This year marks the 73rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and the 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to the Motherland. Our country has come a long way since its reform and opening-up. The success in building a moderately prosperous society has greatly improved people's livelihoods, and now our nation is striding towards the Second Centenary Goal. Today, China is the world's second largest economy. In addition to its continuous efforts to promote economic development, our country is determined to open wider and share development opportunities with the rest of the world, and to pursue mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. Early this year, China hosted the Winter Olympics in Beijing to great acclaim. The return of the Olympics to our capital city 14 years after the 2008 Summer Games makes Beijing the world's first dual Olympic city. The elite athletes of the Chinese National Team achieved their best results ever in the competitions, bringing pride and excitement to all Chinese people. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of China's Manned Space Programme. Following the successful docking of Shenzhou-14 manned spacecraft with our space station in mid-June, China is set to make more pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of outer space in the next few years.
Looking back in the past 25 years, thanks to the strong support of the Central Government, Hong Kong has been able to move forward amidst the difficulties and challenges. At the ceremony celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to the Motherland, President Xi Jinping pointed out that everything the Central Government has done is for the benefit of our country, of Hong Kong and Macao, and of our fellow compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao. Knowing that we are now at the crucial stage of advancing from stability to greater prosperity, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will strive for the full and faithful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" and "patriots administering Hong Kong" to safeguard national security and the interests of Hong Kong people. By capitalising on the countless opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, we will give full play to the city's unique strength as a strategic gateway between the Mainland and the world, and ensure our long-term prosperity and stability.
To commemorate the 73rd National Day, the Home Affairs Department will join hands with various sectors to organise a wide range of splendid celebratory events for the public's enjoyment in the 18 districts. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the community organisations involved for their overwhelming support and active participation in organising the events. Members of the public are cordially invited to take part in the celebrations. Come and share the fun and thrill!
Mrs Alice CHEUNG
Director of Home Affairs