Central govt reaffirms support for HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam
By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/25 0:43:39
A Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Thursday backed the Hong Kong chief executive at an international forum, refuting international media speculation that the central government was planning to replace Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
"Under the leadership of Lam, I believe that Hong Kong compatriots will be able to work together to stop violence as soon as possible," Xie Feng, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said during his speech at the opening ceremony of an international forum on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on Thursday.
"The Pearl of the Orient will surely dispel the temporary shadow and get back to the right track of developing economy and improving people's livelihood," Xie said.
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Beijing was drawing up plans to replace Lam with an "interim" chief executive. The report was dismissed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, who described the report as "a political rumor with ulterior motives" at a routine press briefing on Wednesday.
"By releasing such reports, Western media deliberately want to create disputes between the central government and the HKSAR government," said Liang Haiming, dean of the Belt and Road institute at Hainan University.
Liang said that such reports incorrectly infer that violence can force a government to replace officials.
"Besides, the report's description of replacing Lam with an 'interim' chief executive is not in accordance with the Basic Law," he said.
Lam has served as chief executive of Hong Kong since 2017. The central government has expressed its firm support for Lam for many times since the outbreak of Hong Kong's political unrest in June.
Xu Luying, spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council, said at a press conference in July that Lam's contribution to economic development, people's livelihoods and promoting Hong Kong's integration into China's overall development was well recognized.
In his speech, Xie also condemned Hong Kong's violent protests and US interference in China's internal affairs.
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