Hu showers Hong Kong with promises of support
HONG KONG (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao promised Beijing's full support for Hong Kong on Sunday, but was met with protesters who demanded more autonomy for the special administrative region.
Hu was in Hong Kong to participate in the Sunday celebration of the 15th anniversary of the former British colony's handover to China.
The ceremony was concurrently held with the inauguration of Leung Chun-ying, the incoming Hong Kong chief executive, who will head of the Hong Kong government for five years.
In his speech at the ceremony, he stressed that Hong Kong has the firm backing of China, saying that Hong Kong's remarkable achievement proves that "one country, two systems" works for the territory after its return to the motherland.
"We must stay committed to keeping a balance between adhering to the 'one country' principle and respecting the differences of the two systems," Hu said.
Since its return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been enjoying a semi-autonomous status, having its own legal and financial systems.
During Hu's three-day visit, which started on Friday, a number of measures to further boost the special role of the Chinese territory were introduced.
China's central government announced on Saturday that it will strengthen co-operation and Hong Kong, further enhancing Hong Kong's status as China's international financial center.
The measures included those aimed at developing Hong Kong as an offshore business center for the yuan, as part of China's efforts to expedite internationalization of the Chinese currency.