HK school quarantine call hints at Xi handover visit


“With small more than a fortnight to go, officers have nevertheless to say whether Xi or any other point out chief will go to the swearing-in celebrations.”

A Hong Kong primary university is searching for pupils to commit a week in lodge quarantine in advance of following month’s handover anniversary, fueling speculation a rigid “closed-loop” process will let Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop by.

The to start with working day of July marks 25 several years considering that Hong Kong was handed to China by colonial Britain, as perfectly as the first day in place of work for the city’s new Beijing-anointed leader John Lee.

China’s best leaders have attended the swearing-in of every single Hong Kong chief govt due to the fact the 1997 handover, but Xi has not left the mainland considering the fact that the coronavirus pandemic began.

With small in excess of a fortnight to go, officials have but to say whether Xi or any other point out chief will attend the celebrations.

But local media has been filled with stories suggesting amazing measures will be in location to guard dignitaries from the coronavirus, which includes sequestering hundreds of contributors in quarantine.

These studies have typically cited unnamed sources, but just one such buy has been verified.

Moms and dads of students at Wong Cho Bao University, which is operate by the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education and learning Employees, have been asked to sign their children up to greet checking out dignitaries.

The arrangement will have to have the pupils to bear seven times of resort quarantine absent from their people with the governing administration footing the bill, in accordance to a detect shown to AFP by school principal Wong Kam-leung.

The discover inspired mothers and fathers to volunteer their young ones for a “rare honorable mission” to greet unspecified readers at the airport on June 30 and send out them off a working day later on.

The pupils concerned will start off resort quarantine on June 23 beneath trainer supervision, and will go to lessons by using Zoom, the see stated, introducing they need to be double-vaccinated.

Faculty principal Wong explained to AFP the notice was “internal administrative procedure” to gauge guardian interest, and that the govt experienced yet to finalise ideas.

Wong, who also chairs the HKFEW, mentioned the see went out to key 6 students—usually aged 12—but declined to say how quite a few have signed up so far.

‘One nation, two systems’

China stays committed to a strict zero-COVID system that quashes outbreaks with social distancing, lockdowns, and border controls.

Hong Kong has its very own edition of zero-COVID, which has retained the international enterprise hub isolated for significantly of the pandemic.

But the city’s controls are less stringent than mainland China’s and have begun to relieve in latest months.

The variance in coverage implies Hong Kongers coming into close get hold of with Chinese leaders will possible be expected to undergo quarantine, according to community media.

Authorities have prepared a “closed-loop system” to isolate around 1,000 people—including outgoing town leader Carrie Lam, her successor Lee and other best officials—ahead of a achievable pay a visit to by a point out chief, the South China Morning Write-up described.

Lawmakers might also be requested to enter quarantine, with accommodations built for them to attend legislature meetings, in accordance to media stories.

Xi has not traveled outside the house mainland China because January 2020, when the coronavirus burst from the central town of Wuhan, touching off a world pandemic.

He has given that cocooned himself—and China—from the rest of the entire world, retaining borders primarily shut and eschewing global travel.

The Beijing Winter season Olympics before this year were the just one time through the pandemic that Xi fulfilled earth leaders confront to deal with.

An enormous, interlinked shut loop technique was put in area to successfully host the Games.

The Chinese Communist Bash destinations large stock in anniversaries, and Hong Kong’s handover presents Xi with a key propaganda opportunity.

In 2017, he stayed in Hong Kong for a few times to mark the 20th anniversary, and earlier point out leaders have tended to make this sort of a vacation each individual five years.

Xi has declared “a new chapter” for the town right after enormous and from time to time violent democracy protests in 2019 were being crushed by authorities, helped by a sweeping protection regulation that has criminalized considerably dissent.

China promised Hong Kong could keep vital freedoms and autonomy for 50 several years immediately after the British handover beneath a “One Region, Two Systems” model.

Beijing states that technique stays intact.

Critics, together with several Western nations, say it has been eviscerated much less than halfway by means of.


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