Hong Kong has beefed up security around the city with the expected arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, two days before the Hong Kongers celebrate the 25th anniversary of British handover.
Multiple sections of the city have been closed off, many government leaders have been forced into ‘a closed-loop system’ and journalist from several media outlets have been prohibited to attend the official celebration events on Friday.
This will be the first time the Chinese President is stepping outside the mainland after the pandemic struck. Details of the visit are only known to a select few but there are rumors floating around that Xi will arrive on Thursday and attend the celebration.
The Chinese leader is expected to be accompanied by a few high-ranking government officials who will be taking the PCR tests and will be quarantined in a hotel before the trip.
As per local media sources, Xi will probably be staying in south east China’s modern metropolis, Shenzhen that links Hong Kong to the Mainland, CNA reported.
Pro-Beijing veteran Regina Ip, who is also a member of the executive council believes that they are “playing safe” by adopting the closed-loop arrangements to meet the Chinese leader and his subordinates in “close quarters.”
Overall security has been doubled in the past week to make sure that just like every other year, this time also the celebration concludes peacefully.
The media coverage is under heavy scrutiny with multiple foreign journalists not granted the authorization to cover the July 1 anniversary events for unspecified “security reasons.”
Local media like the Hong Kong Journalists Association is also disappointed after being denied the accreditations to attend the event. It said that as per the government the decision was taken to ensure a balance between the “needs of media work” and security requirements, AFP reported.
Apart from this, in order to show public support for the celebrations the government has put up mass displays of Hong Kong and China flags on almost every public housing estate.
The closed off sections of the city include sites across the financial hub as well as the city’s Science Park, with employees being told to work from home on Thursday.