Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday to attend the signing ceremony of Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and celebration activities marking the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.
Some 140 children waving national flags, regional flags of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and flowers were present at the Hong Kong International Airport to welcome him.
Premier Wen was greeted at the airport by HKSAR Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa, HKSAR's Administrative Secretary Donald Tsang, Financial Secretary Antony Leung, Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung, President of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Rita Fan, and member of the Executive Council Leung Chun-ying.
The Premier was presented with bouquets of flowers by a child, with a military band striking up a tune of welcome.
"This is my first time to come to Hong Kong, a place of the motherland," Premier Wen told reporters at the airport.
"I'm very glad to come here to see the compatriots of Hong Kong," he said.
Premier Wen asked the reporters to convey his greetings to the compatriots of Hong Kong.
During his three-day stay here, Premier Wen will also attend a meeting held by the Hong Kong government to praise Hong Kong medical workers and other people for their fight against SARS, meet people from all walks of life and visit some large-scale projects.
Wen's entourage arriving aboard the same plane in Hong Kong include: Tang Jiaxuan, State Councilor; Liao Hui, vice chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council; Ma Kai, minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission; Lu Fuyuan, minister of Commerce; Wei Liqun, director of the Research Office of the State Council; You Quan, deputy Secretary-General of the State Council, and Qiu Xiaoxiong, director of the Premier's Office of the State Council.
Among those present at the airport to greet Premier Wen were also Gao Siren, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR; Ji Peiding, commissioner of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the HKSAR; Wang Jitang, commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in Hong Kong; Wang Yufa, political commissar of the PLA Garrison in Hong Kong, and other officials.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2003)