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China to install hardline former security chief as Hong Kong's new leader following one-man election

The next leader of Hong Kong will be a security chief who is known for cracking down on the city’s prodemocracy movement.

John Lee, a former police officer, was the only candidate in an election to select a successor for Carrie Lam as Hong Kong’s chief executive.

The 64-year old had already been supported by more than half the 1,500-member electoral committee. He only required a majority to win which he achieved with over 1,400 ballots.

On Friday, he spoke out promising a “results-oriented approach” and said: “Hong Kong must seize its chance.”


“We can’t afford to wait. We cannot be late.”

“We will need to consolidate Hong Kong in an international city to maximize Hong Kong’s potential to be a free and open society and to connect with the mainland of China.

Carrie Lam will be replaced by Mr Lee on the 1st of July.

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Mr Lee was the security secretary for the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations and oversaw the violent response of protesters.

He supported , the national security legislation which has seen more 150 people detained for crimes such as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign troops.

After the 2020 bill was passed, he was sanctioned in the USA. He was accused of “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting freedom of expression or assembly”.

Image Mr Lee tried to project a more relaxed image while “campaigning” for the vote

Beijing tried to create the illusion of democracy by imposing tight control on the process of choosing Mr Lee.

Although the election committee voted secretly, they were all thoroughly vetted and Beijing also elected four of the previous chief executives.

“The motions of holding an election”

Yvonne Chiu is a professor at US Naval War College and has written about Hong Kong politics.

Continue reading:

Hong Kong pro democracy news outlet closes after police raid.

Carrie Lam states she won’t seek a second term, after she has overseen tough new security laws

Although Hong Kong’s 7.4million residents still enjoy greater freedom than mainland China, the Communist Party has tightened its grip over recent years.

Dissent is almost gone, with government critics being imprisoned, intimidated into silence or forced to flee the country.

Only Beijing loyalists can hold office

Last year, Hong Kong’s electoral laws were amended to restrict political office to Beijing loyalists.

Young professionals are a significant part of the population leaving the city, a blow to its reputation as once one of Asia’s major business centers.

In March, Britain fired two judges from Hong Kong’s top court. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab stated that the ban on “free expression and honest criticism of the state… is against the handover agreement with China we have had since 1997”.


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