Live updates: Chinese Xi Jinping in Hong Kong

Live updates: Chinese Xi Jinping in Hong Kong
Written by boustamohamed31

credit …Kin Cheung / Associated Press

The Ping Shek mansion has long been a magnet for Instagram users eager to take snapshots in the sky, surrounded on four sides by the towering residential towers of the apartment complex.

Last Friday, hundreds of purple Chinese flags appeared on the white balconies of two 28-story buildings in the complex. Each Chinese flag was surrounded by two Hong Kong flags depicting the city’s emblem: a white bauhinia with a star on each petal.

A pro-Beijing association has spread the flags in several housing projects, according to the state-run Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao. The particularly abundant sea of ​​flags in Ping Shek soon became a city talk.

People traveled to Ping Shek, home of about 30,000 residents living in nearly 4,500 government-subsidized apartmentsto take pictures of the spectacle, and the residents of the industrial district admired the exhibition in the courtyards.

“It’s rare to see that kind of culture in Hong Kong,” said Grace Zhang, a 35-year-old resident who moved to the city from neighboring Guangdong province in mainland China nearly a decade ago.

She said her 8-year-old son had learned about the show in class and wanted to film it to mark the occasion.

Lam Yu, a 62-year-old machine tool vendor, visited to see the flags. He twisted his neck and aimed his smartphone at the sky to take pictures.

For him, the transfer meant the end of being a second-class citizen in his own city, he said, adding that it was difficult to watch people from Britain get praised positions in the civil service while more skilled Hong Kong residents were bypassed.

Initially concerned about how Communist Party policy would affect the city’s prospects, Mr. Lam said he was ultimately struck by China’s economic rise.

“There is no way to look at China’s development and not feel proud,” he said. “Unless you consider yourself Chinese.”

However, not everyone seems to appreciate the allegiance to Beijing. Some residents hung sheets that broke the pattern of flags.

Elsie Ljung, a 63-year-old retired security guard, complains that her building in a neighboring block cannot be decorated with flags because residents there have complained.

Although several acquaintances from her church have emigrated, she said she feels positive about the world’s future.

However, Ms. Leung felt uneasy about the crackdown, especially after the closure of independent news outlets and the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen under national security law. The cardinal was a leader in a legal aid organization which supports people arrested for protest.

“If you say something wrong, you could be arrested,” she said.

Police said early Sunday morning that they were investigating reports of damaged or stolen flags from Ping Shek and another nearby complex. No one was arrested, but all flags were lowered by Monday morning.

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