Hong Kong will mourn the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin with citywide arrangements to be put in place on Tuesday, including all officials and civil servants observing three minutes of silence and different sectors being asked to call off any entertainment activities.
A government spokesman on Friday said the city would mourn together with “mainland compatriots” as a state funeral for the former leader was being held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
RTHK will arrange a live television broadcast of the funeral, while government staff will observe three minutes’ mourning in silence and members of the public will be able to do the same at designated locations, according to a statement.
National and regional flags displayed at all government departments will be flown at half-staff while all entertainment and celebratory activities organised or funded by the authorities will be postponed or cancelled.
The government called on other organisations to follow suit.
The Education Bureau said all local schools, including kindergartens, would have to fly national and Hong Kong flags at half-mast on December 6, and suspend all celebratory activities except for graduation and award ceremonies.
Non-celebratory events should not include entertainment and performances, it said, adding that schools could also arrange a live broadcast of the funeral on campus. The bureau also said international schools should also lower flags to half-mast, observe a silence and suspend any celebrations.
The arrangements were announced as local political heavyweights as well as ordinary residents continued to pour into Beijing’s liaison office in the city to pay their respects.
Maria Tam Wai-chu, vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee that advises the central government on Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, was among politicians who visited the mourning hall at the liaison office in Sai Wan for Jiang, who died on Wednesday aged 96.
Former opposition lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee was spotted in the queue.
“Chairman Jiang set a very good example to us that he accepted all kinds of opinions and ideas, no matter if you are for China or even have different ideas with them,” Fung said.
Fung, former chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood which he quit in 2018, recalled that during Jiang’s leadership, there had been disputes between China and Britain in discussions over Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule.
Some in the opposition camp were more inclined to the British side, but Jiang still allowed members to reflect their opinions, Fung recalled, praising him as an “open-minded” leader.
Certain events in the city were also put on hold as a mark of respect, with popular theme park Disneyland stopping its firework shows for four days until Monday.