John Lee as Hong Kong’s next chief executive
Two different views on the ex-cop and current Chief Secretary’s appointment
Beijing has foisted yet another chief executive on Hong Kong, this time a hardline cop. Since 1997 with the appointment of businessman CH Tung, not one single chief executive has survived a full two terms.
That ought to be a lesson to the hard men in Beijing that it might have been wiser to observe the promise of free elections enshrined in the Basic Law promulgated between Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping. China’s leaders do not take to lessons from outside.
Two of Asia Sentinel’s correspondents wrote different views on John Lee’s appointment.
Once Again, Beijing Picks Hong Kong’s New Chief
What could possibly go wrong?
By: Tim Hamlett
Well, you have to say one thing about Hong Kong's way of choosing a new chief executive: it's quick. Nominations opened on Sunday and it is already all over. Barring some serious accident or illness, the next CE will be the current Chief Secretary, John Lee Ka-chiu.
Since the election “reforms” imposed unilaterally by Beijing last year, the CE is “elected” by an Election Committee. This is a revamped version of the old system, in which the Election Committee was formed through a variety of elections and ex officio members.
The revised version has been purged of unreliable elements. There are now five sectors, each with 300 members. One of them consists entirely of nominees of the Beijing or Hong Kong governments. Anyone wishing to run must obtain 188 nominations, including at least 15 members from each sector.
This is, and was intended to be, a system open to manipulation by the local representatives of the Beijing government, and indeed no effort has been made to conceal the workings of the system. Lee's expression of his intention to resign from his present post and run for Chief Executive was closely followed by a meeting at the Liaison Office (China's de facto imperial HQ in Hong Kong) attended by selected Election Committee bigwigs, who all emerged lauding Mr. Lee's many virtues and pledging to vote for him…
Beijing’s Instability Concerns Drive Hong Kong Exec Pick
John Lee to be chief executive as arrests continue, spurring fears of police state
By: Our Correspondent
The Chinese government picked ex-cop John Lee as Hong Kong’s next chief executive out of continuing concern over possible political unrest, analysts say. Lee, the current chief secretary, was previously a security secretary who oversaw the arrests of over 100 people and the closure of media like Apple Daily under the National Security Law.
“John Lee’s appointment shows Beijing’s lack of confidence in Hong Kong’s stability related to geopolitical circumstances in the near future,” a political analyst told Asia Sentinel.
The Chinese government also fears China might possibly face US sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the analyst said, which could cause collateral damage in Hong Kong since it’s an international financial hug serving the Chinese capital in Beijing, the analyst said.
On April 6, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned that sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on Russia for invading Ukraine should give China a "good understanding" of the consequences it could face if it provides material support to Moscow…