Hong Kong marks 18th anniversary of its return to China

World Today

Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s chief executive, front center, and his wife Regina, front right, and former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, front left, attend a flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Hong Kong today marked the 18th anniversary of its handover to China. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region government commemorated the 18th anniversary of its return to China on July 1. City officials, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the city’s former leader, Tung Chee-wah, attended a flag-raising ceremony Wednesday morning at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.

The anniversary came nearly two weeks after the city’s legislature vetoed an electoral reform proposal that would have granted Hong Kong residents the right to vote for the city’s next chief executive in 2017.

Chief Executive Leung said at a reception that the government will focus on economic development and improving people’s livelihood following the veto.

His words were echoed by Zhang Xiaoming, head of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, who said this week the city should shift its focus from political reform and concentrate instead on economic development.

Notable developments over the past year include the official launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connection, the mutual recognition of funds between the mainland and Hong Kong, and the early realization of basic liberalization of trade in services between Hong Kong and Guangdong Province.

The city’s government said earlier it has no plan to launch another round of electoral reform before 2017.

Story by CCTV News