Xi is leaving China for the first time since 2020

debt…Kin Cheung / Associated Press

Ping Shake Estate has been a magnet for a long time Instagramers are eager to take snapshots The sky is built on all four sides by the towering residential towers of the apartment complex.

Last Friday, hundreds of red Chinese flags appeared on the white balconies of two 28-story buildings on campus. Each Chinese flag is surrounded by two Hong Kong flags, depicting the city’s emblem: a white bougainvillea flower with a star on each petal.

The state-owned Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao reported that the pro-Beijing association had distributed flags on several housing projects. The sea of ​​flags, especially in Ping Shake, soon became the talk of the town.

People traveled to Ping Shake About 30,000 residents live in nearly 4,500 government-subsidized apartmentsTo take photos of this scene, and residents in the industrial neighborhood appreciated the scene in the square courtyards.

“It’s rare to see such a culture in Hong Kong,” said Grace Zhang, 35, who moved to the city from China’s mainland, Guangdong, almost a decade ago.

He said he learned about his 8-year-old son being handed over to the class and wanted to photograph him to mark the occasion.

Lam Yu, 62, a vendor of mechanical engineering equipment, visited to see the flags. He shrugged his neck and tilted his smartphone towards the sky to take a photo.

To him, he said the handover put an end to being a second-class citizen in his hometown, and it is hard to see British people gaining prestigious positions in the civil service as qualified Hong Kong locals pass by.

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Initially fearful of how the policies of the Communist Party would affect the opportunities of the city, Mr. Lam said he was eventually devastated by China’s economic upheaval.

“There is no way not to be proud of China’s growth,” he said. “Unless you consider yourself Chinese.”

However, not everyone appreciates the respect shown to Beijing. Some residents hung bedsheets that broke the shape of the flags.

Elsie Leung, a 63-year-old retired security guard, complained that residents could not decorate his building in the neighborhood with flags because of complaints.

He said he felt positive about the future of the city, despite the fact that many acquaintances had emigrated from his church.

However, Ms. Leung was concerned about the suppression of freedom, especially after the closure of independent news organizations and the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen under the National Security Act. The Cardinal was a leader Legal Aid System Supported people arrested for engaging in struggle.

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

Police said they were investigating complaints of flags being distorted or stolen from Ping Shake and another nearby compound early Sunday morning. No arrests were made, but all flags were removed by Monday morning.

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