Hong Kong’s leader says China has agreed to a reopening of the city’s border with the mainland, which has been largely closed by pandemic restrictions, and that he is aiming for a mid-January start.
Chief executive John Lee, returning from a trip to Beijing where he met President Xi Jinping and other officials, told reporters at Hong Kong Airport that the two sides would develop a plan to reopen the border in a gradual and orderly manner.
Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese territory that borders Guangdong province in south-east China.
People must pass through immigration to cross between the two, and most land and sea entry points have been closed and controls tightened because of the pandemic.
Mr Lee has made a full reopening of the border a priority to boost the city’s flagging economy.
The issue was one of several on his agenda for this week’s trip to Beijing to deliver an annual report to the central government, his first such report since taking office on July 1.
He offered no details on how the border might be reopened, and whether it would include an end of the five days of hotel quarantine required for people entering mainland China.