06/30/2017, 09.35
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Xi Jinping inspects troops in Hong Kong. Activist protests

by Paul Wang

Soldiers from Shenzhen also participated in the military parade. Demosisto members chain themselves to the bauhinia monument. Waking Star for Liu Xiaobo's Release. 26 activists arrested and then released.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived yesterday in Hong Kong to attend the ceremonies on the occasion of the 20 years since the return of the territory to the motherland and the end of the British colonial government.

Much of the population of Hong Kong is pessimistic about its future: they claim that the principle that was to lead the coexistence between Hong Kong and China, "one nation, two systems", has been widely betrayed by the Chinese and local governments .

In his speech on arrival, Xi said he "Hong Kong is always in my heart". In fact, Xi often visited the territory before becoming president, party secretary and chief of the military commission.

And with this last charge, he inspected the Liberation Army troops stationed in Hong Kong for 20 years. Soldiers from Shenzhen also joined the parade, highlighting the "one nation" element and Hong Kong military submission to China.

For their part, activist groups demonstrated in various ways, defending the "two systems" element and above all that of "freedom" for Hong Kong.

On the eve of Xi's arrival, some Demosisto party youths, including 18-year-old Joshua Wong, one of the initiators of the Occupy Central movement, chained themselves to the Golden Bauhinia monument, gifted  by China and inaugurated on July 1, 1997. Along with many others, they demonstrated in the center of the island for the release of the great dissident Liu Xiaobo, now in his last days.

The police arrested dozens of them, at least 26, but yesterday they released them on bail.

Xi's program is intense: today he is set to participate in a banquet and then at a show; Tomorrow he will attend the wearing in ceremony of the new government along with the new head of the executive, Carrie Lam. Activists have planned other events, including one on July 1st, which has been held since 2003, with more than 500,000 people attending, to refuse attempts to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

For his part, Xi has committed himself to maintaining the principle of "one nation, two systems", but also praised the local government for stopping the self-righteous. He has not responded to journalists requests for news on Liu Xiaobo's fate.

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