Top-level guests attend banquet hosted by vice-president Top national leaders turned out in Beijing last night to greet new Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen ahead of his swearing-in at the Great Hall of the People today. Vice-President Zeng Qinghong , the state leader in charge of Hong Kong affairs, hosted a banquet for Mr Tsang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, hours after the former chief secretary's arrival. Guests are understood to have included the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office's director, Liao Hui , also a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan , CPPCC vice-chairwoman Liu Yandong and central government liaison office director Gao Siren are also understood to have attended. Mr Tsang, who was appointed by the State Council as the city's new leader on Tuesday, was accompanied by Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie and Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung. Speaking before departing for Beijing, Mr Tsang thanked the Hong Kong people and media for their support. Asked how he felt about the swearing-in ceremony, an animated Mr Tsang said he was 'taking it easy' and was honoured to take up the top job. He was greeted at Beijing Airport by Chen Zuoer , deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. 'I'm delighted to greet Mr Tsang on behalf of Mr Liao. Mr Tsang's trip is very crucial and the schedule is quite tight,' Mr Chen said. Mr Tsang was scheduled to take his oath of office and receive his appointment letter from Premier Wen Jiabao in the Great Hall of the People at 9am today. Mr Tsang, who is staying at the 12th House of the Diaoyutai guesthouse during his two-day trip, will be received by Mr Wen in the Great Hall's reception room after the swearing-in ceremony. Other top State Council leaders are expected to join the meeting. President Hu Jintao is expected to receive Mr Tsang this afternoon. Zhang Tongxin , director of the Centre for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Studies at People's University in Beijing, said he expected Mr Hu and Mr Wen to pledge support for the Hong Kong government as they had in the past. 'The support will remain unchanged despite the leadership changes ... The central government will provide powerful backing for Mr Tsang to take Hong Kong forward,' he said. Professor Zhang said it would be natural for Mr Tsang to exchange views with the state leaders on issues like electoral arrangements in 2007 and 2008.