President Hu Jintao attended a gathering here for the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China and the swearing-in ceremony of the fourth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Sunday morning.
Hu, arriving in Hong Kong Friday, was present at the inauguration ceremony in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, overseeing Leung Chun-ying to be sworn in as the new HKSAR chief executive.
Principal officials of the fourth-term HKSAR government and members of the Executive Council also took their oaths.
The central government will unswervingly give its full support to the chief executive and government of the HKSAR in administering Hong Kong pursuant to law, while working with the local residents to maintain and promote the long-term prosperity and stability of the territory, Hu said at the ceremony.
Hu said the central government will remain committed to the principles of “one country, two systems,” “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy, and tagged advancing the cause of “one country, two systems” as the shared mission of the central government and the government of the HKSAR.
Leung, who is to turn 58 next month, said during the next five years of his tenure, he and his government will focus on addressing major issues, such as sustaining economic growth, expanding job opportunities, offering more public housing and other items concerning people’s livelihood.
Dressing in dark suit and red tie, Leung called his standing for election “a humbling experience” and vowed to honor the pledges he had made – to uphold justice, protect the rights of the people, safeguard the rule of law, clean government, freedom and democracy and take an inclusive approach towards different opinions and views.
In spite of many challenges, Leung said the new HKSAR government could “resolve the conflicts that exist in our society and clashes that may arise from different values or political ideologies.”
Tung Chee-hwa, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference who also served as the first HKSAR chief executive, and Leung’s predecessor Donald Tsang were also present at the ceremony as witnesses.
President Hu wrapped up his tightly-scheduled three-day trip after the ceremony. Before his departure, he met with Leung and the new leaders of the executive, legislative and judicial bodies of the HKSAR separately.
Hu expressed confidence in Leung, believing he will lead the new HKSAR government to seek changes while preserving stability, unite the people of all sectors in Hong Kong and work together to further advance the city’s development.
While meeting principal officials of the fourth-term HKSAR government, members of the Executive Council, president of the Legislative Council and chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, Hu urged them to administer the city according to law, strictly abide by and implement the Basic Law while remaining honest and efficient.
The celebrations on Sunday began with a flag-raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square, with an audience of some 3,000, including Tsang, Leung and principal officials of the HKSAR government.