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Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong by high-speed rail

Posted July. 01, 2022 08:13,   

Updated July. 01, 2022 08:13


Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong by high-speed rail to celebrate 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong from British rule and attend the inauguration ceremony of Hong Kong’s incoming chief executive John Lee on Friday. This is the first travel out of the mainland China for President Xi in 893 days since his visit to Myanmar in January 2020 as President Xi stayed in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The choice of Hong Kong as the destination of Xi’s first trip outside mainland China indicates that the Chinese president is intent on tightening the Chinese rule in Hong Kong.

On Thursday, the SCMP’s Hong Kong edition reported that President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan arrived in Hong Kong, which is a 14-minute ride from Shenzhen of southern province of Guangdong. After visiting Hong Kong’s Science Park, President Xi met with high officials of Hong Kong and went back to Shenzhen to spend a night. On Friday, President Xi will head towards Hong Kong to attend the Hong Kong handover ceremony and the inauguration ceremony of the chief executive of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong authority maintained tight security. Thousands of police officers were deployed to West Kowloon Station, where the high-speed train Xi took disembarked. The surrounding area of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center where the handover ceremony will take place and Hong Kong Science Park were blockaded, and the skies overhead were designated as a no-fly zone.

Some 3,000 people, including top officials and major guests, who will be attending the ceremony stayed in quarantine from three days ago as part of coronavirus precautions. The Hong Kong authority is being criticized for forcing on the quarantine to primary school students who will wave flags to welcome President Xi and for not properly informing the school and parents.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com