After nearly 900 days in mainland China, President Xi has left for the neighboring semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong to celebrate the city’s 25th anniversary of Chinese rule. He arrived with his wife, Peng Liyuan, to crowds of schoolchildren and a traditional lion dance. He was greeted by both current leader Lam and her successor, Lee – both of whom, alongside around 3,000 other people involved in the festivities, had to hotel quarantine in preparation for his arrival.
In a short speech at West Kowloon railway station, Xi said that Hong Kong had been “… reborn from the ashes, showing vigor and vitality." He also added that the “one country, two systems" structure the city operates under would ensure its stability and success. The last time Xi visited in 2017, he said that the obstacles to Chinese rule wouldn’t be permitted. Meanwhile, one of the city’s last remaining protest groups, The League of Social Democrats, said it wouldn’t hold a July 1 protest. It’s speculated that Xi will stay in neighboring Shenzhen as Hong Kong battles another surge of over 2,000 daily cases and will return to the city for Lee’s inauguration.
“In 2022, we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China. This is an important milestone for our nation and Hong Kong. ‘A New Era – Stability. Prosperity. Opportunity’ not only captures Hong Kong’s impressive achievements over the past two and a half decades, it also underscores our eager anticipation for and confidence in a brighter future. Remaining true to the original aspiration of “One Country, Two Systems", the common goal of the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government is to maintain long-term stability and prosperity and to work hand-in-hand to usher in a new era of opportunities to unleash Hong Kong’s unique strengths under the national development of the ’14th Five-Year Plan’ and within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," wrote the Hong Kong government in a statement marking the city’s 25th anniversary under Chinese rule.
“Facts have proved that ‘one country, two systems’ has strong vitality. It can ensure Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability and safeguard the wellbeing of Hong Kong compatriots," Xi said. “Over the past few years, Hong Kong has withstood one severe test after another and overcome one risk and challenge after another. After weathering the storms, Hong Kong has emerged from the ashes with vigorous vitality."
“To the people of Hong Kong. Today, some volunteers and friends of LSD were interviewed by the National Security Police. After assessing the situation, we will not hold any demonstration on July 1. Please forgive us for the difficult situation," wrote The League of Social Democrats.