While most who visit Hong Kong might go up to The Peak, relax on the beach or browse the night markets of Mong Kok, on the second day of his official trip to the city, Chinese President Xi Jinping decided to pop by the local PLA garrison.
On Friday morning, Xi made an official inspection tour of the out-of-the-way base located in the New Territories, standing in an open-top military vehicle to review some 3,000 troops standing at attention. The event, broadcast live by state media, was the largest display of military might that Hong Kong has seen since the city was handed back over to China in 1997.
Interestingly, instead of greeting Xi with a customary shout of “Hello, commander!” the PLA troops in Hong Kong instead shouted, “Hello, chairman!” The South China Morning Post explains that this semantic change may be a gesture by the PLA to “assert its sovereignty in the city, as well as an oath of loyalty to Xi.”
Also interestingly, pens, lipstick and opium were banned from the facility prior to Xi’s visit.
Also on hand to watch the Chinese president drive by were some patriotic onlookers.
Watch video of the military parade below:
Xi arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday for his first trip to the city as Chinese President, saying that Hong Kong has “always been in my heart,” while ignoring questions from local reporters about releasing Liu Xiaobo. On Saturday, Xi will take part in celebrations marking 20 years of Chinese rule in Hong Kong and will oversee the swearing in of the city’s new chief executive, Carrie Lam.
[Images via NetEase]
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