Visit of aircraft carrier to instill sense of pride among HK people: expert

2017-07-08 00:45:02 | From:http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1055445.shtml

More than 700 crew members of China's first aircraft carrier, the

Liaoning, stand in formation to display the Chinese characters for "Hello, Hong Kong!" on the deck of the carrier as it made its maiden visit to Hong Kong on Friday (see story on page 2). Photo: CFP

China's first aircraft carrier emerged from the mist in the waters south of Hong Kong at the Stonecutters Island naval base of the People's Liberation Army Garrison on Friday morning.

The visit of the

Liaoningin Hong Kong is a guarantee for the region rather than a show of force and it could elevate the local people's pride for the country, people who witnessed the appearance of the

Liaoningin Hong Kong and an expert said.

The

Liaoningwas escorted by two guided-missile destroyers, a guided-missile frigate and two corvettes from the PLA garrison in Hong Kong, along with dozens of government marine vessels clearing the path on Friday.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor welcomed the flotilla, saying she hoped the visit would instill a sense of patriotism among an increasingly divided society, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

"I believe this can let citizens experience the country's military development, especially the development of the naval force," Lam said. "This will greatly enhance Hong Kong citizens' understanding and recognition of the country."

"The

Liaoningmade its maiden visit to Hong Kong after the ceremony on July 1, which marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. It is like a guarantee to the region - the mainland has the capability to protect Hong Kong," Zhi Zhenfeng, associate research fellow at the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday.

Reports said that the arrival of the

Liaoningin Hong Kong is a show of military might and there is no need to deny it since it only helps to deter those who want to make provocations in Hong Kong or the overseas anti-China forces, said Zhi.

Rear Admiral Ding Yi,

Liaoning's commander, said officers in the crew would visit local Hong Kong communities and participate in charity and social service activities with non-governmental organizations, the SCMP reported on Friday.

Liaoning's visit showed that Hong Kong was very important to the central government, Ding said. "We believe [the visit] can further incite Hong Kong compatriots' passion to love the country and Hong Kong."

There are only 3,000 tickets for Hong Kong residents to board the

Liaoning, which is far from enough for so many Hong Kong people who want to take a look at the aircraft, Tang Wing-chun, a member of Kwun Tong District Council, told the Global Times on Friday.

Tang organized a 30-minute tour for 500 people to view the

Liaoningon a cruise ship and a military expert gave a narration about the aircraft. Tang said that his purpose for organizing the tour was to make more people have a glance at the

Liaoningfrom a distance.

"Citizens are enthusiastic about discussing the

Liaoning. Many people have taken pictures and uploaded them online with pride and excitement," Tang said, adding that only a small group of people feel that the

Liaoningvisit amounts to "muscle flexing."

Chen Zhihui, a fan of the Navy who got a ticket to visit the

Liaoning, told the Global Times on Friday that military fans from not only Hong Kong but also the mainland want to take photos of the

Liaoningthis time since the chance is rare.

"Hong Kong could hold international exchange activities, and besides the PLA, it could invite navies from other regions for friendly visits. The move could enhance the image and openness of the PLA Navy as well as strengthen communication with other countries," said Chen.

Public tours of the

Liaoningare to be available on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 2,000 tickets have been distributed. Another 1,600 tickets went to designated organizations.

Ticket holders can embark the

Liaoningand view its fighter aircrafts, helicopters and other carrier-based weapons in designated areas during a visit limited to one hour on either day, SCMP reported.

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