Mr. Xi and his spouse, Peng Liyuan, arrived in Hong Kong shortly after midday Thursday, disembarking from an Air China jet. They strolled down a pink carpet, the place they have been greeted by the town’s departing chief government, Leung Chun-ying, and Carrie Lam, who shall be sworn in Saturday as Mr. Leung’s successor as Hong Kong’s prime authorities official. Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong’s first chief government after the resumption of Chinese language sovereignty in 1997, was additionally in attendance.
As attendees waved the pink flags of Hong Kong and China, Mr. Xi spoke briefly concerning the significance of the town to China.
“Hong Kong has all the time affected my coronary heart,” he stated. “In two days will probably be the twentieth anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. This can be a main occasion, a cheerful occasion, for the nation and for Hong Kong.”
Saying that he was completely happy to be in Hong Kong for the primary time in 9 years, he added that he hoped to expertise the modifications and improvement which have occurred in Hong Kong since his final go to.
— Austin Ramzy
With protests anticipated to greet Mr. Xi throughout his three-day go to, the native information media reported that roughly a 3rd of Hong Kong’s 29,000-member police pressure can be deployed to guard the president, his spouse and the occasions at which they seem.
However Mr. Xi’s private safety can be dealt with by Troop 8341, in response to The South China Morning Post, which famous that the elite, secretive unit was truly composed of fight-prepared troops.
Mr. Xi might encounter one thing he not often sees in China: open protests. Due to its standing as a semiautonomous area, Hong Kong has lengthy allowed demonstrations, which aren’t tolerated in mainland China. To that finish, the police have taken pains to maintain protesters away from Mr. Xi’s deliberate public appearances. Roads might be closed Saturday within the busy Wan Chai and Admiralty areas as he presides over the swearing-in of Hong Kong’s new chief government.
— Gerry Mullany
On Thursday morning, two dozen protesters remained detained in a police station 12 hours after they have been arrested for climbing a statue commemorating Hong Kong’s return to Chinese language rule.
The 26 protesters, together with the Umbrella Motion leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Regulation, on Wednesday night occupied the Golden Bauhinia Statue, at a sq. the place the Chinese language president will attend a flag-elevating ceremony on Saturday. They referred to as for the speedy launch of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese language dissident who acquired the Nobel Peace Prize for his writings selling democracy and who just lately left prison for cancer treatment.
“Real common suffrage! Free Liu Xiaobo unconditionally!” they chanted as tons of of principally mainland Chinese language vacationers seemed on.
Shocked by the show of defiance — such free expression is severely restricted in mainland China — most of the vacationers instantly took out their telephones to take pictures and movies, despite the fact that lots of them had by no means heard of Mr. Liu.
“Who’s Liu Xiaobo?” a lady from Anhui Province, in east-central China, stated once I approached her. “That is so scary.”
— Alan Wong
On the coronary heart of Hong Kong’s particular standing as a semiautonomous territory is the Primary Regulation, the settlement signed 20 years in the past between Britain and China assuring that Hong Kong would retain a excessive diploma of autonomy, and its capitalist monetary and authorized system, for 50 years.
Critics say that in recent times Beijing has been undermining the spirit if not the letter of the Primary Regulation, by cracking down on press freedoms in Hong Kong and meddling within the number of the territory’s leaders.
Right here is the text of the Basic Law governing Beijing’s relationship to Hong Kong, which assures that the territory “will take pleasure in a excessive diploma of autonomy, besides in overseas and protection affairs that are the duties of the Central Individuals’s Authorities.”
In a video posted earlier this week, the Hong Kong police sought to justify the extraordinary lengths to which they’ve gone to defend Chinese language and native officers from deliberate protests.
Among the many measures is the erection of huge plastic limitations full of water, seen right here as they have been being positioned alongside routes the leaders will in all probability take as they transfer between the festivities.
The police defined the safety measures as reflective of their considerations over terrorist assaults.
“Lately, the world has been shocked by terrorist assaults of automobiles plowing into crowds,” an officer says within the video. “These ‘water obstacles’ can guarantee the security of the general public and the essential officers.”
However the limitations are extra probably meant to defend the leaders from the anticipated protests. “Does that imply that each one the individuals of Hong Kong are terrorists?” commented one Fb consumer.
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