HONG KONG (AP) — China yesterday promoted Hong Kong’s top security official to the territory’s number two spot as Beijing looks to the administration of the Asian financial hub to clamp down on political opposition.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Secretary for Security John Lee would replace Matthew Cheung as the city’s chief secretary, while police chief Chris Tang would take over Lee’s role. Raymond Siu Chak-yee, Tang’s deputy, will take over as head of the police force.
Hong Kong’s government has long been lauded for its professionalism and efficiency, but its image has been battered in recent years by its response to protests for greater democracy and its enforcement of Beijing’s security policies. The United States (US) and other Western democracies have imposed visa bans and other sanctions on Lam, Lee and other members of the administration.
Violent clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators in 2019 prompted the central government to adopt a firm line against political concessions.