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July
Commemorative postal items on display
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More than 500 valuable postal items commemorating Hong Kong's return to China and China's diplomacy, are on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre from tomorrow (July 6) to August 5.

Entitled "Postal Items Exhibition on Celebration of Hong Kong's Return to the Motherland and China's Diplomacy", the exhibition is jointly presented by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Better Hong Kong Foundation. It witnesses not only the historic moment of Hong Kong's return to China, but also serves as testimony to the friendly relations between China and countries all over the world.

The exhibition was officially opened today (July 5) by the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in HKSAR Mr Lu Xinhua, Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Tsang Tak-sing, Executive Director of the Better Hong Kong Foundation Miss Karen Tang Shuk-tak, Chief Archivist, the Bureau of Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Mr Guo Chongli, Chairman, Staff Union of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Mr Sun Qishun, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Mr Thomas Chow, and Postmaster General Mr Tam Wing-pong.

Invaluable postal items on display include commemorative postal items on Hong Kong's return to China, congratulatory letters and telegrams from various countries sent in 1997, special first day covers of diplomatic series of China, commemorative covers for the 600th anniversary of Zheng He's Voyages to the West, postal items for the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation, China, as well as postal items for the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in HKSAR.

In celebration of Hong Kong's return to China on July 1, 1997, a series of commemorative stamps, stamp folders and envelopes was issued. Many letters of congratulation, from diplomatic envoys, consulates and permanent representatives to international organisations were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the day of return. Heads of state or government of more than 30 countries, including Russia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, and Brazil, also sent their congratulations to China through letters and telegrams on the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, expressing their confidence in Hong Kong's future.

To commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations and major events between China and other countries, Special First Day Covers of Diplomatic Series of China were issued on January 1, 1999. Since then, 184 sets have been issued. These covers present the names, national flags, national emblems, dates of establishment of diplomatic relations, and characters of China and other countries; while the designs of the stamps also reflect the natural and cultural features of respective countries.

In support of the exhibition, a lecture to be given by the Secretary - General, Philatelic Association of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Mr Ma Xiaoling, will be held on Saturday (July 7) at 3pm at the Lecture Hall of the centre. Conducted in Cantonese, admission to the lecture is free and due to space limitation, the lecture will be limited to a quota of 110 on a first-come-first-served basis.

Located at Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, the Heritage Discovery Centre opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is free.

For enquiries, call 2208 4400. For details of the exhibition and other activities, visit Antiquities and Monuments Office's website at http://www.amo.gov.hk/ .

Ends/Thursday, July 5, 2007
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