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Chinese language chief Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday forward of the twenty fifth anniversary of the British handover and after a two-year transformation bringing town extra tightly underneath Communist Occasion management. It’s Xi’s first journey outdoors of mainland China in practically 2 ½ years.
Supporters waving Chinese language and Hong Kong flags chanted “Welcome, welcome! Warm welcome!” as Xi’s practice pulled into the practice station.
Xi and his spouse, Peng Liyuan, have been welcomed by metropolis chief Carrie Lam as they alighted the practice. Xi waved at supporters who welcomed him on the platform, and later greeted John Lee, town’s incoming chief, and Leung Chun-ying, a former chief govt of town, together with different officers.
“I’m very happy to be in Hong Kong,” Xi stated in a speech on the Hong Kong West Kowloon practice station. “It’s been five years since I last visited, and in the past five years I’ve been paying attention to and thinking about Hong Kong.”
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Below Xi’s management, China has reshaped Hong Kong up to now two years, cracking down on protest and freedom of speech and introducing a extra patriotic curriculum in faculties. The modifications have all however eradicated opposition voices and pushed many to depart.
Hong Kong and close by Macao are particular administrative areas which are ruled individually from the remainder of China, generally known as the Chinese language mainland.
Xi has not left China for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic took maintain. China has maintained a strict “zero-COVID” coverage that goals to maintain the virus out. Xi’s final abroad journey was to Myanmar in January 2020.
On the practice station, Xi stated Hong Kong has overcome many challenges through the years and had been “reborn from the ashes” with “vigorous vitality.”
“As long as we stick to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, Hong Kong will certainly have a brighter future and will make new and bigger contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” he stated.
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Later Thursday, Xi is predicted to go to the Hong Kong Science Park earlier than assembly with pro-Beijing politicians and tycoons, after which attend a closed-door banquet hosted by Lam, the outgoing chief govt, in keeping with native newspaper South China Morning Put up.
Each Xi and Peng are more likely to spend Thursday night time within the Chinese language metropolis of Shenzhen — quarter-hour away from Hong Kong by high-speed practice — and return to town on Friday morning to attend the July 1 occasions.
On Friday, Xi will attend a ceremony marking Hong Kong’s return to Chinese language rule on July 1, 1997 and officiate an inauguration ceremony for the brand new authorities led by incoming chief Lee.
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Forward of his arrival in Hong Kong, 1000’s of visitors — together with prime officers, lawmakers and diplomats — checked in to quarantine inns earlier this week and have been taking day by day nucleic acid exams as a part of coronavirus precautions.
Police have additionally ramped up safety, designating safety zones and street closures in addition to a no-fly zone for Friday.
Greater than 10 journalists from native and worldwide media retailers had their purposes to cowl the July 1 occasions rejected earlier this week on “security grounds,” with the federal government saying it was “striking a balance between the need of media work and security requirements.”