Xi hears work reports from HK, Macao chief executives

President Xi Jinping met Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu in Beijing on Monday as Lee is paying a visit to the country's capital city.

Experts said on Monday that the central government has held high expectations for the HKSAR to further advance the governance by patriots, to continue the job of safeguarding national security, to promote economic recovery and people's livelihood, and to enhance governance efficiency following the recent district council elections. 

Also on Monday, Xi met with Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region Ho Iat Seng, who is also on a duty visit to Beijing, and heard a report from Ho on Macao's current situation and the Macao SAR government's work, Xinhua News Agency reported.

During the meeting with Li, Xi heard a report from Lee on Hong Kong's current situation and the HKSAR government's work, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Lauding Lee's work over the past year, Xi said Lee has led the HKSAR government in shouldering responsibilities and delivering good results.

The HKSAR government has resolutely safeguarded national security, reformed the District Council system in Hong Kong, smoothly completed the District Council Ordinary Election, and brought Hong Kong out of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and toward a comprehensive recovery, Xi said.

The HKSAR government has maintained the region's distinctive status and advantages, bolstered the drivers for development and worked hard to solve the most pressing issues and difficulties of the people, Xi said, adding that all these have consolidated the HKSAR's turning for the better and facilitated its entry into a new stage in which it has restored order and is set to thrive.

Xi said the central authorities fully acknowledged the work of Lee and the HKSAR government.

After listening to Xi's remarks, Lee expressed heartfelt thanks to Xi and the central government for their care and support for Hong Kong, as well as their guidance and encouragement to the HKSAR government, according to the Hong Kong local media.

During the meeting with Ho, Xi also recognized Ho's work over the past year, saying thatHo has led the Macao SAR government in conscientiously performing their duties and achieving practical results. 

The central government will, as always, comprehensively and accurately implement the principle of  One Country, Two Systems with unwavering determination, fully implement the principle of patriots administering Macao, and fully support the CE and the SAR government in uniting all sectors of society, Xi said. 

And the central government will support the SAR to seize the historic opportunities brought by national development, continuously advance the successful practice of  One Country, Two Systems with Macao's characteristics, and welcome the 25th Anniversary of Macao's Return to the Motherland with new developmental achievements, Xi said.

Monday also marks the commencement of Jimmy Lai's trial for violating the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and the initiation of the local legislative process under Article 23 of the Basic Law, making the assurance of national security in Hong Kong a critical component of Lee's work report, Lau Siu-kai, a consultant from the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies who is also a senior policy advisor, told the Global Times on Monday.

"President Xi clearly focuses on national security, the perfection of Hong Kong's governance framework under the principle of 'patriots administering Hong Kong,' addressing social and livelihood issues, and Hong Kong's integration into the national development plan. These are also the key aspects of the central government's assessment of the work of the HKSAR government," Lau said.

The background of Chief Executive's report this year is that Hong Kong has gone "from chaos to stability and to prosperity." At this stage, Hong Kong must develop its economy and improve people's livelihoods, former member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Tam Yiu-chung told the Global Times on Monday.  

In terms of economic development, Hong Kong has initially recovered its economy, the number of tourists is increasing, and all aspects are slowly recovering. But there are still challenges. For example, in terms of finance, the stock market remains relatively sluggish, housing problems persists, including falling property prices. In addition, the final district council elections to improve the electoral system have been successfully completed, and we can also report on the relevant work to the main leaders of the central government, Tam said.

Tam said the central government's expectations for Hong Kong mainly include several key points. The first is to continue to do a good job in safeguarding national security. The second is that the legislative work of Article 23 must be correctly implemented. In addition, "we must also develop the economy in a way that finds new economic development factors and directions and new development points. We must continue to do a good job in all aspects of people's livelihood," Tam noted.

GT on the spot: women in Xinjiang start up business for prosperous, happy life

To the south there lies the Kunlun Mountains, while to the north China's largest desert Taklamakan Desert -- this is the Hotan Prefecture where the mountainous area accounts for 33.3 percent while the Gobi desert makes up 63 percent. People have been clinging to small oases within these harsh environments. In the past, due to the harsh natural conditions, local women had limited employment options, with many being confined to farming or household chores. However, the situation has changed.

