Chief-in-Ready Gentle on Coverage Particulars in Hong Kong Reboot Vow

A former high cop set to grow to be Hong Kong’s new chief vowed to reboot town’s worldwide competitiveness on Saturday however revealed few concrete coverage particulars on how that will probably be achieved.

John Lee, 64, is predicted to be anointed the enterprise hub’s new chief govt by a committee of Beijing loyalists subsequent month.

A hardline former safety chief, he’s at present the one particular person to have introduced a management bid in what Hong Kong media have broadly reported will probably be a race with no rivals at Beijing’s request.

“Hong Kong must maintain its character of being an international metropolis,” Lee stated throughout his first press convention since saying his management bid.

“This will include ensuring Hong Kong is an attractive place to work and live.”

Whoever takes over the working of Hong Kong will inherit a metropolis that has had its fame battered by large democracy protests, an ongoing crackdown on political freedoms and greater than two years of strict pandemic curbs which have left residents and companies lower off internationally.

Speaking from behind a face masks at a web based press convention, Lee laid out his imaginative and prescient for the long run underneath the slogan “Starting a New Chapter for Hong Kong Together.”

But his stump speech caught to aspirations and beliefs with out detailing any concrete insurance policies or targets.

“I am a pragmatic man, and have always believed in being results-oriented,” Lee stated.

“This will be a new symphony and I am the conductor.”

‘Weak and unprepared’

Lee turned Hong Kong’s quantity two official after 4 many years within the safety providers, overseeing the police response to the democracy protests three years in the past and its subsequent crackdown.

He is one among 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officers, together with outgoing chief Carrie Lam, who had been sanctioned by the United States for his or her position in that clampdown.

Lee on Saturday justified his response to the 2019 protests by saying they concerned “foreign interference, serious political interests” and assaults towards the federal government.

Asked about his relative inexperience within the enterprise sector, Lee stated he’ll depend on his staff and stated his lack of connections meant he would have “no baggage” — making it simpler to be honest.

On Hong Kong’s acute housing provide — a disaster successive administrations have all vowed and didn’t sort out — Lee stated he would pace up the federal government’s response.

But he once more gave no particulars on what his administration would do otherwise.

He spoke in each Cantonese, Mandarin and English all through his look and solely took questions from native, not worldwide, media.

Kenneth Chan, a political scientist from the Baptist University, stated he felt Lee was “surprisingly weak and unprepared” regardless of a “carefully choreographed” press convention.

“He didn’t seem to be prepared to offer any new ideas — not to mention any sense of hope — to people in Hong Kong who have been struggling,” Chan instructed AFP.
“I think listeners would have to struggle to look for the substance.”

‘Patriotic candidate’

Former Hong Kong chief CY Leung — beforehand tipped as a possible rival — endorsed Lee’s bid on Saturday, urging the general public to unite behind him as the subsequent chief.

Another potential competitor, finance chief Paul Chan, earlier signaled he was out of the race by wishing Lee “all the best.”

Hong Kong’s subsequent chief will probably be chosen on May 8 by a committee of round 1,500 elite figures vetted for his or her loyalty to Beijing — roughly 0.02 p.c of town’s inhabitants.

Top Beijing loyalists in Hong Kong, in addition to a number of billionaire property and enterprise moguls, have thrown their weight behind Lee this week.

Lee is an “experienced, courageous and patriotic candidate”, stated Martin Lee, co-chair of Hong Kong developer Henderson Land.

But the general public response to Lee’s bid has been tepid, in contrast with the heated contest 5 years in the past amongst three candidates.

Senior authorities loyalists have sought to minimize criticism that this yr’s management race is unlikely to discipline any rivals to Lee.

“Having one person run for (chief executive) does not mean we have fewer choices,” Maria Tam, a former lawmaker who sits on Beijing’s high lawmaking physique, instructed a radio program earlier this week.

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