The president traveled across the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule.

The West Kowloon Cultural District, built within a park on the water's edge, was one of the few stops on the president's last visit to Hong Kong.

When she became the chief executive of the city, she was the chairman of the board that oversaw the cultural district. The decision to designate the West Kowloon Cultural District home to the Hong Kong Palace Museum temporarily derailed her bid for chief executive.

Pro-democracy advocates depicted the museum as a symbol of the central government's growing influence over Hong Kong, while critics accused her of skirting the local legislature and forcing through plans for the museum. The criticisms that Beijing had grown more assertive of its authority in Hong Kong have proven to be correct.

The Hong Kong Palace Museum is one of several new centers built in West Kowloon.

The $450 million Palace Museum in Hong Kong was designed by a local firm and is shaped like a ding. The Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, has 914 artifacts on loan from the golden structure.

The HKPM says its collection is the largest and best the Palace Museum has ever lent to another cultural institution.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club, which holds a monopoly on gambling licenses in the city and is Hong Kong's largest taxpayer, funded the museum. Half of the venue's operating expenses will be paid by the government, while the rest will be covered by ticket sales. As of last week, the museum had sold over 67,000 of them at a price of $6.

Brian Yuen, deputy director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, said during a preview of the museum on Wednesday that he didn't know if China's president would visit the project during his trip to Hong Kong.

Yuen said the government hasn't told them yet, but the museum seems to have opened in time for the visit. One large blank wall is waiting for a tapestry from the Louvre to be delivered. There are a few empty display cases in the gallery.

Details of the trip have been kept under wraps. On Tuesday, Hong Kong police only confirmed that Xi was coming at all, arriving by train from China's southern city of Shenzhen on Thursday, and leaving again the same day, only to return to Hong Kong on Friday.

Activists opposed the high-speed rail line between Hong Kong and Shenzhen because they said it was a waste of money and a sign of the city's integration with mainland China. Opponents said the same thing as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge that was opened in the year 2018?

The Hong Kong Palace Museum was initially controversial because of the way it was developed and how it was bypassed by the local legislature.

Proposed developments in the Cultural District need to go through a public consultation. In March of last year, the Independent Commission Against Corruption opened an investigation at the request of a lawmaker, but dropped the case days before the inauguration of the new leader.

Some will say that it's a coincidence that this is happening at the same time as Lam's inauguration. Mo chose to believe in the ICAC.

The rail link, the bridge, and the Palace Museum are all part of the plan for Hong Kong to become a hub for the Greater Bay Area.

The Hong Kong and Beijing museums will work closely together to integrate into the Greater Bay Area and draw on Hong Kong's position as an international arts and cultural exchange hub.

The critics who see the museum as a symbol of mainland China's gradualization of Hong Kong are correct. China's two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau should be integrated with mainland China's Guangdong province, according to the concept of the Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong will serve as the financial hub for the zone. The M+ contemporary Asia arts gallery opened in Hong Kong last November and show officials are trying to make Hong Kong the Bay Area's leading cultural hub.

The Hong Kong Palace Museum is intended to counter the localist streak inherent to Hong Kong identity and instill Hong Kongers with a sense of Chinese national pride.

Grassy parks surround the museums at the coastal West Kowloon Cultural District.

The One Country, Two Systems framework was agreed upon by the national government when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule. Since pro-democracy demonstrators occupied large areas of Hong Kong for several months, the national government has placed more emphasis on the "One Country" aspect of its relationship.

The Hong Kong government disqualified several elected lawmakers because they refused to comply with a new rule from Beijing that required all lawmakers to pledge an oath of allegiance to the People's Republic of China.

In 2020, after months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, the government in Beijing bypassed Hong Kong's legislative autonomy and imposed a National Security Law in the city. Mo was one of dozens of pro-democracy politicians and advocates who have been arrested under the law.

The election process in Hong Kong was changed last year so that only "patriotic" people could rule the city. John Lee will be the new chief executive after she ends her five-year reign on Thursday.

Lee was the only one who could vote under the new rules and he won with zero votes. Analysts will pick over details in the president's speech for indications of how Beijing expects Hong Kong to develop over the next five years.

Vivan Zhan, an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that Beijing wants to incorporate Hong Kong into the Greater Bay Area development plan. Hong Kong needs to be allowed to maintain a certain degree of independence in order to strengthen its credibility.

The walls of the Hong Kong Palace Museum are written with difficulties in mind. Readers are told that the Hong Kong Palace Museum is a partner of the Beijing Palace Museum. Visitors are reminded that the display is one collection and two museums.