GT reporters again traveled to the region. In this third installment of a series of articles, GT tells character stories based on local women entrepreneurs in Hotan Prefecture, which effectively refuted vicious smears which attacked the employment and related human rights of local women by some anti-China forces, all of which were made up.

On Tuesday, the Global Times reporters visited the "Women's Entrepreneurship Street" in Pishan Farm, located in Hotan Prefecture. The shop owners there are all local women entrepreneurs. This street is home to 75 women-owned businesses, with clean and tidy shops and eye-catching pink walls. 

There is a wide variety of shops, including tailors, stores, flower shops and snack shops. The Global Times reporter found many similarities among the rural women in the area -- they are exquisite and beauty-loving women, wives, mothers, entrepreneurs and the economic pillars of their families.

According to the local women's federation, in order to provide greater support for women's home-based entrepreneurship in the Pishan Farm and guide women to achieve independent entrepreneurship, an increase in income and create more job opportunities for ethnic minority women in their own communities, the women's federation allocated a special fund of 200,000 yuan ($28,000) in 2019 for home-based entrepreneurship. This fund was used to renovate the entrepreneurship street, which had been previously poorly equipped. Now, there are 75 women-owned shops on this street, providing employment and increased income for over 150 workers.

Buamyna Sadahmat, dressed in a red blouse adorned with layers of lace which she had made herself, is a renowned tailor. 

Her tailor shop is the largest on the street, with a constant stream of workers coming to her for clothes. Not only has she become prosperous, but she has also hired several women to work in her shop, helping them solve their employment problems. 

As the Global Times reporter arrived, Buamyna was busy in her shop. She is responsible for cutting, while her two apprentices are responsible for sewing. 

Buamyna's husband works at a local public health station and their three children are all in school, so devotes most of her energy to the shop. 

Because of her exquisite craftsmanship, her shop is highly favored by women in the surrounding area. Buamyna often studies clothing styles online and replicates them, making detailed improvements based on the needs of the customer. To attract more customers, she also started online sales and frequently livestreams to help customers choose clothes. 

"Even though I have apprentices in the shop now, we are still a bit overwhelmed," said Buamyna.

Buaminai said her shop can achieve a monthly net profit of around 5,000 yuan. The busiest and most profitable time for her is during the Kurban Festival and Women's Day, when she can earn a net profit of 10,000 yuan in a month. 

Since opening her shop, Buamyna has trained 95 apprentices, many of whom have opened their own shops. However, she confidently says, "I'm not afraid of competition because I have more experience, and I have the most returning customers."

Not far from Buamyna's tailor shop, a silk shop owned by Zuregul Azrant also attracted the attention of the Global Times reporter. Vibrant colors immediately catch people's eye, bringing joy to people. 

This shop, which has been open for 18 years, is one of the two shops operated by Zuregul and her husband. They display various silk fabrics from Urumqi, Kashi Prefecture, and Hotan Prefecture, attracting women who love beauty to come and make purchases. 

Zuregul also has three children, with the oldest being 13 years old. After the whole family finishes breakfast and the children go to school, she and her husband drive to the shop, preparing to open before 11 am.

"Our most popular product is the Atlas silk produced in Hotan. "Customers buy it to make clothes, and our ready-made formal dresses sell well too," Zuregul said, holding a piece of Atlas silk with her henna-dyed red nails. Famous for its rich and bright colors and distinctive changing zigzag patterns, Atlas silk, a national intangible cultural heritage, has been used by Uygurs for clothing and interior design for centuries.

Hotan women attach great importance to formal dresses, wearing them for weddings or parties. Some people only wear a formal dress once and then buy a new style for the next occasion. 

Due to the locals' love for beauty, her business has always done well. This shop earns an annual net income of 50,000 yuan, and the other shop, which mainly sells home textile products, has recently opened and is also doing well.

Due to limited energy, the couple entrusted their farmland to relatives, with each person taking care of one shop. They have managed to make their businesses increasingly prosperous. 

The Global Times learnt from the Pishan Farm that they used the special funds from the women's federation to re-pave the cement road, renovate the interior and exterior walls, create counters for supermarkets and cosmetics stores, install fitting rooms and cutting tables for each tailor shop, and improve relevant facilities. This beautification and lighting of the street not only enhances the happiness and sense of achievement of ethnic minority women in Pishan Farm, but also stimulates the enthusiasm of ethnic minority women for entrepreneurship and employment, expanding the channels for women's employment and increased income.

