July 6, 2008

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping Starts Hong Kong Inspection Tour

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

[Xinhua: "3rd Ld-Writethru: Chinese Vice President Arrives in HK on inspection Tour"]

Hong Kong, July 6 (Xinhua) - Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived at the Hong Kong Lok Ma Chau cross-boundary checkpoint from Shenzhen on Sunday morning, kicking off a three-day inspection tour of the city.

Upon his arrival, Xi was greeted by Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and principal officials of the HKSAR government.

While meeting the press at the checkpoint, Xi said the main purpose of his three-day visit is to have a field inspection on Hong Kong's preparations for the equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, as well as to see in person the city's profound changes since its return to the motherland 11 years ago.

Hong Kong is home to one of the six venues of the 2008 Olympics outside Beijing, the host city.

"For more than three years, the HKSAR government and people from all walks of life have done a lot of solid and effective work for the events," Xi said.

Xi said that he had visited Hong Kong several times when he was working at localities, but this was his first official tour to the SAR since he began to work at the central authorities. He hoped to see as many places as possible in Hong Kong.

On behalf of the central government, Xi extended sincere thanks to the SAR government and local communities for their active support to the Sichuan quake relief. He also asked the press to convey his heartfelt regards to the people of Hong Kong.

The vice president will also make an inspection tour of other places in the city.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0444 6 Jul 08.

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