25th Anniversary of the Surrender | Chinese President Xi Jinping opens celebrations in Hong Kong

(Hong Kong) Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the 25th anniversary celebrations on Fridaye Anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, in a city under close surveillance.

Posted at 6:01 p.m
Updated at 10:47 p.m

Xinqi SU
Media Agency France

The ceremony, which includes the swearing-in of the new local chief executive officer, is an opportunity to demonstrate the Chinese Communist Party’s stranglehold on the city after the 2019 wave of pro-democracy protests swept the city and prompted Beijing to wage harsh political repression to impose .

The visit marks the Chinese president’s first trip outside of mainland China since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also the first in Hong Kong since the great pro-democracy movement of 2019.

“After the storms, Hong Kong is reborn from the fire and emerges with robust vitality,” Xi said upon arriving at the station on Thursday afternoon.

The head of state did not attend the hoisting of the colors on Friday morning, when in strong winds the next CEO, John Lee, attended the ceremony, which was led by soldiers goose-stepping to the sound of the national anthem.

According to local media, Xi spent the night in the nearby mainland city of Shenzhen, only to return to Hong Kong on Friday morning.

This day also marks the halfway point in 50 years of semi-autonomy, based on the “one country, two systems” principle negotiated between London and Beijing.

Until 2019 is the 1ah July was an opportunity to demonstrate the city’s freedoms, with thousands of residents demonstrating on the sidelines of the celebrations to express their political and social demands.

But this parade, like any gathering, has been officially banned by the police for two years for health and safety reasons.

According to government critics, the national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 after the 2019 protests has shaken promised freedoms.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday also deplored the “erosion of autonomy” on the territory caused by this law. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised not to “abandon” Hong Kong.

But Xi insisted on Thursday that the “one country, two systems” principle guarantees “Hong Kong’s long-term stability and prosperity.”


PHOTO XIE HUANCHI, ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Xi Jinping made the visit accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan.

The ceremonies are organized in a closed circuit system for hygienic reasons.

houses excavated

People in Xi’s orbit during his trip, including senior government officials, have been ordered to limit contact, undergo daily PCR tests and spend the days leading up to the visit in a quarantine hotel.

Parts of the city were closed and many journalists were banned from attending planned events.

Authorities have taken steps to eliminate any potential source of embarrassment during Xi Jinping’s stay. The National Security Police arrested at least nine people last week.

A dozen members of the League of Social Democrats (LSD), one of the last remaining political opposition parties in Hong Kong, have been contacted by police not to demonstrate. LSD leaders told AFP that their homes had been searched.


PHOTO KIN CHEUNG, ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Xi Jinping moved in an imposing convoy.

The city is littered with billboards proclaiming a new era of “stability, prosperity and opportunity.”

The soccer fields in Victoria Park, which used to host pro-democracy protests, will host a display to celebrate the anniversary, culminating in a giant Chinese flag flanked by a smaller Hong Kong flag, each taking up half the ground.

Kelvin Lam, a 40-year-old finance worker who attended the exhibition, told AFP he was attending the March 1 demonstrationsah July before 2019, but now the city “feels different”.

“After what happened a few years ago, safety is now a priority,” adds another passerby, Mme Xu asked about the end of the rallies.

“A safe and stable life is the most important thing for ordinary people,” she said.

Leave a Comment