ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the ded­i­ca­tion of the sol­diers and of­fi­cers of the PLA Navy and the Hong Kong Gar­ri­son.

Be­fore leav­ing, Vice-Ad­mi­ral Ding Yi, deputy com­man­der of the PLA Navy, ex­pressed his thanks to Hong Kong’s res­i­dents for their warm hos­pi­tal­ity and wished Hong Kong a thriv­ing and pros­per­ous fu­ture.

Although the sailors were busy re­ceiv­ing pub­lic vis­i­tors, they man­aged to find time to visit a lo­cal el­der­care home on Mon­day to raise aware­ness about the needs of the el­derly.

They brought along a do­na­tion of HK$60,000, per­formed drills and sang and danced for the res­i­dents of the nurs­ing home.

ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY

Res­i­dents see off the guided-mis­sile frigate CNS Yan­tai dur­ing the farewell cer­e­mony for the naval flotilla, led by air­craft car­rier Liaon­ing, at Ngong Shuen Chau Naval Base on Stone­cut­ters Is­land on Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.