Xi Jinping Arrives in Hong Kong
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, arrived in Hong Kong this morning to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule, while several prominent pro-democracy activists remained in custody after being arrested the previous day.
Xi arrived in the former British territory just before noon local time, according to Chinese state-run media. The red flags of Hong Kong and China lined the streets where his motorcade was likely to pass.
According to reports, security was tight, with two-metre-high, water-filled barriers set up around the perimeter of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and two hotels where Xi is set to stay with his wife, Peng Liyuan. Several roads around the city were also closed off to the public.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, DPA, is reporting that prominent pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, leaders of the Demosisto party, remained in custody. They were among at least 26 people arrested on Wednesday night as they staged a pro-democracy protest at a golden flower statue given to Hong Kong by Beijing in 1997 to commemorate its return to China.
Wong and other pro-democracy activists say that China is in violation of the treaty that ceded Hong Kong to China by refusing to grant its residents the right to nominate and elect its top official, the chief executive.
The August 2014 decision was what kicked off the 79-day Umbrella Revolution that saw three of Hong Kong’s busiest thoroughfares occupied by peaceful protestors, led by Wong.
President Xi Jinping saluted the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong today, which is under his direct command.
At an inspection he told his comrades, “I salute all comrades.” Riding in an open jeep fitted with microphones, he continued to call out to them and they responded.
Garrison Commander Lt Gen Benhong invited the Communist Party leader and Chairman of the Central Military Commission to inspect the troops, made up of the army, navy and the air force. There were 20 formations. Gen Benhong escorted the president on his inspection round.
Xi told the troops, including women, he saluted their dedication. The troops responded by saying, “we salute you Chairman.”
Military hardware of the 90-year old PLA, including, helicopters were on display at the parade.
More than 3,100 officers and soldiers were at the review, and over 100 pieces of military equipment including air defense missiles were displayed state media reported.