China’s President Xi to visit Hong Kong for anniversary | Xi Jinping News

Xi will attend a number of occasions together with the inauguration of Hong Kong’s subsequent chief on Friday, deputy police chief has stated.

Hong Kong police have confirmed that Chinese language President Xi Jinping will go to the town this week for the twenty fifth anniversary of the previous British colony’s return to Chinese language rule.

Xi will attend a number of official occasions together with the inauguration of Hong Kong’s subsequent chief, former safety chief John Lee, on Friday, Assistant Police Commissioner Lui Kam-ho stated at a information convention on Tuesday.

The Chinese language chief’s go to shall be his first journey exterior mainland China for the reason that coronavirus pandemic took maintain about two and half years in the past.

The go to comes as Hong Kong is dealing with a brand new spike in infections following what was by far its worst and deadliest COVID-19 outbreak earlier this 12 months.

The UK returned Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997. The anniversary is very symbolic for Xi, who needs to be seen as propelling a “nationwide rejuvenation” as he prepares to begin an anticipated third five-year time period as head of China’s ruling Communist Occasion later this 12 months.

A part of that rejuvenation is erasing the legacy of colonialism and what the celebration regards as unequal treaties that granted territorial concessions to Britain and different international nations in the course of the waning years of the Qing Dynasty, which led to 1911.

Friday may also mark the midway level of the so-called “one nation, two programs” framework which was purported to safeguard Hong Kong’s freedoms and lifestyle for a minimum of 50 years.

In July 2017, Xi attended the swearing-in of Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam as a part of a three-day journey, which additionally included a go to to the native Chinese language military barracks.

However the protests that accompanied that journey are unlikely to be repeated this 12 months, as a result of a Beijing-imposed nationwide safety regulation has successfully stifled any criticism or dissent.

A collection of safety measures shall be put in place to guard Xi, together with safety zones and street closures across the venue for the ceremony, police stated.

Limitations have already been erected within the space.

“We is not going to tolerate something that will intervene and undermine the safety operation,” Lui stated.

“Within the occasion that any particular person behaves in a fashion that threatens life or property and undermines public order or endangers public security, we are going to take resolute motion,” Lui added.

Hong Kong GDP falls more than expected as COVID curbs bite | Business and Economy

Financial system shrinks 4 p.c within the January-to-March interval from a 12 months earlier, in line with advance estimates.

Hong Kong’s financial system contracted final quarter for the primary time in additional than a 12 months as native restrictions to curb Covid hit exercise and China’s personal omicron outbreak disrupted commerce.

Gross home product fell 4% within the January-to-March interval from a 12 months earlier, in line with advance estimates launched by the federal government on Tuesday. The quantity — Hong Kong’s first because the finish of 2020 — was far worse than a median estimate of a 1.3% contraction in a Bloomberg survey. It was additionally the most important contraction because the third quarter of 2020.

Town confronted “immense strain” within the first quarter of 2022, a authorities spokesperson was quoted as saying in a launch from the Census and Statistics Division accompanying the info. Town’s fifth coronavirus wave, together with moderating international demand development and “epidemic-induced cross boundary transportation disruptions,” all dragged on the financial system, the particular person mentioned.

Forward of the info, there have been indicators of deep financial harm within the first three months of the 12 months, with retail gross sales collapsing greater than 14% in February and exports plunging 8.9% in March. Town imposed strict social restrictions throughout the quarter — together with a ban on dining-in after 6 p.m. and shutting gyms and wonder salons — to battle a coronavirus wave that killed hundreds and contaminated greater than 1 million folks.

“This reveals how personal consumption, retail gross sales and the pandemic in China have hit development,” mentioned Samuel Tse, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd in Hong Kong. Tse had forecast a 1.2% contraction due to a low base of comparability with the primary quarter of final 12 months.

The Asian finance hub is now slowly beginning to reopen, which means the first-quarter hunch might mark the low level within the development cycle. On Tuesday, the federal government accelerated reopening plans, and can on Thursday enable eight folks to eat collectively, up from 4 beforehand, together with different easing measures. Two weeks later, dining-in hours can be prolonged from 10 p.m. till midnight, Chief Government Carrie Lam mentioned at a briefing.

Nonetheless, a lot will rely on China’s personal outbreak and Covid controls, which have made it tough to move items to and from the mainland. Exports from Hong Kong to China dropped 12.8% in March from a 12 months in the past, in line with official figures.

Commerce disruptions from China and weak exterior demand might linger for at the very least the subsequent month, Tse mentioned, including that he expects one other contraction within the second quarter.