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China to put in hardline former safety chief as Hong Kong’s new chief following one-man election | World Information

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Hong Kong’s subsequent chief will probably be a safety chief recognized for his crackdown on the town’s pro-democracy motion.

Former police officer John Lee is the one candidate in an “election” to decide on a successor to Carrie Lam as Hong Kong’s chief govt.

The 64-year-old has already been backed by greater than half of the 1,500-member election committee, and he solely wants a majority to win.

Talking on Friday, he promised a “results-oriented” method, saying: “Hong Kong has to grab its alternative.

“We can’t afford to attend, we can’t be late.

“We should consolidate Hong Kong as a world metropolis to develop Hong Kong’s potential as a free and open society, to attach the mainland of China and the world.”

Mr Lee will substitute Carrie Lam on 1 July.

Mr Lee was safety secretary throughout the pro-democracy protests in 2019 and oversaw the violent response to protesters.

He supported the nationwide safety regulation that has seen greater than 150 folks arrested for offences similar to subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with overseas forces.

He was sanctioned by the US after the invoice grew to become regulation in 2020, criticised for “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and limiting the liberty of expression or meeting”.

Hong Kong sole Chief Executive candidate John Lee greets people ahead of the Chief Executive election, in Hong Kong, China, May 4, 2022
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Mr Lee has been attempting to current a softer picture whereas ‘campaigning’ for the vote

The method for selecting Mr Lee has been criticised as Beijing attempting to offer the impression of democracy whereas retaining tight management over the outcome.

The election committee will vote in a secret poll however they’ve all been fastidiously vetted, and the town’s earlier 4 chief executives have been additionally successfully chosen by Beijing.

‘The motions of staging an election’

Yvonne Chiu, a professor on the US Naval Warfare School who has written about Hong Kong politics, mentioned: “Even autocracies immediately really feel obligated to undergo the motions of staging an election with the intention to undertaking better legitimacy to their very own inhabitants and to the worldwide group.”

Learn extra:
Hong Kong pro-democracy information outlet shuts down after police raid and arrests
Carrie Lam says she is not going to search second time period after overseeing powerful new safety regulation

Whereas Hong Kong’s 7.4 million folks nonetheless have better freedom than these in mainland China, the Communist Get together has been tightening its grip in recent times.

Dissent has been nearly eradicated, with authorities critics being jailed, intimidated into silence, or compelled to flee overseas.

Solely these loyal to Beijing can maintain workplace

Adjustments to Hong Kong’s electoral legal guidelines final yr restricted political workplace to these loyal to Beijing.

And younger professionals make up numerous these leaving the town – a blow to the repute of a spot as soon as thought to be one among Asia’s principal enterprise hubs.

In March, Britain eliminated two judges who had been appointed to Hong Kong’s prime courts, with Justice Secretary Dominic Raab saying that the outlawing of “free expression and sincere critique of the state… flies within the face of the handover settlement now we have had with China since 1997”.

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