DHARAMSALA, 5 Nov: Chinese President Xi Jinping has voiced Beijing’s ‘high degree of trust’ in Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam as mass pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since June earlier this year.
Xi has told the embattled Hong Kong leader during their meeting on the sidelines of a trade event in Shanghai on Monday that she has led the Special Administrative Region Government to fully discharge its duties, strive to stabilize the situation and improve the social atmosphere, and has done a lot of hard work over the last five months, the Xinhua reported.
The Chinese President has further stressed that ending violence and chaos and restoring order remains the most important task for Hong Kong at present and demanded unswerving efforts to stop and punish violent activities in accordance with the law, the report added.
Xi has also called for “effective efforts” to be made in improving people’s lives and having a dialogue with all sectors of society.
The duo’s meeting was the first since the Hong Kong unrest broke out in June and they were both in Shanghai for the second China International Import Expo which Xi will open today.
Xi’s confidence in Lam has put to rest the speculation that Beijing was preparing to replace her as mass pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since June earlier this year.
However, Willy Lam, a Hong Kong-based expert on Chinese politics disagrees as he says, Beijing is showing support for the city’s chief executive “for the time being” and that she could still be sacked within one year or Beijing’s legislative session due in March.
“It doesn’t mean that they like Carrie Lam, or it doesn’t mean that they think highly of her performance. It’s just that if they don’t seem to be supporting her, then it will be impossible for her to carry out her duty in Hong Kong,” AFP quoted him as saying in its report.
Claudia Mo, a vocal pro-democracy lawmaker from the island is of the view that the meeting between Xi and Lam means troubles ahead.
“Beijing is now bound to further tighten its grip over Hong Kong and make things even worse here, It’s a puppet show.” she was quoted as saying in the report.