Eleven years after Hong Kong's return to China, the Special Administrative Region of China is ready to show its vigor and prosperity through hosting the Olympic equestrian events.
Late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had vividly said, "The horse race can continue and people can also continue to dance" in Hong Kong after 1997, and Tang Ying-yen, the chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong SAR government, believed the Olympic equestrian events even made Deng's assurance better.
Tang received a group of journalists from Beijing on Thursday, saying that it was the "One Country, Two Systems" principle that made it possible for Hong Kong to be an Olympic co-host city, and Hong Kong expected to show the great achievements brought by the principle through hosting the competition.
"About 45,000 people are expected to come to Hong Kong to watch the Olympics, and our economy is likely to benefit a lot," said Tang.
"But it's much more important to illustrate the great achievements of 'One Country, Two Systems' through the competition and to consolidate Hong Kong's status as an international metropolitan."
Tang believed that most Hong Kong citizens felt honored for holding the Olympic events, and "it's a good chance to enhance their self-identities as a Chinese".
Tang also lauded the work of the Hong Kong organizing committee for the Olympic equestrian events.
"They got only two years to prepare ahead of last year's Olympic test events," said Tang.
"But they have not only completed the two venues on schedule, but also successfully tackled the challenges of Hong Kong's especially hot and wet weather in August.
"We are sparing no efforts in fine-tuning our preparation work. We could say that we are ready," he added.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2008)