Xi hails ‘new atmosphere’ in Hong Kong, welcomes next leader

30/5/2022 4:53:00 PM

Xi hails ‘new atmosphere’ in Hong Kong, welcomes next leader

Xi Jinping, Hong Kong

Xi hails ‘new atmosphere’ in Hong Kong , welcomes next leader

BEIJING, May 30 — Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with Hong Kong ’s next leader in Beijing, telling John Lee he has the full trust of the central government, state media...

Monday, 30 May 2022 9:11 PM MYTBEIJING, May 30 — Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with Hong Kong’s next leader in Beijing, telling John Lee he has the full trust of the central government, state media said today.Lee travelled to the capital on Saturday to receive Beijing’s blessing as he prepares to take office in a month.

The 64-year-old former security chief, who oversaw a crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement, was chosen as the next chief executive by a small committee of Beijing loyalists in early May.“I believe that the administration of the new government will definitely bring forth a new atmosphere, and compose a new chapter in Hong Kong’s development,” Xi said, according to official news agency Xinhua.

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Monday, 30 May 2022 9:11 PM MYT BEIJING, May 30 — Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with Hong Kong’s next leader in Beijing, telling John Lee he has the full trust of the central government, state media said today. Lee travelled to the capital on Saturday to receive Beijing’s blessing as he prepares to take office in a month. Since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in 2020 to snuff out pro-democracy demonstrations, once-packed candlelit vigils have been banned, a Tiananmen museum has been forced to close, and statues have been pulled down. The 64-year-old former security chief, who oversaw a crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement, was chosen as the next chief executive by a small committee of Beijing loyalists in early May. The changes will take effect from June 1 and are the latest tweaks from a government that has said it is committed to a strict zero-Covid policy even as case numbers dwindle and much of the world outside China opens up. “I believe that the administration of the new government will definitely bring forth a new atmosphere, and compose a new chapter in Hong Kong’s development,” Xi said, according to official news agency Xinhua. But this year, they too have been cancelled over fears of falling foul of Hong Kong authorities. Lee will assume office on July 1, which is the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer from British to Chinese rule and the halfway point of its “One Country, Two Systems” political model.| From June 1, airlines that trigger the so-called circuit breaker will receive a warning and a HK$20,000 ($2,548) penalty.

Hong Kong has never been a democracy — the source of years of public frustration and protests — but China agreed that Hong Kong could maintain certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years after its handover. “Our bottom line is that we don’t want to breach any law in Hong Kong,” he told AFP. From June 1, airlines that trigger the so-called circuit breaker will receive a warning and a HK$20,000 (US$2,548) penalty. According to Xinhua, Xi said Lee has the “courage to take responsibility” and “had made contributions to safeguarding national security and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability”. “The central government fully affirms and fully trusts you,” Xi added. Decades erased in months Discussion of the 1989 crackdown is all but forbidden in mainland China. Lee was the sole candidate in the race to succeed outgoing leader Carrie Lam at a time when Hong Kong is being remoulded in China’s authoritarian image. Hong Kong health authorities on Sunday reported a total of 237 new daily Covid-19 cases, 37 of which were imported. According to a statement from the Hong Kong government, Lee said in the meeting that he was “deeply honoured by the appointment and fully aware of the great responsibility upon me”. In the space of months, decades of commemoration have been wiped out as authorities wield the law to refashion Hong Kong in Beijing’s authoritarian image. - Bloomberg Article type: free.

He promised to “unite all sectors” and bring the government and people together to “strive for the well-being of Hong Kong and its people”. “Together, we will build Hong Kong into a city with long-term prosperity and a caring and inclusive society,” he added. Last September, its leaders were arrested, their June 4 Museum was shuttered after a police raid, and digital records of the crackdown were deleted overnight under a police order to close the group’s website and social media accounts. Selection controversy China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong that has clamped down on dissent after widespread and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests rocked the city in 2019. The elevation of Lee, who is under US sanctions, places a security official in Hong Kong’s top job for the first time after a tumultuous few years for a city battered by the unrest and economically debilitating pandemic controls. Six universities removed June 4 monuments that had stood on their campuses for years — just before Christmas last year, three were whisked away within 48 hours. Lee spent 35 years in the police before jumping to the government in 2012, serving in the Security Bureau and then leading it before becoming the city’s number two official last year.

He won the top role this month with more than 99 per cent of votes from the 1,461-member committee. At Lingnan University, a wall relief by artist Chen Weiming was banished to an underground storage room. Under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together”, Lee has vowed to bring in “result-oriented” governance, forge unity and reboot the city’s economy. Insiders told AFP at the time of Lee’s selection that his unwavering commitment won China’s confidence when other Hong Kong elites were seen as insufficiently loyal or competent. “They are trying to wipe out a shameful episode in history when the state committed a crime on its people,” Chen told AFP. This month countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States joined the European Union in voicing alarm over the selection process for the new leader, which they called a “continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms”. But Beijing hailed the process as “a real demonstration of democratic spirit” and said it was the culmination of a strategy to ensure only “patriots” run Hong Kong. Overseas vigils Where the Goddess used to stand, only a faint mark from her square pedestal can now be seen.

Outgoing leader Lam is on track to leave office with record-low approval ratings. — AFP Advertisement . “This is the meaning.