John Lee, former security minister of Hong Kong, is was elected Hong Kong governor almost unanimously by the responsible electoral commission To choose the new leader of the South China Autonomous Region, the Chinese government in recent years has imposed increasingly strict control. Lee was the only candidate and received 1,416 votes out of 1,424, the largest majority in the history of this type of election. Politicians, government officials and representatives of the central Chinese government attended the vote.
Li is known for his total loyalty to the government of China and for playing a central role as the Minister of Security in suppressing the 2019 pro-democracy protests. After the protests, Lee also helped introduce the National Security Law that allows anyone to arrest anyone engaged in acts of “sedition, subversion, secession” and the suppression of pro-democracy movements. Early in 2021, he was appointed Secretary – the second highest position in the city government – by former Governor Carrie Lam.
Lam, who has been Hong Kong’s leader for five years, was so announce last April for not wanting to re-apply.
After becoming governor, Lee thanked the electorate by bowing to them and then gave a short speech in which he pledged strict control of the territory: “We will continue to support compliance with the law, which is the cornerstone of our good governance.” “We will face the challenges of the future with absolute confidence, while preserving our country’s sovereignty, national security and development,” he said. He then added that he wanted “to protect Hong Kong from internal and external threats” and that he considered it “of paramount importance” to ensuring the territory’s stability.
To avoid riots or protests against this election, about 7,000 police officers have been mobilized in Hong Kong, who guard the place where the celebration was held and the surrounding area.
Li, who will be sworn in on July 1, is expected to pass new laws against subversion attempts that harm China’s central government. These laws are known as “Article 23”, in reference to the part of Hong Kong’s constitution that provides for them, but attempts by several Hong Kong leaders to pass them have sparked massive protests, both in 2003 and 2019. Lee will likely face no opposition to this round, Because in Hong Kong there has been a progressive but continuous dismantling of democracy and the civil and political rights of the population.
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