Ex-protection chief poised to develop into Hong Kong’s upcoming chief

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Hong Kong (AFP) – A former stability chief who oversaw the crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy motion is set to be anointed the enterprise hub’s new leader on Sunday by a tiny committee of Beijing loyalists.

John Lee, 64, was the only prospect in a Beijing-backed one particular-horse race to be successful outgoing chief Carrie Lam.

His elevation will place a safety formal in the top work for the very first time right after a tumultuous couple yrs for a town battered by political unrest and debilitating pandemic controls.

Hong Kong has under no circumstances been a democracy, the supply of several years of community irritation and protests.

Its leader is rather preferred by an “election committee” currently comprised of 1,463 individuals — around .02 percent of the city’s populace.

That committee, manufactured up of political and small business elites vetted for their loyalty, will solid ballots on Sunday early morning.

Lee requires to protected a straightforward bulk, but with no rivals, his ascension is virtually certain.

Community media reported that police have positioned 6,000 to 7,000 officers on standby to guarantee the variety goes ahead without having a hitch.

Less than President Xi Jinping China is remoulding Hong Kong in its individual authoritarian image soon after massive and often violent democracy protests a few yrs ago.

Beijing deployed a sweeping safety regulation to stamp out dissent and rolled out a new “patriots only” political process for Hong Kong to guarantee any person standing for workplace is considered suitably loyal.

Insiders say Lee’s unwavering dedication to that marketing campaign won China’s confidence at a time when other Hong Kong elites were being seen as insufficiently loyal or competent.

“He is a man who has stood the examination,” previous safety minister Lai Tung-kwok not long ago informed AFP.

Lee, who expended 35 yrs in Hong Kong’s police power in advance of becoming a member of the government, inherits a troubled metropolis.

Whilst the democracy movement has been crushed by the safety law, a lot of the inhabitants nevertheless resents Beijing’s rule and chafes at the city’s entrenched inequality.

Hong Kong also faces economic difficulties many thanks to two several years of stringent pandemic curbs that have still left it isolated from the relaxation of the entire world as rivals re-open.

Underneath the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong collectively”, Lee has vowed to deliver in “consequence-oriented” governance, forge unity and reboot the city’s economic system.

A 44-page manifesto he produced final week trapped to wide targets and presented number of concrete procedures or targets.

Lee has mentioned he will unveil more information when he tends to make his very first plan handle.

He will choose business office on July 1, the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain.

China agreed that Hong Kong could preserve specific freedoms and autonomy for 50 years just after its handover underneath a “A person State, Two Programs” formulation.

Beijing and Lee say that formula is even now intact.

Critics, together with lots of Western powers, say it has been shredded.

Lee is 1 of 11 senior Hong Kong and Beijing officers sanctioned by the United States since of the political crackdown.

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