Commissioner's Office Hosts 2019 Spring Reception and "Friends of Diplomacy" Award Presentation Ceremony

  On 30 January 2019, Commissioner's Office hosted the 2019 Spring Reception and "Friends of Diplomacy" Award Presentation Ceremony. Commissioner Xie Feng and other principal officials warmly welcomed CPPCC Vice Chairpersons Tung Chee Hwa and C Y Leung, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Director of the Central Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong Wang Zhimin and Political Commissar of the PLA Garrison in Hong Kong Cai Yongzhong. They also warmly welcomed other senior officials of the SAR Government, members of the Legislative Council, members of the Executive Council, Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress, Hong Kong delegates to the CPPCC, other dignitaries from various sectors in Hong Kong, as well as representatives of the consular corps, foreign chambers of commerce and media.

  The hosts and guests first appreciated a short video clip "Our Days in 2018" prepared by the Office, which reviewed the extraordinary journey that China, its diplomacy and Hong Kong SAR has experienced in 2018, recalling the days of close cooperation between Commissioner's Office and different sectors in Hong Kong.

  In his address to the audience, Commissioner Xie Feng first described major achievements China has made in diplomacy over the past year. He then stressed the major accomplishments the Commissioner's Office has made in 2018. First, the Commissioner's Office has worked with the Hong Kong compatriots to uphold "one country", fighting in unequivocal terms against the foreign intervention forces and their activities, and safeguarding the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country. Second, we have worked to help the SAR Government expand the external exchanges and cooperation. We organized promotional conferences and matchmaking events for the tripartite cooperation involving Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Belt and Road countries, with a priority on ASEAN countries including Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. With that, we helped Hong Kong to better participate in the Belt and Road and the Greater Bay Area development. Third, we hosted the international conference on China's 40 years of reform and opening up, with the gathering of political leaders, experts and scholars from across the globe to Hong Kong. Through the use of international language and the "Hong Kong platform", we told the success story of China's reform and opening up, China's diplomacy and "one country, two systems" to the world. Fourth, for the whole year, we handled over 800 consular cases involving Hong Kong compatriots. We provided emergency assistance in the events of earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan, and typhoon in Saipan, and rushed to the rescue when our Hong Kong compatriots encountered accidents. Fifth, we are making friends with more and more young people in Hong Kong. We staged successful public diplomacy events for the Hong Kong youth. We helped over 700 Hong Kong young people to make study tours in Belt and Road countries. In future, the Commissioner's Office will work with the Hong Kong society to help brilliant local young minds to work in international organizations including the United Nations.


  Commissioner Xie continued his speech by praising HK compatriots in China's diplomatic endeavor. He mentioned that Hong Kong compatriots are the upholders of national sovereignty, security and development interests. Our Hong Kong compatriots are the facilitators of cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. Our Hong Kong compatriots are the practitioners of opening up strategy for win-win outcome. And Hong Kong compatriots are the contributors to China's participation in global governance.


  Commissioner Xie declared that to show our high regards and heartfelt gratitude, today we will present the "Friends of Diplomacy" award to four exceptional representatives of the Hong Kong compatriots who have made remarkable contribution to China's diplomacy and Hong Kong-related diplomatic work. This is the first time for the Commissioner's Office to present the award since its inauguration in 1997. The four "Friends of Diplomacy" are from different career backgrounds and social sectors. Yet they all take the service to Hong Kong and contribution to the country as their own responsibility, sharing profound love towards China and love towards Hong Kong. They each serve as a leader with noble character and high prestige in their respective fields, who are considered as excellent "non-governmental ambassadors" with global vision and talented communication skills. They have supported China's diplomacy and made noticeable contribution to promoting the national interest, national image and China's exchanges and cooperation with the world over the years. They are all good friends and good partners of the Commissioner's Office, providing valuable support to our work.



  Against the solemn background and inspiring music and with the observance of the guests, Vice Chairpersons Tung Chee Hwa and C Y Leung, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Director Wang Zhimin and Commissioner Xie Feng presented the "Friends of Diplomacy" Award to four recipients, who are former Justice Secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie, Chairman of Hang Lung Group Ronnie C. Chan, former President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Lawrence Lau Juen-yee and Chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Jonathan Choi Koon-shum. The audience burst out long-lasting applause to express their congratulations to the four award winners.


  Commissioner Xie concluded his speech by saying that we hope more and more Hong Kong compatriots, in particular young people, would join the "Friends of Diplomacy", who will take pride in serving the nation, forge close ties with China's diplomacy and make joint efforts with the Commissioner's Office. Let us carry forward the spirit of "Friends of Diplomacy" that loves the country, loves Hong Kong and loves diplomacy, and jointly open up a new chapter of China's major country diplomacy in the new era.

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