China's head of state has not left his country for more than two years because of the corona pandemic. But for the anniversary celebrations in the former crown colony, Xi is traveling to Hong Kong in person. One of the notables there could have infected him with the virus.
A Hong Kong MP has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking a group photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Deputy Steven Ho said on the online networks that he had tested negative before the photo was taken on Thursday. It was only on Friday that the test result was inconclusive, and then, to be on the safe side, he no longer took part in any events.
In the official photo, the 42-year-old MP from the largest party in Hong Kong's Legislative Council stands two rows behind Xi. He was one of around a hundred Hong Kong officials who had closer contact with the Chinese president during Thursday afternoon's photo op. He had visited the Chinese special administrative region on the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of its handover from Great Britain.
Ho is the second member of the DAB party to test positive for the coronavirus during Xi's visit to Hong Kong: Tam Yiu-chung, the only Hong Kong delegate to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in China, has already tested positive positive on Thursday. He then stayed away from all events.
China is still pursuing a strict zero-Covid strategy, with individual outbreaks being dealt with immediately through lockdowns and mass testing. Hong Kong's corona policy is a little less strict, but the measures were significantly tightened during Xi's visit. The Chinese President has not left his country for almost 900 days, and the People's Republic's borders are largely sealed off.
Despite the restrictions on rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, China's head of state had praised the development of the special administrative region on the 25th anniversary of its return to China. "True democracy" prevails in the former British crown colony. "After reunification with the motherland, Hong Kong people became masters of their own city," Xi said. "True democracy in Hong Kong started here."