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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive John Lee at the swearing-in ceremony on July 1, 2022. Xi, in his first trip outside the mainland since Covid struck, presided over the ceremony.
Justin Chin | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday laid out a future for Hong Kong, embedded firmly within the goals of the central government on the mainland.
“Now Hong Kong is at a new stage of moving from chaos to governance, and then from governance to greater prosperity,” Xi said at the swearing-in ceremony of Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive John Lee.
“The next five years will be crucial for Hong Kong to break new ground and launch a new takeoff,” Xi said, according to an English translation broadcast through state media.
Xi oversaw the inauguration of Lee, a Beijing loyalist who was the only candidate for the position in an election held in May. Lee’s term runs for five years and his inauguration coincided with the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to China from British colonial rule.
The Chinese president listed in his speech “four hopes” for the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong: Better governance, stronger development, improved lives for ordinary people and overall harmony.
Xi’s trip to Hong Kong marked the first outside mainland China since the pandemic began.
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