HKSAR Government civil servants attend flag-raising ceremony in Nanjing to celebrate 26th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to motherland (with photos)


     Forty civil servants of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government who attended a national studies programme at the Nanjing University made a special visit to Jinghai Temple, which is related to modern history of the country and Hong Kong, and attended a flag-raising and bell-ringing ceremony to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and to remember the lessons of history.
     Jinghai Temple is the place where the Qing Government was forced to negotiate with the British Government on the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. The Nanjing Treaty Historical Gallery situated in the temple shows the 155 years’ long history of humiliation to self-empowerment, from being forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing, the cession of the Hong Kong Island, to Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. The bronze bell in the temple was specially cast in 1997 to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland.
     Civil servants recognised the history and profound meaning of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland from attending the flag-raising ceremony. The group leader, Chief Inspector of Police, Ms Ho Ming-wai, said she could deeply feel the humiliation experienced by the Qing Government in signing the unequal treaty, and truly understand the significance of national strength and security.
     The 40 middle-rank civil servants from different government departments and grades participated in a seven-day national studies programme organised by the Civil Service College (CSC). The course includes lectures by experts, on-site teaching and site visits, covering a range of topics including national security, development of smart city and heritage conservation, so that participants can obtain a better understanding of national developments by learning about the history.
     Following the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the CSC has resumed in-person training and exchange activities on the Mainland for civil servants. So far, five groups have set off for study and visit programmes at different institutions. The CSC will continue to organise various courses held on the Mainland to enhance the understanding of national affairs and sense of belonging towards the country among civil servants of different ranks. The CSC also hopes that the participants can apply their learning and experience to work and further enhance their exchanges and co-operation with the Mainland.