Chinese President Hu Jintao has arrived in Hong Kong to mark the 15th anniversary of the territory's handover from Britain to Beijing.
Hu, whose three-day visit is his last as president before a key leadership reshuffle in Beijing later this year, is also expected to attend the inauguration of Leung Chun-ying as the city's next chief executive.
The Chinese leader on Friday was greeted at Hong Kong's airport by dignitaries led by Donald Tsang, the outgoing chief executive, as well as flag-waving schoolchildren.
Hu said Hong Kong had achieved "significant" development since the handover on July 1, 1997, and that the "one country, two systems" model which guarantees the southern Chinese city a semi-autonomous status has been upheld.
'Walk and feel'
"In the coming two days, I hope to be able to walk more, see more and personally feel the development of Hong Kong, understand the life and expectations of the Hong Kong people," Hu said.
Under the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong retains its own judicial and financial frameworks, with civil liberties including the right to demonstrate not seen on the mainland.
But activists have complained over tight security measures put in place for Hu's visit, and tens of thousands of protesters are preparing to march on Sunday for greater democracy, accusing Beijing of interfering in local affairs.
Hu's three-day schedule in Hong Kong has not been made known apart from his expected attendance at Sunday's inauguration ceremony and a variety show to celebrate the 15 years of Chinese rule on Saturday.
|< Prev||Next >|
Other articles in Asia-Pacific
Teacher killed and set on fire in Thailand 14 March 2014
China revises death toll off tunnel blast 14 March 2014
China images spark new search for MH370 plane 14 March 2014
Malaysia widens hunt for jet towards India 13 March 2014
China 'will not give up' on Malaysia MH370 13 March 2014
New arrests made in Hong Kong reporter attack 13 March 2014
Satellites join search for missing plane 12 March 2014
New Zealand to vote on changing national flag 12 March 2014
Search widens as Malaysia plane still missing 11 March 2014
UN report: N Korea circumventing sanctions 11 March 2014