Xi to visit HK on 20th anniversary, help unify city's society

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/25 21:48:40

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) next week for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, a move that experts said demonstrates support to the new Hong Kong government and would help unify Hong Kong society.

Xi will be in Hong Kong from June 29 to July 1. He will also grace the inauguration of the fifth administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

"Xi intends to express the central government's expectations for the Hong Kong government to seize the opportunity and provides space for Hong Kong to solve its problems,"  said Tian Feilong, a legal expert and associate professor at Beihang University, told the Global Times on Monday.

Tian noted that Hong Kong experienced a crucial period in the past few years. "On one hand, the central government made vital adjustments to Hong Kong-related policies, enhancing the principle of 'ruling Hong Kong by law' as well as economic integration and guidance to the region; on the other hand, the Occupy Central movement in 2014 exposed the problem of youth education," Tian said.

It will be Xi's first visit to the HKSAR since he took office in 2013.

Xi will be accompanied by his wife, Peng Liyuan, as well as a delegation of hundreds, including many senior officials such as General Office of the CPC Central Committee director Li Zhanshu, China Central Military Commission vice chairman Fan Changlong and National People's Congress Standing Committee vice chairman Wang Chen, Hong Kong-based newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported Saturday.

The Hong Kong government will enforce its tightest security in the past 20 years for those three days, deploying nearly 9,000 officers for 12 hours every day and organizing special groups to protect senior officials, Sing Tao Daily added.

Hong Kong opposition forces always stage demonstrations on July 1, Tian said.

However, Tian said that it is actually a good opportunity for the Hong Kong government to rebuild public confidence, reunite the people and contain pro-independence forces.

The HKSAR government plans more than 600 events this year, including over 200 focused on the youth, the Liaison Office of the HKSAR Central People's Government said on its website.

The events provide 120,000 Hong Kong youth opportunities to communicate with their mainland counterparts, and 600 with internships in mainland companies, according to the office.

Following Xi's visit, China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, will reportedly visit the HKSAR in July - possibly open for the first time to Hong Kong residents, Sing Tao Daly reported on Friday.

The ship's appearance in Hong Kong, if real, will attract the world's eye to the region, show the strength of Chinese military, and hold separatist forces in awe, the expert pointed out, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times on Sunday.

The Liaoning left Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on Monday for a routine training mission, Xinhua reported.


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