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Xi Jinping in Hong Kong To Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Its Return to China from British Empire

June 30, 2022 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping spent the first of a two-day visit to Hong Kong today to help its citizens celebrate the momentous 25th anniversary of July 1,1997, the date on which the Britain Empire returned Hong Kong to China. Imperial Britain occupied Hong Kong on July 25, 1841, during the Opium War and following China’s defeat, it was forced to cede the territory to Britain in the Treaty of Nanking on Aug. 29, 1842. The anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China carries great political and emotional significance for the Chinese people.

Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan arrived by high-speed rail at West Kowloon station in the afternoon today, where they were greeted with much fanfare by the police brass band, flag-waving citizens, and a lion dance. In a short speech on his arrival, Xi stated that he and the central government have always felt concern for Hong Kong and held its compatriots in their hearts, understanding that it has had to overcome many difficult challenges. He emphasized that as long as the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” is upheld, Hong Kong will have a bright future and will make great contributions to China’s rejuvenation.

Prior to a banquet at the official residence of Carrie Lam, the outgoing chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)—Hong Kong’s government—Xi met with 160 officials, including senior government officials, heads of law enforcement agencies, and members of the chief executive’s cabinet. He also visited the city’s science park, which is home to 1,000 high-tech companies. Also attending the banquet was John Lee, Carrie Lam’s successor.  Lee will be inaugurated July 1, with Xi attending. The President spoke very highly of Carrie Lam, praising her for firmly implementing “One Country, Two Systems” and China’s Basic Law in Hong Kong. He further praised her guiding Hong Kong through the chaos in 2019-2020 when violent “pro-democracy” protesters sought regime change in the HKSAR, and overseeing its transition to the current peace and order.

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