Hu lavishes praise on 'vibrant' HK at handover showcase

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2007, 12:00am

President Hu Jintao last night expressed Beijing's contentment at Hong Kong's development, saying the city is 'full of vibrancy'.

The affirmative remarks from the state leader came ahead of his visit to Hong Kong tomorrow to mark the 10th anniversary of the return to Chinese rule.

Mr Hu was speaking as he visited an exhibition on the success of the handover at the Capital Museum in Beijing, which drew a strong show of state leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Zeng Qinghong , state councillors and ministers.

The president said the exhibition showcased 'how Hong Kong came through an extraordinary path in the 10 years since the handover and achieved proud results'.

'I firmly believe that with the united efforts and hard work of the Hong Kong compatriots, and with the motherland as a strong back-up, Hong Kong will have an even brighter future,' he told Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who gave guided tours to state officials who visited the exhibition in batches.

Noting the economic improvements and gradual progress on the democracy front, Mr Hu said: 'Hong Kong is full of vibrancy now. We are very happy about it.'

State leaders were out in force at the exhibition, with some heaping praise on the city's achievements.

Mr Zeng said: 'The country supports the fruits of Hong Kong compatriots' hard work. Hong Kong's development is very important to the country's development.'

'Hong Kong supported the country when it first opened up,' Mr Zeng said. 'And the country supports Hong Kong. I look forward to hearing the tale of ... the next 10 years,' Mr Zeng said.

State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan , the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Liao Hui , the head of the United Front Work Department, Liu Yandong , and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai were among the visitors.

Mr Liao said he believed Hong Kong had a 'brighter future', while Mr Bo said that after 10 years of close co-operation on trade the city could now complement the mainland in service industries.

'Under [the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement] the mainland's service industry continues to open to the market, where Hong Kong's talents can demonstrate their edge,' he said.

Hong Kong will sign supplementary Cepa deals in the next few days.

The free exhibition is open to the public until July 17. The exhibition hall is divided into eight main areas of achievement.