HONG KONG – About 3,000 people attended a flag-raising ceremony at Hong Kong’s Golden Bauhinia Square Sunday morning to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Hong Kong’s new chief executive Leung Chun-ying and senior government officials attended the ceremony, joined by guests including community leaders, members of community groups and uniformed groups.
Guards raise the Chinese national flag, right, and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Hong Kong, July 1, 2012. A flag-raising ceremony is held at Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. [Photo/Xinhua]
Guard of Honor of the Disciplined Services and the Flag and Escort Parties marched in the square with the music played by the Hong Kong Police Band. At 8 a.m., the national flag and the regional flag were hoisted up amid the National Anthem, while all attendees stood up in solemn silence.
The ceremony was followed by a sea parade and a fly-past by the disciplined services. The square was brimmed over with cheer and jubilance.
“Happy anniversary!” Hong Kong citizen Wong Kwai Ha said joyfully, adding that it was heartening to join the magnificent ceremony in the morning of the HKSAR’s 15th birthday.
Wong wished her home city an even more prosperous future. She said she has full confidence in the new term of the SAR government.
Ping Yi, a 24-year-old tourist from Hubei Province, was on a ride of the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wanchai during the ceremony and was able to view the flag raising. “It was an exciting moment,” she said. “People from Hong Kong and Mainland are of one family.”
The official daily flag raising ceremony is held at the Golden Bauhinia Square and conducted by the Hong Kong Police Force, which has become a tourist attraction.
The square was named after the giant statue of a golden Bauhinia blakeana at the center of the area, situated outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wanchai, where the ceremonies for the return of Hong Kong and the establishment of the HKSAR were held in July 1997.