Chief Executive John Lee hosted a farewell ceremony for the China Manned Space delegation at Government House this afternoon to thank them for accepting the invitation to visit Hong Kong.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lee said their four-day visit allowed Hong Kong citizens to experience the country's determination to realise the dream of space, and feel proud of the country's extraordinary achievements in aerospace technology.

He noted that the visit helped sow three seeds of strengthening national pride, exploring science and technology and inspiring people in the community to follow their dreams, adding that Hong Kong people, himself included, all hope that the dream of a local astronaut can come true, which could inject Hong Kong's presence into the nation's aerospace system, towards contributing to building the country into one which stands tall in science and technology.

Delegation leader Lin Xiqiang said at the ceremony that the China Manned Space Agency will follow the plan to recruit the fourth batch of astronauts, with a view to obtaining a result by year end to address concerns from Hong Kong people. He added that the agency will foster exchanges with Hong Kong's education and technology sectors.

Mr Lin also said the delegation sincerely hoped that the three seeds mentioned by the Chief Executive could sprout, blossom and yield fruits in the hearts of youth, as they will be the new force to build Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub.

During the visit, the delegation attended various activities and met members of the public as well as people from different sectors for exchanges, including the innovation and technology sector, as well as teachers and students from tertiary, secondary and primary schools. They also attended a variety show to mark Hong Kong's welcoming of the delegation and officiated at the opening of the China Manned Space Exhibition to share with Hong Kong people the joy of the distinguished development of China Manned Space Program.

Mr Lee presented a photo album of the delegation's visit to Mr Lin as a souvenir.


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