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Vice-Premier Li Keqiang attends HKU centenary ceremony (with photos/videos)

     The Vice-Premier of the State Council, Mr Li Keqiang, on the last day of his visit to Hong Kong, attended the centenary ceremony of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) at Loke Yew Hall this morning (August 18). Accompanying Mr Li to the university was the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang.

     Greeting Mr Li on arrival were the Pro-Chancellor of HKU, Dr David Li; the Chairman of the Council of HKU, Dr Leong Che-hung; and the Vice-Chancellor of HKU, Professor Tsui Lap-chee.

     Addressing the congregation, Mr Li said, "It's my great pleasure to celebrate HKU's centenary with all of you in this dynamic campus today. This university has achieved today's glorious success through nurturing talents and accumulating knowledge over the past 100 years."

     He said HKU has nurtured more than 130 000 outstanding graduates with ambition to excel, great academic results and exemplary conduct, as well as a dedication to science and serving society. They have not only made great contributions to China and Hong Kong's prosperity, he said, but have also had a positive impact on the development of human civilisation.

     "Today, HKU is among the top universities in the world. This is not only Hong Kong's glory, but also China's pride," Mr Li said.

     He pointed out that thousands of talents, who are proficient in modern knowledge and skills, as well as national studies and international regulations, are needed to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and the motherland's development. As such, it is essential to enhance education exchange between the Mainland and Hong Kong, he added.

     "In this regard, effective co-operation mechanisms between Hong Kong and the Mainland have been established and many measures have been adopted. Starting from next year, the ministries concerned in the Central Government will set up targeted funds that will support 1 000 students and teachers at HKU each year to study, visit and conduct scientific research in the Mainland.

     "Meanwhile, we will also support extensive co-operation between higher education institutes in Hong Kong and the Mainland, so as to help teachers and students better understand the situation in the Mainland, and facilitate the mutual development of the education sectors in both places," Mr Li said.

     He said he is confident that youngsters in Hong Kong are ambitious, promising and capable, and that they hold great hope. He said he also believes that the teachers in Hong Kong will continue on their path to achieve marvelous results in the education career.

     During the ceremony, Mr Li and Mr Tsang officiated at the unveiling of plaques for the Hong Kong-Guangdong Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research Centre and the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Partner Laboratory at HKU-Shenzhen Branch).

     Mr Li also presented a set of "Chinese Rare Books Reprints" as a gift to HKU, which was received by Professor Tsui.

     After the ceremony, Mr Li toured an exhibition showcasing the university's development over the years. Accompanied by Professor Tsui, Mr Li was briefed by students on various exhibits. After the tour, Mr Li had a frank exchange with students and responded to their questions. He also encouraged them to continue their hard work in their studies.

     Mr Li also took the chance to meet heads and outstanding academics of local and overseas universities attending the centenary ceremony and took a group photo with them.

     Prior to the ceremony, Mr Li called on renowned contemporary sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-I at the university.

     Saying that he was pleased to see Professor Jao in good health, Mr Li commended Professor Jao for his great achievements in sinology, calligraphy and Chinese painting. He said Professor Jao had not only inherited and enhanced Chinese culture, but also contributed to the "going out" of Chinese culture to the world and promoted global civilisation exchanges.

     Professor Jao presented to Mr Li two of his written books and his lotus painting. Mr Li, in return, presented a set of five writing brushes produced by the national museum to Professor Jao, and reminded him to take good care of himself.

     Later, Mr Li visited the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, where he met senior representatives from offices set up by the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Chinese enterprises and the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison.

     In the afternoon, Mr Li will officiate at a ceremony marking the completion of the new Government Headquarters at Tamar before concluding his visit to Hong Kong.

Ends/Thursday, August 18, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:51


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