Firework harmony hopes up in smoke
The Sino-British rift over the handover celebrations has spilled over into arrangements for fireworks.
Separate displays would be held over the harbour on June 30 and July 1 to make clear there was no joint celebration, the semi-official Association for Celebration of Reunification of Hong Kong with China said yesterday.
'It should be clear that there are two celebrations - one for the honourable retreat by the British, the other is primarily a Chinese affair to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland,' an association spokesman said.
The June 30 display will be aimed at an audience of international dignitaries and will start half an hour before the official 9 pm dinner at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
British company Kimbolton Fireworks has been hired to put together the display with eight to nine tonnes of explosives, according to a government source.
A separate display with an $8 million budget will be showcased as an exclusive Chinese affair on July 1.
The money is being provided by the Association of Hong Kong-Guangdong Community Organisation for Celebration of the Return of Hong Kong to China. The programme is being organised by the Better Hong Kong Foundation.
It is understood that Hong Kong-based Pyromagic Productions, the company which was responsible for the successful $5 million fireworks at the Lantau Link's Sunday opening, is a prime candidate for the display contract.