The Hong Kong government has been applying glue to pavement bricks near the China Liaison Office ahead of the 20th anniversary of the city’s transfer of sovereignty, according to photographs taken by citizens.
Similar works were conducted by the Highways Department outside the Central Government Complex prior to top Chinese official Zhang Dejiang’s visit to Hong Kong last May.
Apple Daily reported rumours at the time that the glue would prevent the bricks from being thrown in a potential protest.
While the Highways Department did not specifically respond to the purpose of gluing the pavement bricks, it told HKFP that the government was taking security measures in preparation for the handover anniversary.
The Liaison Office is Beijing’s organ in Hong Kong, and has been accused by pro-democracy supporters of interfering in Hong Kong politics – including in the recent chief executive election.
It has been the target of numerous protests in recent years, including a demonstration against Beijing’s interpretation of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution last November.
‘The whole area’
Justin Ko, a member of a Sai Wan community Facebook group, uploaded photographs of Highway Department contract workers applying glue to pavements on Wednesday night.
When he was at the scene, the workers were performing the works at Des Voeux Road West, outside Western Police Station across the street from the Liaison Office building.
“But from Des Voeux Road West, to Chiu Kwong Street, to Western Street, to Connaught Road West [the main entrance of the Liaison Office] – the whole area has been glued down,” he told HKFP.
“The contractor’s vehicle was parked next to the China Liaison Office.”
“This is crazy from the government – it ignores damaged roads, but works on things like this in the middle of the night,” wrote one Facebook commenter.
Prior to Zhang’s visit last May, some of the glue outside the government offices was washed away by heavy rain.
It is rumoured that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong during the handover anniversary on July 1. But Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah remained tight-lipped when asked in the legislature on Wednesday whether the rumours were true.