The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:
In response to the invitation of Sichuan Provincial People's Government, 14 Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), including members of the Panel on Development and Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of other relevant committees, began their three-day visit yesterday (September 24) in Sichuan in connection with post-quake restoration and reconstruction work in the province.
The visit, led by the President of LegCo, Hon Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, started with a visit to two schools in Nanchong, namely Baita Junior Middle School and Fu Jiang Lu Primary School, which were located in one of the 29 most quake-hit areas during the Sichuan earthquake. The two schools were seriously damaged during last year's earthquake and were among the 100 projects identified by Sichuan and Hong Kong for inclusion in the Second Stage Reconstruction Projects, for which the Finance Committee of LegCo had approved a funding of $4 billion in February 2009. While reconstruction work was still under way, over 3,000 students of these two schools were able to return to Sichuan after a period of temporary attachment to schools in other provinces, to continue their study in their home town.
From July 2008 to July 2009, the Finance Committee had approved a total of $9 billion to support the post-quake restoration and reconstruction work in Sichuan.
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 the individual visitors from Hong Kong. During the briefing by He Ping, principal of the school, Members noted that after reconstruction, the school would be able to provide 2,200 school places to the children in Nanchong, 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 had been elevated to become a comprehensive primary school upon the completion of the reconstruction work. For this school, the HKSAR had provided a funding of over $15 million to assist in its reconstruction. During the visit, students of the school drew a picture collectively for Members expressing their heartfelt thanks to the Hong Kong people. In his address, Mr Tsang said that he was gratified to see the happy faces of the students and he encouraged them to study hard. Before leaving, he wrote a message in the form of calligraphy to show his support to the students.
In rounding up the visit, Mr Tsang said that it was a precious opportunity for Members to come to Sichuan to observe the post-quake restoration and reconstruction work. He believed that the support provided by Hong Kong was very useful and meaningful.
Members will visit the site of Xuankou Middle School in Yingxiu and receive a briefing on the present situation of the site today (September 25) in the morning. They will then go to Dujiangyan to observe the post-quake reconstruction residential buildings and visit the residents there. Members will also visit a rehabilitation centre.
Ends/Friday, September 25, 2009
Issued at HKT 01:12