Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning is berthed at the Victoria bay in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), south China, July 7, 2017. A flotilla including China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning on Friday arrived in HKSAR for a visit, during which Liaoning will, for the first time, be open for the public to visit. According to the Navy's plan, sailors of the flotilla will attend local activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army being stationed in the HKSAR. (Xinhua/Zeng Tao)
China's aircraft carrier Liaoning docked in Hong Kong on Friday morning for its five-day visit to the region. A total of 2,000 free tickets for visiting the aircraft carrier were snapped up by Hong Kong permanent residents.
This is the first time the Liaoning is open to the public, and Hong Kong residents will be first civilian visitors to the carrier. Friday, July 7, is the day which marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of China's nationwide all-out war against Japanese aggression. The coincidence gives sufficient reason for the public to interpret the significance of the Liaoning's visit to Hong Kong. It is no doubt that the Liaoning's visit is a patriotic journey. Hong Kong became a British colony when China was at its weakest in history. The humiliation came to an end 20 years ago when Hong Kong was returned to China. The Liaoning visit marks a new era for Hong Kong.
It is hoped that the Liaoning docks at each coastal city of China to allow as many Chinese nationals as possible to have a chance to visit the carrier. Hong Kong is the first stop in a series of exchanges between China's aircraft carrier and the ordinary residents. This reflects that the central government attaches great value to Hong Kong. In a sense, Hong Kong is indeed at the forefront of the country's solidarity and unification and a subtle focus of China's modern governance.
Twenty years have passed since Hong Kong returned to China. The Liaoning berthed at Hong Kong, China's own city, which has been interpreted by some Western media outlets and a few Hong Kong radicals as a show of China's military might or exerting pressure on the Hong Kong society. The strange logic and thought can be seen as a relic of the history of British colonial rule over Hong Kong. The logic is rusty but has not been completely dumped into the historical trash bin where it deserves to be.
This is certainly not the only time the country's aircraft carrier will dock at Hong Kong. The arrival of the Liaoning-led flotilla is a joyful event for the city but a tiny minority might feel uncomfortable and feel being "terrorized." If they have such a feeling, let them tremble in fear.
The Liaoning is indeed not a yacht but a symbol of the nation's strength, which sees protecting the people as its responsibility. Those who stand with the masses and those who stand against the interest of the masses will have different feelings about the national strength. The Liaoning-led flotilla is the friend of Hong Kong people and the protector of their interest. In this city with a bumpy history, the residents have a chance to be close to China's strongest naval flotilla. This is a historical marvel and the Chinese people know the warmth and solemnity of the flotilla.
Hong Kong is an intersection where all types of historical and realistic feelings interweave and where Chinese and Western forces interact. People can perceive Hong Kong in many different ways. To the outside world, the Liaoning has become one of the multiple ways to observe Hong Kong.
For a long time, the patriotic feelings of people toward China have been driven by the country's profound history and their attachment to the homeland. No matter how poor the country was, we loved it. Patriotism has become a belief and even dedication. Today China has become stronger and richer and a source of our pride.
The Liaoning carrier, Chinese astronauts as well as Olympic medal winners who have visited Hong Kong have become a symbol of modern China. Today, loving our country has become a joy. We hope that the Hong Kong society and the Liaoningcarrier can enjoy a happy and memorable time together.