Hong Kong hosts Chinese leader Zhang Deijang | News | DW | 17.05.2016
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Hong Kong hosts Chinese leader Zhang Deijang

Police have bolstered security across the city as one of China's senior leaders makes a rare visit. But some groups have vowed to pressure Beijing to "stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs."

Zhang Deijang, chairman of China's top legislative body, on Tuesday arrived in Hong Kong to attend the "Belt and Road Summit," which aims to bolster China's trade and development strategy across Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Hong Kong police earlier this week announced increased security across the former British colony in preparation for Zhang's arrival, with more than 6,000 police officers comprising his security detail, according to the South China Morning Post.

Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) chairman Zhang was partially responsible for the 2014 decision to limit the choice of electable leaders in Hong Kong to a pool of candidates approved by a 1,200-member committee that included Beijing loyalists and business elites.

The move prompted protest rallies across the city known as the "Umbrella Movement," which called for greater autonomy from mainland China.

Despite increased security, Hong Kong police on Monday approved four public events, including a demonstration by Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF).

"We will demand the central government stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs," said CHRF convener, reported the South China Morning Post.

Police cordon off the area surrounding the Hong Kong Exhibition Center, where Zhang is expected to attend the Belt and Road Summit

Police cordon off the area surrounding the Hong Kong Exhibition Center, where Zhang is expected to attend the "Belt and Road Summit"

'Orderly manner'

Hong Kong authorities, however, warned against unauthorized protests and civil unrest, saying they expect events to be "conducted in a safe and orderly manner."

"Police respect the rights of peaceful public procession, meeting and expression of views. The force's policy is to facilitate all peaceful public events while taking responsibility to ensure public safety and public order with effective measures," a police spokesman said.

"We appeal to the public who will participate in the public events to observe the arrangements agreed by the organizer and police, and to following the instruction of the organizer's marshals and police officers at the scene."

Zhang's three-day trip marks the first made by a senior official since former President Hu Jintao's 2012 visit to Hong Kong.

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