In light steps and joyous mood, Chinese President Hu Jintao walked into the theater in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, where a grand variety show marking the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland was to take place on Saturday night.
Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing were greeted with warm applause asa 4,000-strong audience stood up. Smiling, Hu waved his greetings repeatedly before taking a seat in the front row.
Hu will also attend the swearing-in ceremony of the third-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Sunday.
The grand stage was red and yellow, representing happiness and China in the traditional Chinese culture. It was also decorated with peonies and bauhinia, symbolizing the motherland and Hong Kong.
The show brought together about 800 actors and actresses from Hong Kong and the mainland, including famous singers Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok, also known as Four Heavenly Kings.
And the presence of a number of sports stars such as flying man Liu Xiang and diving queen Guo Jingjing gave the audience another surprise of joy.
The curtain raised with melodious music "Pearl of the Orient," another name of Hong Kong. Photos describing the changes of Hong Kong from a fishing village to a cosmopolitan city were projected on the back of the stage.
The show consisted of six parts, including Pride -- Our Hong Kong, Glamour -- Cosmopolitan Life, Momentum -- The Olympics, Celebration -- Reunification, and Love China -- Our Motherland.
It tells the unique story of Hong Kong remaining prosperous while keeping its capitalist life style backed by a socialist motherland ten years after its return.
And such life style had been ensured by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who had vividly said, "The horse race can continue and people can also continue to dance" in Hong Kong after 1997. For a long time, horse racing and dancing had been labeled as capitalist life style in the mainland.
Over the past ten years, the central government has honored the commitment by strictly implementing the "one country, two systems" concept.
Hu and the audience had reasons to be cheerful, as Hong Kong's economy has kept growing steadily over the past years, with its status as international financial, trade and shipping centers further consolidated.
The show culminated when masters of the show invited the president to step onto the stage and sing the song "Ode to the Motherland" together with the 800 performers.
All audience stood up, they sang in chorus, they cheered and applauded.
"For better or worse, Hong Kong's future is tied to China's," said Time magazine in its June 18 issue.
It is true. With a robust growing motherland, Hong Kong's future is bound to be bright.