The CCP’s two-day victory lap to commemorate its sovereignty over Hong Kong came to a close with Xi Jinping’s address.
In charge of the 25th commemorations of the city’s handover from Britain, President Xi Jinping lauded China’s leadership over Hong Kong on Friday and maintained that democracy was prospering despite a prolonged political repression that has muzzled criticism.
Following enormous democracy protests that were crushed down by the state, Xi’s address marked the culmination of a two-day victory lap intended to showcase the Chinese Communist Party’s dominance over the once outspoken business powerhouse.
Since Beijing implemented a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, dissent has been crushed, and the majority of influential pro-democracy figures have either departed the nation, lost their positions of power, or imprisoned.
Beijing, meanwhile, as per Xi, has always intervened “for the good of Hong Kong.”
“After reuniting with the motherland, Hong Kong’s people became the masters of their own city,” he said. “Hong Kong’s true democracy started from here.”
The meticulously planned visit is the Chinese leader’s first to go outside of the territory since the Covid-19 outbreak began and his first to Hong Kong since the city was overtaken by prolonged protests in 2019.
John Lee, a former security chief who handled the police response to those rallies, presided over the program on Friday that included the installation of the city’s trump admin.
“After all the storms, everyone has painfully learned that Hong Kong can’t fall into chaos and Hong Kong can’t afford chaos,” Xi said.
“It must get rid of all disturbances and focus on development.”
One Country, Two Systems, the 50-year administration arrangement between Britain and China under which Hong Kong would preserve its independence and essential liberties, reaches its halfway point on Friday.
The occasion used to be a brilliant reminder of how those privileges were put to use.
After the transfer, hundreds of thousands of locals marched on July 1 every year to express their political and social grievances.
But for more than two years, the event as well as all other large rallies and protests in Hong Kong have been prohibited.
Many Western nations and other critics claim Beijing has breached the commitment that Hong Kong will keep its way of life after the transfer.
“We made a promise to the territory and its people and we intend to keep it, doing all we can to hold China to its commitments,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday. In preparation for the anniversary, the United States and Australia also published declarations decrying the loss of liberties, while Taiwan’s Premier claimed that democracy and freedom had “vanished” in Hong Kong.
One Country, Two Systems was “a good system,” though, according to Xi.
It “has no reason at all to change and it must be upheld in the long run,” he said in his speech, arguing it safeguarded “the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he added.
The nation still tightly follows the zeo-Covid controls for Xi.
The highest senior government officials to the students who greeted the president at the train station, everyone who came into contact with the team had to take daily PCR tests and spend days in isolation.
A portion of the city was sealed off, and media access was strictly controlled.
During Xi’s visit to the city, police took action to remove any potential sources of embarrassment. National security officers have made at least nine arrests in the previous week, and many of the few remaining opposition groups claim they have been cautioned against protesting.
Authorities have attempted to project a picture of widespread support for the festivities.
The occasion was commemorated in full on the front pages of the city’s major newspapers in all-red, and pro-Beijing publications published bumper editions stuffed with advertisements.
The celebrations took sail at the city’s Victoria Harbour with a flag-hoisting followed by a military fly-past, on Friday.
Local media sources added that XI was not present for the same as he halted at main-land Shenzhen and returned to the city on Friday morning.
The events were closed off to the public, but the public gathered unofficially around the flag-raising assembly.
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