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China’s Xi arrives in Hong Kong in first trip off mainland since pandemic

China’s President Xi Jinping, pictured on the left, appears to be like at Hong Kong’s outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam as he prepares to talk following his arrival in Hong Kong on June 30, 2022, for celebrations marking the twenty fifth anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China.

Selim Chtayti | Afp | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday in the particular administrative area of Hong Kong, state media mentioned.

The trip is for the twenty fifth anniversary on Friday of Hong Kong’s handover to China from British colonial rule.

The go to marks Xi’s first journey off mainland China since the pandemic started greater than two years in the past.

In a short speech upon arriving in Hong Kong, Xi mentioned Beijing would follow the “one country, two systems” coverage that he claimed would “ensure the long term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong,” in accordance with an official English translation carried by state media.

The “one country, two systems” coverage has allowed the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong to function as a semi-autonomous area beneath Beijing’s rule.

Large-scale, violent protests in 2019 have been initially triggered by a controversial extradition invoice that many in Hong Kong claimed went in opposition to the precept of “one country, two systems.” The area’s retail gross sales contracted in 2019 and 2020 as protests disrupted the native economic system, even earlier than the pandemic shut Hong Kong off from overseas and mainland vacationers. 

Xi mentioned Thursday that Hong Kong overcame “severe tasks” and “a number of risks and challenges” in the previous few years, with out going into element.

In a 2020 speech in Shenzhen, Xi mentioned the mainland Chinese metropolis ought to promote improvement of Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao — the Greater Bay space — and enrich the brand new observe of “one country, two systems.'”

He didn’t particularly say what the “new practice” entailed. That speech commemorated the fortieth anniversary of the institution of the Shenzhen particular financial zone in the southern province of Guangdong.

Xi closed his remarks Thursday by referring to his goal of constructing China right into a higher energy.

“Hong Kong will make great contribution to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he mentioned.

Xi arrived in Hong Kong together with his spouse at West Kowloon railway station, in accordance with a reside broadcast Thursday afternoon on state media.

The stream confirmed a station stuffed with youngsters and adults chanting “welcome” in Mandarin and waving the flags of Hong Kong and China.

On Friday, Beijing loyalist John Lee will start his five-year time period as Hong Kong chief government, changing outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Lee was the one candidate for the position in an election held in May.

— CNBC’s Su-Lin Tan contributed to this report.

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