Relations between Hong Kong residents and the mainland China government have become so strained that Hong Kong is gluing streets as part of security measures ahead of a visit by a high-ranking Chinese official.
Pavement bricks are reportedly being glued down so that no protesters can use them as projectiles when Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, will stop over for three days in the city next week.
"I think this is a normal act to do. With the recent bricks throwing incident, there is a need to protect public safety and social order," Regina Yip, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, wrote on her Facebook page.
Zhang is the first senior Chinese politician to visit Hong Kong after the 2014 Umbrella Movement\
in which tens of thousands of activists occupied the streets for months.
The series of protests was organized by hundreds of children and teenage students, who formed an advocacy group called Occupy Central, demanding not only democratic rights but also equality and better livelihood for Hongkongers.
The Umbrella protests turned out to be the “longest series of political protests” since the 1997 British handover to the Chinese government. But when they ended without any significant results, i.e. any kind of political concessions from the Chinese government on the issues that sparked demonstrations in the first place, several younger protesters became radicalized, now known as “localists.”
Frustrations and anger simmered for more nearly two years and now, it appears, the same anti-Beijing protest groups are expected to take to the streets in the wake of Zhang’s visit.