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Joint police efforts anticipate Xi’s visit to Hong Kong

Although the visit of China’s President has not yet been officially confirmed, police in Macau, Hong Kong and Guangdong are gearing up

Police forces in Macau, Hong Kong, and Guangdong Province have embarked upon a long joint operation to curb criminal activity ahead of the intended visit of Xi Jinping and State heads to Hong Kong later this year, South China Morning Post reported.
Dubbed ‘Thunderbolt,’ the cross-border operation launched on Monday between police forces from the three jurisdictions seeks to carry out a security clampdown ahead of China’s President’s trip to the neighbouring SAR.
According to The Guardian, Xi’s visit has not yet been officially confirmed by Beijing, ‘but it is an open secret among Hong Kong delegates to China’s National People’s Congress,’ which started on Sunday.
The Chinese leader is expected to visit Hong Kong in July to mark the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to China, to swear in the city’s new Chief Executive, who will be elected on March 26, and review the local garrison of the People’s Liberation Army, SCMP reported.
In Macau, the Unitary Police Service (SPU) is in charge of co-ordinating the Thunderbolt operation, according to information provided by the Judiciary Police (PJ).
SPU leads the Judiciary Police and the Public Security Police Force.
Speaking to Business Daily, SPU said Thunderbolt is ‘the annual large-scale joint police operation,’ focusing on ‘the prevention and fighting against crimes, especially for combating cross-border crimes, so as to deter criminals.’
The police body clarified that several actions are conducted every year, constituting regular enforcement actions in response to the overall security situation. ‘Our objectives are to get rid of the vices of the security environment and to ensure the continuous safety and stability of the region,’ the statement announced.
SPU did not specify, however, the types of crimes that local security forces would be fighting and preventing here despite our queries.
According to SCMP, in addition to combating triad activity and organised crime, Thunderbolt is aimed at potential terrorist ‘hideouts.’ According to an officer with the Hong Kong police quoted by the same newspaper, Hong Kong officers plan to raid locations such as guesthouses being allegedly used as refuge in the three jurisdictions.
The Hong Kong officer added that police forces there would also be guarding against possible threats ensuing from individuals from the Xinjiang region, which has been an unsettling source of conflicted politics on the basis of ethnic and separatist violence.
Still according to SCMP, past joint operations have been conducted annually, typically initiated before National Day in October, and lasting for one to three months.