Why is China supporting Carrie Lam
Hong Kong's head of government wants to restore the "political system"
Hong Kong - Hong Kong's Prime Minister Carrie Lam has announced in a keynote address a "restoration of political order" in the Chinese special administrative region. "One of our urgent priorities is to restore the constitutional order in Hong Kong as well as the political system after the chaos," she said in her annual policy statement before parliament on Wednesday. For the first time, almost no political opposition was present during her speech.
Lam said Hong Kong has suffered several unprecedented setbacks. She named activities that "endangered national security," as well as social unrest, declining economic output and the corona pandemic.
She once again accused foreign governments of supporting the democracy movement and thereby interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs.
In the annual address, Lam presents the government's plans for the coming year. The speech had been postponed for more than a month as Lam was summoned to Beijing to meet Chinese government officials.
Fifteen pro-democracy members of the Hong Kong parliament resigned in early November in protest. Previously, four of their colleagues were expelled from parliament by the government. The legislature thus consists almost exclusively of members who are loyal to Beijing.
In response to the mass protests in Hong Kong last year, China passed a so-called security law at the end of June. It allows the Hong Kong authorities to crack down on any activity they believe threatens China's national security. This includes acts that are classified as subversive, separatist, terrorist, or a conspiracy with foreign forces. Violations can be punished with life imprisonment.
The law marks the most serious encroachment on Hong Kong's autonomous status to date. When it was handed over to China in 1997, the former British crown colony had actually been granted special rights for 50 years on the principle of "one country - two systems", including freedom of expression and assembly. (APA, AFP, November 25, 2020)
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