Shenzhou-9 astronauts arrive in HK on charm offensive visit

Three astronauts, who had fulfilled China’s first manned space docking mission this June, arrived here Friday to start a 4-day charm offensive visit, during which they are expected to meet students and other citizens.

Liu Yang, China’s first woman astronaut, along with veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng and crewmate Liu Wang, flew to Hong Kong at the invitation of Chief Executive CY Leung.

Also among the 40-plus-member delegation were key commanders and designers of China’s manned space program, including Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of manned space program and Zhou Jianping, designer-in-chief of manned space program.

Upon arrival at the airport, they were welcomed by a crowd of students and citizens waving national flags, as well as by senior officials including Director of the Liaison Office of the Chinese Central People’s Government in Hong Kong Peng Qinghua, Chief Secretary of the Hong Kong government Carrie Lam and Commander of the Garrison of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Hong Kong Zhang Shibo, among others.

During their four-day stay in Hong Kong, the three astronauts and other members of the delegation will meet the media on Friday afternoon and attend a welcome dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

They will talk with secondary and primary students on Saturday and attend the “Hong Kong Welcomes the Delegation of Shenzhou-9 Manned Spaceflight Mission Variety Show” with around 2,000 spectators.

On Sunday, the delegation will visit the Peak, open the ” Exhibition on China’s First Manned Space Docking Mission” at the Hong Kong Science Museum, and meet tertiary students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for a discussion on the space technology of Shenzhou-9 and China’s aerospace science development.

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They will also attend a tea gathering with the women’s sector on Monday and will then tour Victoria Harbor and learn about the latest harbor front development.

The delegation will attend a farewell ceremony at the government house Monday afternoon before leaving for Macao.

Xinhua

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