Xi will visit Hong Kong between June 29 and July 1. It will be his first visit to the territory as Chinese leader, and is expected to be marked by massive protests.
During his time in the city, Xi will inspect People’s Liberation Army troops at their garrison, visit a Chinese-Hong Kong construction project, and swear in Carrie Lam as the next Hong Kong Chief Executive.
He will also attend a major gala celebration to mark 20 years since China assumed control over the city.
A spokeswoman for Demosisto, the party founded by pro-democracy protesters Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, said they expected the police presence would be even heavier for Xi’s visit.
She said the group was “alarmed” by reports about preventing certain protest materials. “Freedom of speech and political expression is enshrined in Basic Law,” she added, referring to Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.
Protests and marches
However, an annual pro-democracy rally was denied use of its usual staging ground in Victoria Park, in the heart of the city. The space has instead been promised to a pro-Beijing organization, the Hong Kong Celebrations Association, that will hold a handover commemoration event in the park, local media reported.
While the march will still go ahead, organizers said this was an attempt to crush dissent ahead of Xi’s visit.
“The Chinese regime is trying to squeeze out the space that we have in Hong Kong and is a threat to our freedom and democracy,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, a longtime pro-democracy activist.
In a statement, Law said Friday that Demosisto would use the anniversary of handover to “expose the facade of the celebrations for a peaceful China and the happy return of Hong Kong to the ‘motherland’.”