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Monday, May 16, 2016, 08:19

Top security necessary for top legislator's visit: Police

By Luis Liu
Top security necessary for top legislator's visit: Police
A map showing details of the security measures is captured during a press conference at Police Headquarters in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, May 15, 2016. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

The growing threats from global terrorism, as well as radical “localism”, have prompted Hong Kong police to raise security to a high level for the three-day official visit to the SAR by the nation’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang starting Tuesday.

A security zone will be set up around the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to protect Zhang and international dignitaries attending the Belt and Road Summit, at which the State leader will deliver a keynote address on Wednesday.

Revealing details of the stringent security measures on Sunday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Nelson Cheng Yiu-mo said the area north of Convention Avenue in Wan Chai will be closed from early Wednesday morning, and people who are not registered will be barred from the zone.

However, specific areas will be set up for assemblies, and the police have issued a letter of no objection to four local groups that have applied for permission to hold a public meeting near the venue.

He said the decisions were made after the police had made an overall assessment of the risks of attacks during the summit, adding that the terrorism threat has increased significantly both domestically and worldwide in recent years.

The police had earlier announced that 5,000 officers will be deployed for Zhang’s visit — the first to the Hong Kong SAR by a top State leader after then vice-permier Li Keqiang in 2012, especially after the 2014 “Occupy Central” protests.

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Hong Kong’s sole member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), hailed the security measures as necessary to ensure the safety of Zhang and foreign officials attending the summit at a time most countries and regions in the world are facing a mounting terrorist threat.

Besides addressing the Belt and Road Summit, Zhang, who chairs the NPCSC and also oversees Hong Kong and Macao affairs, will attend an official banquet on Wednesday evening hosted by the HKSAR government and meet about a dozen lawmakers, including four from the opposition, before the dinner.

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