Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the motherland. Twenty-five years ago, at a ceremony on a rainy night, the territory that had been under colonial rule by the United Kingdom for 156 years formally, officially, and undeniably returned to the embrace of the motherland.
From that moment on, a new chapter of history opened for Hong Kong.
With the newly founded special administrative region pioneering the innovative "one country, two systems" framework, the territory was smoothly integrated into the development trajectory of the Chinese mainland.
And the past 25 years have witnessed how Hong Kong has been able to weather one storm after another by joining hands with the mainland, from the Asian financial crisis to the SARS pandemic to the recent social turmoil.
In the past several years, with foreign forces fomenting and fueling social unrest in the SAR with the aim of pushing the city into chaos in an attempt to put pressure on the SAR government, the central authorities enacted the national security law for Hong Kong and improved its electoral system.
These have put an end to such damaging activities and safeguarded the livelihoods, property and well-being of people in Hong Kong, proving once again that no matter what challenge arises, Hong Kong will not have to face it alone; the motherland will always support it.
In both social governance and economic prosperity, the central government has helped Hong Kong take steps forward. The continued prosperity of Hong Kong today is the best evidence of that. Twenty-five years ago, when China resumed exercise of sovereignty over the city, many wondered how Hong Kong would fare.
Not only has it bolstered its position as an international financial, shipping and trade center, but it has also become an offshore renminbi center and a research and development powerhouse. That a third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport is due to come into operation this year is testament that the status of the SAR has continued to grow.
Arriving in Hong Kong on Thursday, President Xi Jinping said that Hong Kong had reborn from the flames and its future will surely be brighter if "one country, two systems" is firmly upheld and implemented.
The implementation of the national security law and the changes to the electoral system to ensure that "patriots administer Hong Kong" has provided Hong Kong with a solid institutional guarantee to do that.
With renewed stability and whole-hearted participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the next 25 years should be one of fresh opportunities for Hong Kong. The success story continues.