When Xi made a visit to Hong Kong in 2017 for the city’s own handover celebrations, he delivered a tough speech warning that any challenge to the authority of the central government was a “red line and absolutely impermissible”.
Among those attending the festivities Macau was Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam, who currently boasts record-low approval ratings and has struggled to end six months of huge and often violent pro-democracy protests.
The pair met in Beijing on Monday with Xi announcing his “unwavering support” for Lam despite another huge pro-democracy rally earlier this month and her government’s thrashing at recent local elections.
Hong Kong’s government said the two met again in Macau on Thursday afternoon without detailing what was said.
On Friday — the 20th anniversary of handover — Xi will oversee the inauguration of Macau’s new leader Ho Iat-seng, a former member of China’s top lawmaking body, who won an uncontested race earlier in the summer.