BLESS­INGS COME IN PAIRS

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PHOTOHK - By GU MENGYAN in Hong Kong jef­fer­ygu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

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.

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.

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!

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 n

PRO­VIDED TO 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.

CHINA DA

Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor mak Hong Kong’s re­turn to the moth­er­land on Wed­nes­day.

CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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.

RAY­MOND CHAN / CHINA DAILY

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 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.

ED­MOND TANG / CHINA DAILY

na­tional se­cu­rity law for Hong Kong at Ngong Ping on Lan­tau Is­land on Wed­nes­day.

RAY­MOND CHAN / 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.

AILY

kes a toast at a re­cep­tion to cel­e­brate the 23rd an­niver­sary of

CALVIN NG / 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

Hong Kong res­i­dents hold­ing na­tional flags pose for a photo at Vic­to­ria Peak 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.

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