Authorities deployed massive security forces in Hong Kong on Friday as Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to swear in the city’s new leader and attend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Beijing.
Red lanterns and placards proclaiming a “new era” of stability adorned the main streets and sidewalks near the dockside convention center where the last colonial governor, Chris Patten, handed Hong Kong back to China in a rain-drenched tearful 1997 ceremony.
Some analysts see Xi’s visit as a triumph after Beijing tightened its control over Hong Kong with a sweeping national security law following mass pro-democracy protests in 2019.
Upon arriving in Hong Kong on Thursday afternoon, Xi said the city had overcome its challenges and had “risen from the ashes.”
Former Hong Kong security chief John Lee, who is being sanctioned by the United States for his role in implementing the new national security law, is assuming command at a time when the global financial hub is reeling amid some of the harshest COVID-19 with an exodus of people and Talent is facing -19 restrictions in the world.
Xi’s trip to Hong Kong is his first since 2017, when he sworn in the city’s first female leader, Carrie Lam, who oversaw some of the territory’s most turbulent times, marked by anti-government protests in 2019 and the COVID epidemic.
Britain handed Hong Kong back to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula, which guarantees a sweeping autonomy and judicial independence not found in mainland China.
Critics of the government, including Western nations, accuse the authorities of trampling on those freedoms, which Beijing and Hong Kong deny.
Hong Kong deploys massive security measures as Xi looks to swear in new leader – SABC News
Source link Hong Kong deploys massive security measures as Xi looks to swear in new leader – SABC News