XI VISITS HONG KONG: Chinese leader XI JINPING left mainland China for the first time since the start of the pandemic to effectively sound the death knell for Hong Kong’s democracy.
After quashing pro-democracy protests and bringing the city under the thumb of Beijing, Xi claimed in a short speech that Hong Kong had “risen from the ashes,” per the Washington Post’s THEODORA YU and CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD.
Why make Hong Kong Xi’s first stop in years? Per the Post, “the proceedings are a chance to cement personal power over the Chinese Communist Party by declaring the nation has grown stronger and more united under his rule,” an important message for him to send ahead of a bid to be China’s leader for life.
“Xi Jinping's visit to Hong Kong––after 893 days without leaving the Mainland––is meant to be a victory lap in the advance of the 20th Party Congress this fall where Xi will likely secure a third five-year term as China's top leader,” the Center for a New American Security’s JACOB STOKES wrote to us in an email. “Xi has succeeded in making Hong Kong just another city in China. But in doing so, he has also severed one of the most important links between China and the world--one that played a critical role in enabling China's rise.”
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