Hong Kong: Security tightened ahead of top Chinese visit
May 17, Beijing: Hong Kong has launched one of its largest security operations in years, as a high-ranking Chinese politician is set to arrive in the city, media reports said.
Zhang Dejiang, the man responsible for Hong Kong affairs in Beijing, arrives amid concerns over the territory's freedoms and interference by China. More than 6,000 police have been deployed and restricted zones imposed in the city centre, local media report said.
Pro-democracy groups say they will stage protests during the visit.
Zhang, who is also chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and so China's third-highest ranking leader, is the most senior official to visit Hong Kong since 2014 when thousands of protesters took over major parts of the city to demand fully free elections.
Since then so-called "localist" groups have sprung up and shown themselves willing to use violence to battle what they see as a dilution of the city's identity, fearing growing social and political influence from mainland China.
The Oslo Times