China asks chief executive-elect to unite Hongkongers

Beijing, May 30 (EFE).- Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang Monday urged the incoming Hong Kong chief executive, John Lee, to unite the city people and prioritize their economic development.

Lee met Li in Beijing to receive his official appointment letter before his official swearing-in as the chief executive on July 1.

The chief executive-elect flew to Beijing Saturday for a four-day trip, three weeks after winning the race as the sole contender with 99.2 percent of the vote in an election involving only pro-Beijing elites.

The state-run Radio and TV Hong Kong said the Chinese prime minister stressed that the government would continue to implement “comprehensively and accurately” the one country. two systems policy, governing Hong Kong since its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

The principle allows the city some autonomy.

Li said Beijing would support the city’s chief executive and his administration to govern the autonomous region per the law.

He highlighted the need to improve people’s livelihoods, contain the coronavirus, and for Hong Kong to integrate into China’s development.

“The central government believes in and looks forward to the new government broadly uniting and leading people from all sectors in Hong Kong,” Li said.

He said the new government must “directly respond to concerns in society, continuously improve governance efficiency, and enhance the city’s status as an international financial, trade and transportation center.”

Lee vowed to do his best.

“I will live up to the trust placed in me by the central government and the expectations of the people of Hong Kong,” he said.

“At this important moment of the 25th anniversary marking Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, I deeply understand that I am shouldering important responsibilities.”

Lee, 64, was elected on May 8, securing 1,416 of the 1,461 election committee votes.

Lee was the security secretary in 2019 when widespread anti-government protests rocked Hong Kong.

He was also instrumental in implementing the national security law that Beijing imposed in June 2020 to end the protests, which had turned increasingly violent.

He was named No.2 of the city government in June 2021.

His election to head the government got delayed for six weeks due to the Covid-19.

The voting was the first of its kind since Beijing imposed changes to the electoral system in the city in 2021. EFE


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