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Xi arrives in Hong Kong for 25th anniversary of handover

30/6/2022 17:51
        Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday ahead of the 25th anniversary of the British handover and after a two-year transformation bringing the city more tightly under Communist Party control. It is Xi’s first trip outside of mainland China in nearly 2 years.
        
        Supporters waving Chinese and Hong Kong flags chanted "Welcome, welcome! Warm welcome!" as Xi's train pulled into the train station.
        
        Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were welcomed by city leader Carrie Lam as they alighted the train. Xi waved at supporters who welcomed him on the platform, and later greeted John Lee, the city's incoming leader, and Leung Chun-ying, a former chief executive of the city, along with other officials.
        
        "I'm very happy to be in Hong Kong," Xi said in a speech at the Hong Kong West Kowloon train station. "It's been five years since I last visited, and in the past five years I've been paying attention to and thinking about Hong Kong."
        
        Under Xi's leadership, China has reshaped Hong Kong in the past two years, cracking down on protest and freedom of speech and introducing a more patriotic curriculum in schools. The changes have all but eliminated opposition voices and driven many to leave.
        
        Hong Kong and nearby Macao are special administrative regions that are governed separately from the rest of China, known as the Chinese mainland.
        
        Xi has not left China since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. China has maintained a strict “zero-COVID” policy that aims to keep the virus out. Xi’s last overseas trip was to Myanmar in January 2020.
        



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