China's Xi: HK has 'risen from the ashes'

STORY: Xi will swear in the global financial hub's new leader, John Lee, on Friday (July 1) during his first visit to the city since 2017, which is also his first known trip outside the mainland in more than two years, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wearing masks, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, stepped off a high-speed train to be greeted by children waving flowers and Chinese and Hong Kong flags.

"Hong Kong has withstood severe tests again and again, overcoming risks and challenges one by one," Xi said during a brief speech. "After the wind and rain, Hong Kong has risen from the ashes."

Security was tight at the train station with police making stop-and-search checks, assisted by sniffer dogs.

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