Carrie Lam

Hong Kong Election Voters

Record numbers of Hong Kong people voted on Sunday in district elections viewed as a barometer of support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, a turnout apparently triggered by six months of demonstrations for greater democracy. The police presence was thin, and no violence or other disturbances were reported. Protests have been muted in recent days after pro-democracy figures urged citizens to cease disruptions to avoid giving the government an excuse to delay or suspend the polls. The vote is the closest Hong Kongers get to direct representation. Brutal attacks on candidates in recent weeks have thrust the lowest tier of government in the Chinese-ruled city into the world spotlight as authorities struggle to quash angry demands for universal suffrage. A record 1,104 candidates were vying for 452 seats, and a record 4.1 million people had enrolled to vote for district councilors, who control some spending and decide issues such as recycling and public health. If the pro-democracy campaigners gain control, they could secure six seats on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and 117 seats on the 1,200-member panel that selects the city’s chief executive. Government data showed 1,746,709 people had already voted by 2:30 p.m., surpassing the 1,467,229 who voted in the last district elections four years ago. Campaigning has been marred by acrimony. One pro-democracy candidate’s ear was bitten off in an attack, and 17 other candidates of all stripes have been arrested over protest-related activities. Election authorities banned leading democracy activist Joshua Wong from running in the district electionContinue reading

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Beijing is drawing up a plan to remove Hong Kong’s beleaguered Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, after nearly five months of pro-democracy unrest. The pro-Beijing leader has faced sustained criticism from protesters in the semi-autonomous city. So far, the Chinese central government has given its support to her and the Hong Kong police, calling the demonstrators “rioters” and condemning the violence. But according to the FT report, which quoted unnamed figures briefed on the deliberations, Beijing is drawing up a plan to replace her with an interim chief executive. However, sources told the newspaper that the plan would be dependent on the situation in the city first stabilising so that Beijing is not seen as giving in to violence. Lam’s office said it would not comment on speculation. Hong Kong has been battered by 20 weeks of protests and with no political solution in sight, clashes have intensified each month. Earlier this month, Lam — who has refused to grant any major concessions to protesters — invoked a colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks, setting off a new wave of protests and vandalism that shut down much of the city’s transport network. One of the protest leaders, Jimmy Sham, was hospitalised after being attacked by unknown assailants wielding hammers last week. If President Xi Jinping decides to go ahead with the plan to remove Lam, the report said her replacement would be installed by March. Leading candidates being considered to replace her reportedly include NormanContinue reading

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Xi Jinping and Carrie Lam - China and Hong Kong News

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam warned Tuesday that the Chinese military could step in if an uprising for democratic reforms that has rocked the city for months “becomes so bad” but reiterated the government still hopes to resolve the crisis itself. Lam urged foreign critics to accept that the four months of protests marked by escalating violence were no longer “a peaceful movement for democracy.” She said seeking Chinese intervention was provided for under Hong Kong’s constitution but that she cannot reveal under what circumstances she will do so. “I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves. That is also the position of the central government that Hong Kong should tackle the problem on her own but if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out if we want Hong Kong to at least have another chance,” she told a news conference. The protests started in June over a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed some criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial but have since morphed into a larger anti-government movement. Protesters say the bill is an example of Beijing’s increasing influence over the former British colony, which was promised a high level of autonomy when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The unrest had pummeled tourism and hurt businesses in the global financial hub, further bruising the city’s economy as it grapples with effects of the U.S.-China trade war. President Donald Trump on Monday urged ChineseContinue reading

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Carrie Lam vs Protesters Face Masks, Hong Kong News

"We believe that the new law will create a deterrent effect against masked violent protesters and rioters, and will assist the police in its law enforcement," Carrie Lam said.

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that the decision to withdraw an extradition bill that sparked months of demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory was her government’s own initiative to break the impasse, and not Beijing’s directive. Lam told a news conference that China’s central government “understands, respects and supports” her government in the entire process. Withdrawal of the bill meets one of protesters’ five key demands, but activists have vowed not to yield until the government fulfills all of them. Those also include an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality during the protests, the unconditional release of those detained, not labelling the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leader. The massive but peaceful demonstrations began in June against the legislation, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, but clashes with police have become increasingly violent as the demands evolved into a wider call for democracy. Demonstrators threw gasoline bombs at officers last weekend protests and police retaliated with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. Nearly 1,200 people have been detained so far. Lam reiterated that the government cannot accede to the protesters’ other demands. She said the police watchdog agency will be impartial and best suited to investigate alleged police misconduct, and that releasing detainees without charges would be “unacceptable.” She denied making a U-turn on the bill, noting that she suspended the bill in mid-June, days after the protests began, and in July declared theContinue reading

