This 64-year-old former police officer was the only candidate to succeed outgoing leader Carrie Lam, who did not seek a new five-year term.
He is Hong Kong’s first leader from a police background. Hong Kong’s security chief during the massive pro-democracy protests of 2019, he oversaw the crackdown on the protest, as well as the severe political takeover that followed.
” I understand that it will take me time to convince the population […] But I can do it through action. »
Mr. Lee said he wants to build a Hong Kong
full of hope, opportunity and harmonynow that the authorities have
restored order after chaos.
So far, John Lee hasn’t given many concrete details about his politics. But he said he will reveal more after taking office on July 1, the 25th anniversary of the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China.
A committee loyal to the Chinese regime
Hong Kong has never been a democracy, which has fueled public frustration and sometimes massive and violent protests for years.
Its leader is chosen by a
electoral committee currently composed of 1461 people, or about 0.02% of the city’s population. After a brief secret ballot on Sunday, 1,416 members voted for John Lee and 8 against, with the rest abstaining.
Hailed by Beijing, denounced by theEU
Beijing hailed the near-unanimous result, saying it showed that
Hong Kong society has a high level of recognition and approval for Lee.
It is a true demonstration of the democratic spirit the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said in a statement.
The European Union for its part denounced this designation. This one
violates democratic principles and political pluralismtweeted the head of diplomacy of theEU Josep Borrell.
This is a new step in the dismantling of the principle “one country, two systems”he considered,
the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities must respect their national and international commitments.
Demonstrations have been largely banned in Hong Kong, with authorities resorting to a ban on public gatherings of more than four people due to COVID, as well as a new national security law.
According to local media, around 6,000 to 7,000 police officers were mobilized to avoid any incidents during the designation process.
The League of Social Democrats – one of the last remaining pro-democracy groups – staged a three-person protest before the polls opened, chanting
power to the people, universal suffrage now.
We know this action will have no effect, but we don’t want Hong Kong to be completely silent.said protester Vanessa Chan, as dozens of police looked on.
Under Xi Jinping, Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the former British colony in 2020 that stifled dissent, as well as a reform of the political system to ensure that Hong Kong is ruled exclusively by foreigners.
patriots loyal to the Chinese regime.
According to analysts, it was John Lee’s fervent support for this campaign of repression that earned him the confidence of the Chinese regime, which has traditionally been wary of Hong Kong’s political elites.
But it also applies to Mr. Lee to appear on a list of Chinese and Hong Kong personalities sanctioned by the United States.
John Lee will inherit a struggling town
The pro-democracy movement has been crushed by the national security law, but much of the population still harbors a deep resentment against Beijing and against the deep-seated inequalities in Hong Kong society.
And Hong Kong, the world’s third largest financial center, continues to live virtually cut off from the world due to its drastic restrictions against COVID-19.
Queuing outside a restaurant on Sunday, 25-year-old resident Alex Tam said he and his friends paid little attention to the proceedings.
It’s just an empty gesturehe told theAFP .
If he didn’t listen to the protesters, I don’t see how he would listen to young people now, especially those who criticize the government.
Retired businessman Yeung Wing-shun was more positive, saying he hopes Lee will lead Hong Kong from a