Chinese aircraft carrier formation arrives in HK, to open for public to visit

Dong Zhaohui

HONG KONG, July 7 (Xinhua) -- A flotilla including China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning on Friday arrived in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) for a visit, during which Liaoning will, for the first time, be open for the public to visit.

At 7:20 a.m. local time, more than 700 officers and sailors spelled out Chinese characters "Hello, Hong Kong" on Liaoning's flight deck when the flotilla was entering Hong Kong SAR.

The naval formation also includes destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, and frigate Yantai.

The Hong Kong SAR government held a ceremony to welcome the flotilla at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison's naval base in Stonecutters Island where the destroyers and frigate docked.

The Liaoning was anchored in an open sea area outside the Victoria Harbor.

According to the Navy's plan, sailors of the flotilla will attend local activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the PLA being stationed in the Hong Kong SAR.

However, the most exciting moment for Hong Kong people will come this weekend when Liaoning will host some 2,000 Hong Kong residents for a ship tour.

Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, said at the welcoming ceremony that Hong Kong appreciates the central government's support and care in arranging the aircraft carrier formation's visit and allowing Hong Kong people to enjoy the aircraft carrier's first public ship tour.

The visit will allow Hong Kong people to experience great achievement the country has made in national defense, especially the navy's development, Lam said, adding that she believed the aircraft carrier's visit will greatly enhance Hong Kong people's understanding and recognition of the nation.


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