China’s Sui sets early pace at Singapore Ladies Masters

Chinese golfer Sui Xiang set the pace early in the Singapore Ladies Masters on Thursday by carding a flawless six-under-par 66 to grab the first round lead.

Shannon Tan from Singapore also stayed in the hunt for a breakthrough in the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA) by returning with a 68 to share second place with China's Cai Danlin, Thailand's Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Kultida Pramphun and Japan's Ayaka Suzuki at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club. 

Despite enjoying a bogey-free round that was highlighted by six birdies on holes five, six, 11, 12, 15 and 18, Sui believes there is still room for improvement as she chases her third CLPGA title.

"Today was probably one of the most comfortable rounds I've played. I was hitting almost every fairway and I also hit my approach shots really close to the hole, which helped me make birdies and go bogey-free. I would give myself a 99 for my performance today, leaving one point out because there's always room for improvement. I don't think too much about my position on the leaderboard during tournaments. I'm just focused on playing good golf," she said. 

Tan had an encouraging start as she charged out with three birdies in her opening six holes. She parred the next two holes before dropping a shot on the par-four nine to reach the turn in 34.

The 19-year-old Texas Tech University undergraduate, who finished joint fourth in the recent NCAA Division 1 regionals, then birdied the 10th hole before marking her card with another birdie on 16 after five straight pars. 

Playing on her home course, the Singaporean reached home comfortably with pars on 17 and 18 to sign for a 68.

"I honestly didn't think it was my best round today but I felt I stuck to my game plan. I missed in the right spots where I could get up and down for par," said Tan. 

"I'm definitely more comfortable now [competing in a professional tournament] as I've had a couple of experiences in the past. And also it's on home ground, so I had a couple of friends who came out to support me, which was really nice."

Sherman, the current CLPGA Order of Merit leader, traded five birdies against one lone bogey on the par-four 14th to trail Sui by two shots. The Thai admitted she will have to improve on her putting as she continues to chase her second victory in the CLPGA following her breakthrough in Shanghai in June.  

The Singapore Ladies Masters is the fifth leg of the 2023 CLPGA season after stops in Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong. 

Hong Kong's top fencer shines at Chengdu Games

Hong Kong, China's Olympic fencing gold medalist Cheung Ka-long shone at the Chengdu FISU Games on Friday. Putting on a wonderful and steady performance, Cheung triumphed over France's Loisel Pierre with a score of 15-12, winning the gold medal in the men's foil individual bout. 

At the beginning of the match, Cheung was trailing 2-4, but he quickly adjusted and went on to win five consecutive points, gradually taking control of the match. 

In this individual men's foil competition, there were a total of 68 participants divided into 10 groups, with 50 players advancing to the knockout stage. Cheung was well-prepared and successfully advanced from the group stage with a perfect record of six wins. In the knockout stage, he defeated competitors from Chinese Taipei, Hungary, France, and his teammate to advance to the final and ultimately claim the championship.

The 26-year-old stated that this is his first and final participation in the Universiade, and it is also his first time participating in a major multi-sport event since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Cheung told the Global Times that he felt a great atmosphere at the scene as the audience erupted with enthusiastic cheers.

Cheung became Hong Kong, China's first Olympic fencing gold medalist, beating the pre-match favorite and defending champion Daniele Garozzo 15-10 in the men's individual foil final on July 26, 2021.

China's Hong Kong SAR has sent its largest delegation in history, with a total of 142 athletes, to the Chengdu Games.

In the fencing event, the Hong Kong team has performed exceptionally well. 

On Wednesday, Hong Kong fencer Hsieh Kaylin Sin-yan impressed everyone by winning the gold medal in the women's sabre individual competition, the first gold medal to be won in the fencing event at the Chengdu Games. 

Cheung's teammate, Lu Jian-ming, also achieved success by winning the bronze medal in the individual foil event. 

Cheung said he is proud of his teammate's outstanding performance. Next, Cheung will participate in the men's foil team event representing the Hong Kong, China team.

On July 30, Cheung led the Hong Kong Fencing Team to a bronze medal in the men's foil team event at the 2023 World Fencing Championships.

He told the Global Times that they will continue to work hard and strive for better results, building on their current momentum.