Date
12 December 2017
President Xi Jinping and the Chinese first lady wave during their arrival in Macau (inset) to journalists standing in the rain. Photo: RTHK
President Xi Jinping and the Chinese first lady wave during their arrival in Macau (inset) to journalists standing in the rain. Photo: RTHK

Macau bans umbrellas as Xi hits town under a drizzle

No protesters. No umbrellas.

Too bad Macau was drizzly when President Xi Jinping arrived Friday noon in the former Portuguese enclave to help it celebrate the 15th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty.

And it was even wetter on the afternoon of the big day when Xi presided over the official ceremony.

Which meant Xi could not use an umbrella, neither could anyone within sight.

Neither could a horde of journalists covering his arrival and the anniversary event itself.

They could only wear raincoats, which were provided by the authorities, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported.

In a speech, Xi underscored the “great historic significance” of the occasion, adding Macau will develop down a “good, stable track” if it adheres to “one country, two systems” and its own Basic Law.

Umbrellas came to symbolize the recent pro-democracy sit-ins after students used them to shield themselves from pepper spray during a chaotic attempt by the Hong Kong police to break up the crowds during the early hours of the protest.

Meanwhile, several pro-democracy activists, including 14 members of the League of Social Democrats and People Power, were barred from going to Macau.

They were stopped at the boarding gate in the Macau ferry terminal where they were reduced to chanting pro-democracy slogans.

Shirley Yam, vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, praised the journalists for their professionalism.

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Photographers check their gear in preparation for the anniversary ceremony. Photo: RTHK


A cardboard cutout of Xi Jinping holding a yellow umbrella purports to show him in solidarity with Hong Kong protesters. Photo: EJ Insight.


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