Chinese President Xi meets Hong Kong's next leader

Chinese President Xi meets Hong Kong's next leader

According to state media, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Hong Kong's next leader in Beijing, telling John Lee he has the full trust of the central government.

Lee travelled to Beijing on Saturday to receive the blessing of the central government as he prepares to take office in a month.

The 64-year-old former security chief who oversaw the crackdown on Hong Kong's democracy movement was chosen by a small committee of Beijing loyalists as the next chief executive in early May.

According to official news agency Xinhua, I believe that the administration of the new government will definitely bring out a new atmosphere and compose a new chapter in Hong Kong's development.

Lee will take office on July 1, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's transfer from British to Chinese rule and the halfway point of the One Country, Two Systems political model.

According to Xinhua, Lee has the courage to take responsibility and has made contributions to safeguarding national security and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. The central government fully affirms and fully trusts you, Xi said.

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. He promised to bring together the government and people 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.

After widespread and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests rocked the city in 2019, Beijing imposed a national security law that clamped down on dissent.

A security official in Hong Kong's top position is under US sanctions after a tumultuous few years for a city battered by the unrest and economically debilitating Pandemic controls.

Earlier this month, countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States joined the European Union in expressing concern over the selection process, which they called a continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms.