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Police chief pledges safe celebrations of HK's 10th anniversary of return
2007-06-03 21:14:38 Xinhua English

HONG KONG, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong police chief Tang King-shing has pledged strong measures to ensure public security during the carnival period marking the 10th anniversary of the region's return to its Chinese motherland.

"Peace and order have prevailed in Hong Kong since its return to the motherland 10 years ago, and we will make sure that all the 10th anniversary celebration events will be held safely so that people can enjoy themselves," said Tang King-shing, commissioner of Police of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, in an recent interview with Xinhua.

"We have sufficient manpower to protect VIPs and the mass public," he said, adding that he had ordered all regional police chiefs to step up their efforts to maintain public security when various celebrations are warming up.

Hong Kong returned to the motherland on July 1, 1997, and the HKSAR government has planned more than 460 events to celebrate the 10th anniversary. It is reported that senior officials of the central government will also come to Hong Kong to attend celebration events around July 1.

This seems to have posed the first major challenge to Tang after he was appointed police chief early this year. However, Tang said that he was confident of fulfilling his duty as he had experienced many major events over the past years such as the returning ceremony on July 1, 1997 and the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization held here in December 2005.

Tang recalled that he was in charge of on-site security at the returning ceremony in 1997 as the Chief Superintendent of Police.

"Everyone was focusing on the historic moment, but I had to ensure that every detail of the ceremony went right. I only slept a little more than one hour in two days," he said.

As an international city, Hong Kong has hosted many international conferences over the past years, but what impressed Tang most was the successful convening of the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization.

"The security of the meeting posed a grave challenge to Hong Kong police, but we finally managed to ensure the meeting to go on smoothly. We are proud of it," he said.

Tang said that comparing with other international cities, Hong Kong still remains one of the safest ones in the world, citing the city's crime rate standing only at 1,100 to 1,200 cases per 100, 000 people.

Talking about Hong Kong's hosting of the equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Tang acknowledged Hong Kong police still lack enough experience in dealing with major world sports events. "However, we are learning quickly," he said.

Hong Kong police have, time and again, invited foreign experts to give lectures on the issue, and have also sent officers to 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games and Doha Asian Games to learn their experience of security work, he said.

"The Beijing Olympic Games Organization Committee is satisfied with the security plan we have mapped out, and we have also pledged to improve the plan whenever it is needed," he said.

To further ensure the security work, Hong Kong police have also established close cooperation and friendly relationship with police in the mainland and the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in Hong Kong, he said.

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