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Hong Kong. Zero covid policy. Xi Jinping’s visits to the city




Manhattan meets Hawaii. i described it like this hong kong strangers when I first moved here seven years ago, dazed by the glittering skyscrapers, fringed by the sea and blanketed in lush vegetation.

It was a modern and efficient city. The real estate agent looked surprised when I asked about the risk of power cuts which had been a notorious problem in my former place of residence, Istanbul. – But we need electricity – he explains. “For elevators and air conditioners,” she added.

Townspeople looked at me with the same disbelief when I asked about an atypical political system hong kong. I was surprised to learn that elected lawmakers could appear in the city legislature and mock the Chinese national government. How is it possible in this corner Chin ruled by Communists is such open opposition tolerated?

Like permanently available electricity, extraordinary liberties have been taken within the structure of this city hong kong. Religions, political views and forms of artistic expression banned on the continent have not only survived in this former British colony, but have even been celebrated.

Excellent internet firewall that blocks Gmaila and Twitter I instagramends at the inner border between mainland China and hong kong.

This emergency treaty was protected by international treaties before the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 to British power under Chinese domination, and by Beijing’s commitment to respect the city’s autonomy according to the formula “one country, two systems “.

Many argue that this commitment broke in 2020, when the St. hong kong passes national security law after a year of increasingly violent street protests.

Soon, police began arresting opposition lawmakers and pro-democracy activists on various charges, as well as tracking down and shutting down independent newspapers. Monuments commemorating the victims of the massacre of tiananmen square in Beijing in 1989 were quietly removed from university campuses.

Today, few Hong Kongers have the courage to publicly criticize the government – but that does not apply to the administration’s embrace of China policy. »zero lust“.

Since 2020, government efforts to eradicate the virus have resulted in an almost complete shutdown hong kong I Chin from the outside world. Others have been introduced lockdown and the rigors of social distancing, which have devastated both economies.

At the airport of hong kong a few more visitors are greeted by the slogans “Asia’s World City”. Once throbbing with life, the terminal is now largely empty. Severe anti-covid measures they also caused an exodus of people and talent from this now incredibly isolated city.

My wife and I met and married in Hong Kong, we started a family here. But since the birth of our daughter, we have lived in fear that if any of us tested positive for covid, the scale could separate us from our 13 month old baby and lock us in a government isolation

Even the faithful in Beijing admit that the policy “zero lust“They are damaging Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe and reliable international hub.” We have lost some of the strengths we enjoyed in the past, Hong Kong’s former head of government, Chun Ying Leung, told me this month. covidem – to assure.

I expected the number of complex preventive measures against covid I will have to go to report on July 1 the ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the loan hong kong do Chinin the presence of the President Xi Jinping.

In the week leading up to the event, journalists had to drop out every day Testom PCR. A government email said two days before Xi’s visit, journalists should check in at a designated hotel with a strict closed-loop system. There they would be locked in their rooms and then retested three hours before the event.

However, three days after the performance PCR test I received a call from the same government information services department. “Police have rejected a crossed out request to attend the 25th anniversary,” a polite woman named Chris informed me.

She couldn’t give a reason for refusing. Local media reports that at least ten newsrooms have faced a similar refusal to admit their journalists, allegedly for security reasons.

Now I’m starting to refer to Hong Kong as “A Tale of Two Cities”. On the one hand, part of the government bureaucracy is still trying to promote hong kong as a business-friendly center for international trade. It’s the kind of place that quickly and efficiently granted me “permanent resident” status after living and working here for seven years. But at the same time, an obsession with state control and repression of dissent, which is the hallmark of China, takes root here. President Xi.

These contradictory and competing impulses often make the city schizophrenic. Every month there is less and less reason to doubt the direction that will dominate Hong Kong in the years to come.

Ivan Watson, CNN Senior International Correspondent

CNN coverage of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s ceding to mainland China on TV and online media.




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