For the first time in two years and a half, China’s President Xi Jinping stepped out of the mainland, travelling to Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s handover. He installed a former security chief as Hong Kong’s next leader. Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese control, Beijing has appointed either businesspeople or the bureaucratic elite to lead the city. John Lee, who was sworn in Friday as Hong Kong’s next chief executive, is the first former police officer to take the job since the handover. “Political power must be in the hands of patriots,” said Xi after overseeing the new government’s swearing-in ceremony. “No country or region in the world will allow unpatriotic or even traitorous or treasonous forces and figures to take power.” The July 1 handover anniversary in Hong Kong has traditionally been marked by pro-democracy protesters taking to the streets in peaceful rallies. But this year was different due to a mix of Coronavirus restrictions and a security crackdown aimed at eliminating any public opposition.
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