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Earlier this summer, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, submitted a report to Beijing that assessed protesters’ five key demands and found that withdrawing a contentious extradition bill could help defuse the mounting political crisis in the territory. The Chinese central government rejected Lam’s proposal to withdraw the extradition bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters’ other demands at that time, three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. China’s role in directing how Hong Kong handles the protests has been widely assumed, supported by stern statements in state media about the country’s sovereignty and protesters’ “radical” goals. Beijing’s rebuff of Lam’s proposal for how to resolve the crisis, detailed for the first time by Reuters, represents concrete evidence of the extent to which China is controlling the Hong Kong government’s response to the unrest. The Chinese central government has condemned the protests and accused foreign powers of fuelling unrest. The Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned other nations against interfering in Hong Kong, reiterating that the situation there is an “internal affair.” Lam’s report on the tumult was made before an Aug. 7 meeting in Shenzhen about the Hong Kong crisis, led by senior Chinese officials. The report examined the feasibility of the protesters’ five demands, and analysed how conceding to some of them might quieten things down, the individuals with direct knowledge said. In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, the other demands analysed in the report were:Continue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadline

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she hoped a peaceful weekend anti-government protest was the start of an effort to restore calm and that talks with nonviolent protesters would provide “a way out” for the China-ruled city. Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in torrential rain on Sunday in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations. “I sincerely hope that this was the beginning of society returning to peace and staying away from violence,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said. “We will immediately start the work to establish a platform for dialogue. This dialogue, I hope, will be based on a mutual understanding and respect and find a way out for today’s Hong Kong,” she said. Anger erupted in June over a now-suspended bill that would allow criminal suspects in the former British colony to be extradited to mainland China for trial. The unrest has been fueled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place after Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest. The protests have prompted sharp reactions from Beijing, which has accused foreign countries, including the United States, of fomenting unrest in the territory. China has also sent clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills in neighboring Shenzhen. Britain’s Foreign Office said it was extremely concerned about reports that a Hong Kong staff member had been detainedContinue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadline

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Monday protesters who clashed with police on the weekend were rioters, a legally loaded term in the city, and she supported the police in upholding the law and seeking perpetrators. Carrie Lam made the comments at a hospital where she visited three police officers injured in violent disturbances on Sunday between police and demonstrators angry about an extradition bill. Hong Kong has been rocked by large and sometimes violent street protests over the past month against the extradition bill, which many city residents see as a threat to their freedoms, plunging the former British colony into its biggest political crisis since it was handed back to China in 1997. “We thank the police officers for maintaining social order loyally and professionally, but they have suffered in attacks from those rioters – they can be called rioters,” Carrie Lam said. RELATED COVERAGE Hong Kong police demand better protection ahead of more protests With more protests expected in coming days and weeks, her comments risk raising tension. Some activists have been demanding that the government avoid using the term “riot” to refer to the protests. A conviction for rioting in the financial hub can carry a 10-year prison sentence. Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s protest which ended in chaos in a shopping mall, with scores of protesters threw umbrellas, hard-hats and plastic bottles at police who fired pepper spray and hit out with batons. Lam said more than 10 police were injured withContinue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded to protests that drew hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets by suspending the bill, but demonstrations that shut government offices and brought parts of the financial centre to a standstill continued. Her latest attempt to restore order did not satisfy many protesters who stood by demands that she completely withdraw the bill and accused her of playing word games. “There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council,” Lam told reporters on Tuesday. “So, I reiterate here, there is no such plan, the bill is dead.” The bill triggered outrage across broad sections of Hong Kong society amid concerns it would threaten the much-cherished rule of law that underpins the city’s international financial status. Lawyers and rights groups say China’s justice system is marked by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention, claims that Beijing denies. University students who have been out in force during theContinue reading

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Faced with huge and disruptive protests in Hong Kong, China blinked. The decision to shelve the legislation that sparked the demonstrations shows that limits still exist to how hard China can, or is willing, to push. It also exposed a fundamental contradiction in the “one country, two systems” framework that governs the semi-autonomous city. Chinese President Xi Jinping has cemented his hold on power since taking the helm in 2012. His government has expanded control over information, religion and other aspects of society. In Hong Kong, the local government has disqualified a pro-independence party, sent the leaders of a 2014 protest to prison and denied a visa renewal to an editor for Britain’s Financial Times. Activists decried these moves as chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms, but residents largely went about their lives. Then the government, with China’s backing, chipped too deeply, propelling hundreds of thousands, possibly millions in a city of 7.4 million people, into the streets. For Xi, it apparently tipped the scales in a balancing act between attempts to tighten Communist authority and stability in the international financial center, and wanting to keep Hong Kong from slipping out of Beijing’s control — and even demanding independence. “It is a sign that Xi Jinping’s government is not totally impervious to pressure, despite the fact that he has consolidated so much power,” said Ben Bland, an expert at the Lowy Institute in Australia and author of “Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow.” It was in an atmosphere ofContinue reading

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Many protesters call for Carrie Lam resignation - Hong Kong

“They may not fire her immediately, but her chances for a second term are totally gone now and they may find a reason to let her go without losing much face because now she is hated by everybody in Hong Kong and her administration has become quite ungovernable,” said Willy Lam, a veteran political observer.Continue reading