(From left) Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Governor of Guandong province Ma Xingrui, Director of the General Administration of Sport of China Gou Zhongwen and Governor of Shaanxi Zhao Yide pose for photos during the flag handover ceremony at the closing ceremony of the 14th National Games in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Sept 27, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The flag for the 15th National Games in 2025 was handed to the joint hosts, Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao, on Monday.
The handover to the leaders of the three regions was done at the closing ceremony of the 14th Games in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. The 2025 Games will be the first National Games to be co-hosted by the two special administrative regions and the first to be held under "one country, two systems" since the Games started in 1959.
During the closing ceremony in Xi'an, Guangdong's Governor Ma Xingrui, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Macao's Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng waved the flag after receiving it from Gou Zhongwen, director of the General Administration of Sport.
The mainland sports community will give full support to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to successfully host the 15th National Games in accordance with "one country, two systems" and the Basic Laws of the two SARs, said Gou Zhongwen, director of the General Administration of Sport
At a meeting with Lam and Ho on Sunday, Gou expressed hope that the 2025 Games will be an opportunity to promote sports development in the three regions and enhance bonding among compatriots.
The mainland sports community will give full support to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to successfully host the 15th National Games in accordance with "one country, two systems" and the Basic Laws of the two SARs, Gou said.
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Lam said Hong Kong will be fully prepared to participate in the hosting of the National Games. She invited the General Administration of Sport to provide guidance. She also welcomed Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide sharing the province's experience of hosting the event during a separate meeting on Sunday.
Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, president of Hong Kong's Legislative Council, said the 2025 Games are a precious opportunity offered by the central authorities to enhance sports development and strengthen social cohesion in Hong Kong.
The Games will also foster Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation on all fronts and have far-reaching significance, he added.
Details such as the opening and closing dates and venues have yet to be finalized. The Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong, which includes a 50,000-seat stadium and is due to be completed in 2023, is expected to host major events during the Games.
Guangdong hosted the National Games in 1987 and 2001.
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The State Council's General Office, which approved in August joint hosting of the 2025 Games, instructed that the event must be "simple, safe and fine", and all-out prevention measures must be in place to control the COVID-19 epidemic.