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On Thursday morning, Hong Kong held a flag raising ceremony as well as Chinese-style marches, instead of the British-style previously used, to mark the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the 24th anniversary of the city’s return to Homeland.

The ceremony took place in Golden Bauhinia Square at 8 a.m. The Hong Kong-based Sing Tao Daily said it was the first time Hong Kong had hoisted national and regional flags with Chinese-style steps instead of the British-style.

Officials on site sang the national anthem.

Two helicopters displaying the national flag and the Hong Kong regional flag flew over Victoria Harbor. The fire boat and the police boat carried out nautical salutes on the sea.

Hong Kong Security Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu said at a wine party after the flag raising ceremony that “One country, two systems” is the best system for Hong Kong to maintain prosperity and stability.

There have been anti-Chinese individuals who have used loopholes in the regional electoral system to damage relations between Hong Kong and the central government, Lee said.

But after all the challenges, the current Hong Kong government is more confident than ever in the past four years in running the city, he said, noting that Hong Kong has regained social and political stability and is able to move forward.

Lee serves as the acting chief executive as Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and other city officials are currently in Beijing to attend the CCP centenary celebratory activities.

Lam is among those at the Tiananmen platform as Xi Jinping, secretary general of the CPC Central Committee, delivers a speech at the ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC on Thursday morning.

The Hong Kong government on Thursday released the list of 746 laureates, including seven Grand Bauhinia medal recipients and 18 Bauhinia Star gold medals.

Among the recipients of the Grand Bauhinia Medal were Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung and Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah.

500 others were also rewarded for their contribution during the anti-epidemic battle.

World time