Handover anniversary pair head for Beijing

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2006, 12:00am

The Hong Kong official planning activities to mark the 10th anniversary of the handover will travel to Beijing with her prospective successor on Friday to discuss the arrangements as plans for the celebrations gather momentum.

During their one-day visit, Rebecca Lai Ko Wing-yee and Raymond Young Lap-moon will meet officials from the Ministry of Culture to work out details of the anniversary celebration, which will be marked by a visit from President Hu Jintao .

Apart from officiating at the event, Mr Hu will also preside at the inaugural ceremony for the next chief executive on July 1.

The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor's opening ceremony and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau's bridge foundation stone laying ceremony have also been scheduled as part of the anniversary programme, with leading Beijing and Hong Kong officials attending the ceremonies. Mr Hu will be joined by leaders from mainland provinces.

Government sources said Beijing was very concerned about arrangements for the commemorative activities.

The Hong Kong government is also liaising with mainland authorities on cultural exhibitions to be held in the city.

The sources said a special team comprising 70 officials would be set up later to take charge of the organisation. The team will be headed by Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan.

The mainland side will also set up a designated team for the event, which will plan activities to celebrate the Hong Kong handover in mainland provinces.

Mr Young is currently the director-general of trade and industry.

Mrs Lai was due to leave the government in July, but was invited by Mr Hui to extend her term with the civil service to launch the celebration activities.

She will leave the government soon and plans to take up religious studies.