August 15, 2022

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Xi Jinping is visiting Hong Kong to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the delivery, in the first trip outside mainland China since the epidemic began

Xi Jinping is visiting Hong Kong to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the delivery, in the first trip outside mainland China since the epidemic began

Hong Kong

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong State media reported Saturday, next week, to mark the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to China, the leader’s first trip outside the mainland since the outbreak began.

“Xi Jinping will attend the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and the inauguration ceremony of the sixth government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” Xinhua said.

The confirmation comes after two top Hong Kong officials tested positive COVID-19 This week, raising concerns about a possible visit by state leaders for the July 1 celebrations, which include the city’s swearing-in. new boss In memory of her handover in 1997 from British rule.

A statement issued by the Hong Kong government on Thursday said Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Minister Eric Tsang and Chief Executive Officer Eric Chan have tested positive through nucleic acid tests, and they are subject to isolation.

Their cases have cast doubt on whether Xi would risk entering the city, given China’s strict non-proliferation policy – as well as on the strength of the city’s “closed” arrangement, which requires officials to avoid public participation and go into quarantine before planned festivities.

With China sticking to the Byzantine approach of sudden closures, mass testing and quarantines, Chinese officials appear to be taking extra precautions not to catch the virus.

Xi has not left mainland China since the epidemic broke out more than two years ago – but even before his visit was confirmed on Saturday, the Hong Kong government had begun preparing for the arrival of a delegation of state leaders from across the still largely closed country. border with the mainland.

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Senior officials in Hong Kong entered the closed-loop system on Thursday, under which they can only travel between home and work by private car and must spend a night in a quarantine hotel on the eve of the anniversary of the handover. They are also being tested daily for the Covid-19 virus.

The last time Mr. Tsang and Mr. Chan went to work on June 22 and June 20, respectively. They wore masks and followed relevant disease prevention measures at work, including daily rapid antigen tests with negative results. “They have no recent travel history,” the government statement said.

The statement did not mention the symptoms of the officials.

Chan is set to become the city’s second official on July 1, with incoming Hong Kong leader John Lee taking the lead.

Despite high vaccination rates and low overall cases, the Hong Kong government remains committed to its “zero Covid” approach, maintaining strict social distancing and contact tracing measures, as well as strict border restrictions – including a mandatory hotel quarantine for a period of time. Seven days for all arrivals.