Xi Jinping Could Have Had A Close COVID-19 Encounter As He Made First Trip Outside Mainland China Last Week

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly interacted with a Hong Kong lawmaker who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

What Happened: Steven Ho, a pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker, was in a masked group photograph with Xi on Thursday and interacted with the Chinese leader in a meet-and-greet session, reported the Financial Times.

Ho reportedly said on social media that Xi "nodded at me. He was very amiable.” 

He had tested negative on Thursday when he met Xi and was standing two rows behind the Chinese president during a group photograph, as per the report. He later tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.

Why It Matters: Xi swore in Hong Kong’s new leader, John Lee, during a two-day visit to the former British crown colony, which is marking 25 years of return to China.

It was Xi’s first visit outside mainland China since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Ho and other guests were tested each day for COVID-19 and were placed in quarantine before sessions with the president. 

Ho said he skipped Lee’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday after an uncertain coronavirus result, according to the report. 

Read Next: Top China Communist Officials Rush To Prove Loyalty To Xi Jinping Ahead Of Crucial Event

Photo via Gil Corzo on Shutterstock

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