Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung has said he is not concerned about officials being surrounded by protesters when they tour local districts later in the year.

Cheung previously announced that, as part of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the handover, the chief executive and other top officials will visit each of the 18 local districts.

Matthew Cheung
Matthew Cheung (centre). File Photo: GovHK.

Cheung said on Friday that their main activities will include visiting local families in their homes.

“We are not putting on a show on the streets,” Cheung said. “I am not worried that we will be surrounded.”

He explained that the press will be notified ahead of the visits.

When asked if Chinese state leaders will visit the city, Cheung said it was not the right time to say.

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President Xi Jinping is expected to come for the handover celebration on July 1.

High cost

The government will be spending HK$640 million to celebrate the anniversary. But lawmakers have criticised some of the activities as irrelevant to the handover, claiming that they were just counted as part of the celebration to “cook up numbers.”

Cheung said the activities were of multiple layers that every member of the public could join, including minorities and underprivileged.

See also: Video: Hong Kong’s official theme song for 20th anniversary of handover receives cool reception

He also said some 100,000 citizens are set to participate in sports and arts events – activities which could create a greater sense of belonging.

During a speech at a prize presentation ceremony for the handover celebrations, Cheung said the 20th anniversary is a milestone for the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle which has kept Hong Kong stable and prosperous.

Matthew Cheung
Matthew Cheung (right). Photo: GovHK.

He said the city will continue to use opportunities enabled by the principle, including China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, its 13th five-year-plan and the Pearl River Delta “bay area” plan. He emphasised the need to exert Hong Kong’s important role as a “super connector.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.