Barricades vanish as HK ‘returns to safe normalcy’

The government on Sunday removed huge water barricades protecting its headquarters in Admiralty, as Chief Secretary John Lee hailed Hong Kong’s return to “safe normalcy.”

In a blog post, Lee said barricades erected at other locations during the 2019 protests will also be removed.

“The government headquarters is an emblem of the core of governance, its return to a safe outlook symbolises Hong Kong’s safety, stability and confidence,” he declared in his post.

Lee also said that this year’s National Day celebrations were a stark contrast to the events of 2019.

“Back then Hong Kong saw riots, attacks and destruction in many districts… compared to two days ago, citizens were excitedly and enthusiastically posing for photos in a sea of national and SAR flags,” he said.

Lee added that the administration has been “proactively working on repairing and beautifying” the city, with some 200 road structures and about 10,000 street lamps improved since the start of the year.

The secretary said the projects created nearly 300 temporary jobs and relieved the pandemic-worsened unemployment situation.

Lee credited Beijing with bringing about the changes to Hong Kong, saying foreign forces no longer dare to destruct the SAR thanks to the national security law, and now that patriots are administering the territory, Legco no longer serves as a tool of foreign agents to paralyse and overthrow the government.