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World China Drawing Up Plan to Replace Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam, Report Says

05:40  23 october  2019
05:40  23 october  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

Police Officer Is Stabbed in Hong Kong During Flash-Mob Protests

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(Bloomberg) -- The Chinese government is drafting a plan to replace Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam with an “interim” chief executive, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people briefed on the deliberations.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Holds News Conference © Bloomberg Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Holds News Conference

Lam’s successor would be installed by March, covering the remainder of her term should Chinese President Xi Jinping decide to carry out the plan, the paper cited the people as saying. Lam’s replacement wouldn’t necessarily stay on for a full five-year term afterward.

Leading candidates to succeed Lam include Norman Chan, former head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Henry Tang, who has also served as the territory’s financial secretary and chief secretary for administration, the people added. Neither immediately responded to requests for comment on Wednesday. 

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Lam’s introduction of legislation allowing extraditions to China sparked months of increasingly violent protests against Beijing’s tightening grip over the city, pushing the economy toward a recession. Her moves to withdraw the bill and invoke a colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks have done little to stem the unrest.

According to audio excerpts released by Reuters last month, Lam told a gathering of business people that she had caused “huge havoc,” and would quit “if I had a choice.” She subsequently told reporters that she never asked China for permission to resign over the historic unrest rocking the city.

If Lam resigns, responsibility for leading the city of 7.5 million would fall immediately to Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung, who can act as chief executive for as long as six months. Before that interim period ends, the city’s 1,200-member Election Committee comprised overwhelmingly of Beijing loyalists must meet to select a new leader.

Murder Suspect in Case Behind Hong Kong Protests to Surrender, Paper Says

  Murder Suspect in Case Behind Hong Kong Protests to Surrender, Paper Says The suspect in a Taiwan murder case that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest political crisis in decades is willing to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities, a Hong Kong newspaper reported. © Bloomberg The Court of Final Appeal building in the Central district of Hong Kong. Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong man who has been accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend during a Valentine’s Day trip to Taiwan, is ready to return to the island and surrender after his release from jail on a related money-laundering charge, the Sing Tao Daily reported Friday.

How China Can Recover Even If Hong Kong’s Lam Quits: QuickTake

In 2005, Hong Kong’s first post-colonial leader, Tung Chee-hwa, resigned after mass protests forced him to withdraw China-backed national security legislation. Tung, a shipping magnate, held onto the job for more than a year after the demonstrations peaked as the party settled on a succession plan.

Slideshow by photo services

Hong Kongers defy police with unauthorized protest

  Hong Kongers defy police with unauthorized protest Hong Kong protesters again flooded streets on Sunday, ignoring a police ban on the rally and demanding the government meet their demands for accountability and political rights. Protest leaders carried a black banner at the front of the procession with a slogan, "Five main demands, not one less." Some front-line demonstrators blocked streets not long after the march began. Police had beefed up security measures for the unauthorized rally, the latest in the 5-month-old unrest rocking the semi-autonomous Chinese city.Water-filled plastic security barriers went up around a rail terminal where the protest march will finish.

Opposition lawmaker Claudia Mo said last week that Lam’s resignation could help ease tensions.

“She can go, if she wants to,” Mo said in an interview. “You might say, ‘What’s the point of having Carrie Lam gone? There would just be another puppet in place.’ But at least we can have a new face, and let’s have a restart, if possible, between the government and the people.”

In her annual policy address last week, Lam tried to appease the economic concerns of poorer Hong Kong citizens. She pledged to make it easier for first-time buyers to get mortgages on properties, increase land supply, and give annual grants for students as well as more subsidies for public transit.

In the the address, Lam said the violence had damaged Hong Kong’s reputation and appealed for calm. Still, she didn’t make any new proposals and repeated her opposition to the protesters’ demands, including granting amnesty, an independent police inquiry and the ability to nominate and elect their own leaders.

(Updates with requests for comment to Chan, Tang)

To contact the reporters on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net;Jason Scott in Canberra at jscott14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Polina Noskova at pnoskova@bloomberg.net, Daniel Ten Kate, Edward Johnson

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Hong Kong: Beijing says it will change system to 'appoint and remove' city's leader .
A senior Chinese official has highlighted plans to "improve" the system by which Hong Kong's leader is appointed or removed, after almost five months of anti-government unrest in the Asian financial hub. © Vincent Yu/AP Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. Hong Kong's leader says the city is at risk of falling into a recession as it enters its fifth month of pro-democracy protests, and she says her priority was ending violence first before a political resolution.

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