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Sept 24 to Sept 26, 2009

Sept 24 to Sept 26, 2009
LegCo Members Visited Sichuan

LegCo Members take a group photo with the students in Nanchong Shi Fu Jiang Lu Primary School

LegCo Members visit the Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre and sing with children who became disabled after being hurt by the earthquake

Invited by the People's Government of Sichuan Province, the President of the Legislative Council (LegCo), Mr Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, led members of the Panel on Development, as well as Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of the Finance Committee, House Committee, Panel on Education, Panel on Health Services, Panel on Home Affairs and Panel on Welfare Services (including Ir Dr Raymond Ho Chung-tai, Mr James To Kun-sun, Mr Chan Kam-lam, Mrs Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, Dr Philip Wong Yu-hong, Mr Wong Yung-kan, Ms Miriam Lau Kin-yee, Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long, Mr Cheung Hok-ming, Professor Patrick Lau Sau-shing, Dr Leung Ka-lau, Mr Ip Kwok-him, and Dr Samson Tam Wai-ho) to visit Sichuan in connection with post-quake reconstruction work.

During the visit, Members observed the progress of a number of reconstruction projects in Nanchong, Dujiangyan and Yingxiu, such as schools, residential buildings and a rehabilitation centre. Some of the reconstruction projects were supported by the HKSAR and some by other provinces / municipalities. Members also visited the Jinsha Site Museum and met officials of the Sichuan Province for a briefing on the reconstruction work.

The visit was started with two HKSAR-funded schools in Nanchong, namely Baita Junior Middle School and Fu Jiang Lu Primary School, which were located in one of the 29 hardest-hit areas and seriously damaged in the earthquake. At Baita Junior Middle School, Members received a warm welcome by the students who conveyed their gratitude to the Hong Kong people through singing and dancing, as well as the presentation of thank-you cards to individual visitors. Members gathered from Mr He Ping, principal of the school, that the school would provide 2,200 places to the children in Nanchong after reconstruction, representing an increase of over 30% of the original capacity. The visit ended with Members joining the students in singing “A Grateful Heart”.

Members then visited Fu Jiang Lu Primary School, which would turn to a comprehensive primary school on completion. During the visit, students drew a picture collectively for Members expressing their heartfelt thanks to the Hong Kong people. Before departure, Mr Jasper Tsang Yok-sing wrote a message in the form of calligraphy to show his support to the students.

On the second day, Members went to one of the hardest-hit areas and paid tribute to the victims of the earthquake in the front yard of the Xuankou Middle School, which was completely destroyed during the earthquake. The debris of the school site had been preserved for educational and research purposes. Upon leaving Yingxiu, Members proceeded to the Provincial Road 303 which costs over $800 million (one of the major projects in the post-quake reconstruction works in Sichuan) and were briefed on the planning and construction of the road. The work started in April 2009 and would be completed by April 2011. Apart from the Project Engineer, Members were also updated by Mr Mak Chai-kwong, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) who also took part in the visit, on the financial and technical issues in relation to the project.

The second major project visited by Members was Shuimo Middle School - one of the 56 schools supported by HKSAR that had been completed. This school was jointly supported by HKSAR and Foshan Municipality. HKSAR provided funding of $55.6 million for the construction of one teaching block, one dormitory for students, the sports ground and procurement of facilities and equipment. Mr Dong Yi Qiang, the principal of the school, told Members that students were proud of being in the school and more than 200 of them who had gone to schools in other places had returned. In the afternoon, Members paid a visit to a residential project in Dujiangyan's Xiang'e Xiang and the Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre. In the Rehabilitation Centre, Members were received by some 50 children who became disabled after injury in the earthquake.

On the last day of the visit, Members went to Jinsha Site Museum before meeting Mr Wei Hong, Executive Vice-Governor of the Sichuan Provincial Government, for an update on the overall situation and the progress of post-quake reconstruction work in the province. Mr Wei said the emphasis of the reconstruction was placed on the projects which were closely related to people's daily life, such as homes for residents, schools for children and medical facilities for patients. Mr Wei also gave an account of the current state of reconstruction projects supported by HKSAR and assured Members that the Sichuan Provincial Government would carefully monitor the implementation of these projects to ensure completion on schedule.

Mr Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said that the visit enabled Members to gain a better understanding of the latest development of some of the reconstruction projects in Sichuan, especially those supported by the HKSAR. He believed that this would facilitate Members' discussion and examination of future proposals put forward by the HKSAR Government in support of the post-quake reconstruction work in Sichuan.