Xia Baolong arrives in Hong Kong for a week-long inspection tour, Chief Executive John Lee welcomes him

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Insert picture: Xia Baolong (left) and John Lee (right).

22nd February 2024 – (Hong Kong) Xia Baolong, the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, has arrived in Hong Kong today to commence a seven-day inspection tour. This visit holds significant importance as it underscores Beijing’s continued focus on the Special Administrative Region amidst global shifts in trade, finance, and regional stability. Xia’s visit coincides with the upcoming fiscal budget announcement by the Hong Kong government, marking a convergence of economic oversight and policy direction.

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee, has openly expressed his welcome for Xia Baolong’s return, highlighting the significance of such visits in strengthening the relationship between the central government and the Special Administrative Region. Mr. Lee’s statement not only reflects a cordial anticipation for constructive dialogue but also acknowledges the central government’s pivotal role in shaping Hong Kong’s future trajectory.

This morning, at approximately 10:45 am, Chief Executive John Lee and Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung arrived at the airport in preparation to welcome Xia Baolong. The authorities have set up a designated press area outside Gate 1 of the airport, with police officers present.

After visiting the area around the airport, Xia Baolong left the airport at approximately 12.15pm, riding in a tour bus. He waved to the media present at the scene. Seated next to Xia Baolong was John Lee. Other passengers in the vehicle included Wang Linggui, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and MacauoAffairs Office, Zheng Yanxiong, Director of the  Hong Kong Liaison Office  and Jack So, Chairman of the Airport Authority.

Xia Baolong is expected to visit the airport area before heading to the government headquarters in the afternoon to receive briefings from various government officials. These briefings will cover economic conditions, among other matters. In the evening, Xia will attend a banquet at the Government House. Throughout his inspection tour in Hong Kong, Xia is scheduled to meet with members of the Executive Council, Legislative Council, and District Council, as well as conduct field visits to various districts.

In response to Xia Baolong’s visit, Chief Executive John Lee warmly welcomed him, expressing gratitude for the central government’s care and attention towards Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government is actively making preparations to ensure a smooth inspection tour. During a press conference prior to an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Lee mentioned that central government officials have consistently shown great concern and understanding for Hong Kong. He emphasized their commitment to promoting economic development and improving people’s livelihoods in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government regularly reports to the central government on measures taken in these areas.