President Xi Jinping swears in Hong Kong's new leader John Lee as the Asian city celebrates the 25th anniversary of its handover from Britain to China.
On a visit to Hong Kong, Xi Jinping also said "the facts have proved that One Country, Two Systems has great vitality".
The trip will be Xi's first known visit outside mainland China since January 2020 after the Covid-19 outbreak.
Beijing deployed a sweeping security law to stamp out dissent and rolled out a new "patriots only" political system for Hong Kong to guarantee anyone standing for office is considered suitably loyal.
Asian cities have dominated the top ten world’s most expensive city list; New York and Geneva take second and third spots.
The move boosted major Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong as market heavyweight Alibaba was up more than eight percent and JD.com piling on more than four percent.
John Lee has set off to Beijing to get the official nod for his new term as Chief Executive of the island in a four-day trip where he will meet with top Chinese leaders.
Western multinationals steer clear of any criticism of China's policies towards hotspots like Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan.
Known as a strong ally of Beijing, John Lee's appointment is being widely seen as a move by China to tighten its grip on the city.
John Lee has promised to relaunch the Chinese special administrative region as an international city and bolster its competitiveness.
John Lee, a 64-year-old former deputy commissioner of police who was promoted to the global financial hub's number two role in 2021, says he is awaiting Beijing's approval to stand in the election.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam says her decision not to pursue a second term is "entirely based" on her family considerations.
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