HONG KONG — China’s president, Xi Jinping, arrived Thursday in Hong Kong for ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule. It is Mr. Xi’s first visit to the city as president, and he is expected to offer reassurances that China still respects the “one country, two systems” arrangement, negotiated with Britain, that promised Hong Kong civil liberties and its own judicial system for 50 years.
• But Mr. Xi is also likely to say, symbolically or otherwise, that China will not tolerate challenges to its authority. The anniversary comes less than three years after huge pro-democracy demonstrations shut down parts of the city for months, and anti-Beijing sentiment persists, especially among the young.
• Security is tight for Mr. Xi’s visit, and protesters have already been arrested. Joshua Wong, the best-known leader of the 2014 street demonstrations, was among a few dozen people detained by the police Wednesday night after protesting Beijing’s rule at a monument marking the 1997 handover.
Xi arrives at Hong Kong airport
Mr. Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arrived in Hong Kong shortly after noon Thursday, disembarking from an Air China jet. They strolled down a red carpet, where they were greeted by the city’s departing chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, and Carrie Lam, who will be sworn in Saturday as Mr. Leung’s successor as Hong Kong’s top government official. Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong’s first chief executive after the resumption of Chinese sovereignty in 1997, was also in attendance.
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