President Xi Jinping on Friday inspected the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in Hong Kong, ordering the troops to “firmly safeguard Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviewed the troops at Shek Kong barracks in the company of Tan Benhong, commander of the PLA Garrison in Hong Kong.
Riding in an open-top camouflage jeep, Xi repeated praises of “Salute to you, comrades!” and “Comrades, thanks for your hard work!” as he rode by each of the 20 troop formations.
The troops responded in unison: “Hail to you, Chairman!” “Serve the people!”
Altogether, over 3,100 officers and soldiers took part in Friday’s review.
More than 100 pieces of military equipment, including air defense missiles, wheeled armored vehicles and military helicopters, were arrayed behind the troops.
About 4,000 flag-waving spectators from all walks of life in Hong Kong were also present during the review.
The troops must resolutely protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly safeguard Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, Xi said.
“The garrison is an important embodiment of national sovereignty, an important force to safeguard ‘one country, two systems,’ and an important cornerstone of Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Xi said.
He urged the garrison to make efforts to enhance “combat readiness” so as to fulfill its role as a powerful stabilizing force.
On Friday night, Xi attended a grand gala marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China at the waterfront Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
The gala brought together artists from both the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the mainland, showcasing patriotism and Hong Kong’s cultural diversity.
The show culminated when Xi stepped onto the stage with Hong Kong officials and sang in chorus the song “Ode to the Motherland” with the performers and the audience. (Xinhua)