Beijing plans to replace HK leader Carrie Lam: FT

China reportedly drafts plan to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. (AP via NOWnews)
China reportedly drafts plan to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. (AP via NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — China is planning to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam with an “interim” chief executive, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources “briefed on the deliberations.”

If Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) decided to do so, the newspaper said Lam successor would be appointed by March 2020.

According to the FT, possible successors of the controversial leader include the former head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Norman Chan (陳德霖), and the former financial secretary and chief secretary of Hong Kong government, Henry Tang (唐英年).

Sources told the FT that China wants to stabilize the situation before a final decision is made on the leadership change because authorities don’t want to be seen as giving in to violence.

In September, Reuters unveiled a recording in which Lam said she would step down if she could. Lam responded by saying that she had never asked the Chinese government to let her resign in order to end the ongoing political crisis.

Since June, thousands of Hong Kong people have taken the streets on a weekly basis protesting against the extradition bill, which was later withdrawn.

However, protestors said the government has to fulfill the “five demands” before they ceased protesting. The demands include investigating alleged police violence and the resignation of Carrielam and universal suffrage. The unrolling protests sometimes turned into violent clashes between the police and the protestors.

By Carol Kan