A worker at Cao Xueqin Enterprise Group tends pots of a special vintage wine destined to celebrate next year's handover of Hong Kong. Cao Xueqin will deliver 1,997 pots of its '1997 celebration wine' to the territory by the day of the handover. The move is a major promotional coup for the hitherto obscure wine-maker from Tangshan in China's northeast. Beijing was so concerned about firms cashing in on the handover that in December it cancelled all '1997' trademarks. This has not stopped Cao Xueqin winning the state's blessing for its gift. Official mouthpiece Xinhua dubbed it 'a hearty congratulation sent by the mother country to Hong Kong'. The first pot of the sorghum-based wine will be auctioned for charity with the rest distributed free to major hotels. Tangshan is best known as the site of a colossal earthquake in 1976 which killed more than 240,000 people. Today, it is keen to tell its story of recovery. The city rebuilt itself after the earthquake and in 1990 won a United Nations award for improved living conditions. Nevertheless, its state sector is struggling under the crippling weight of China's cradle-to-grave social welfare system, and further challenges exist as the city attempts to reform and attract foreign investment.