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Beijing denies plan to oust HK leader

October 25, 2019

BEIJING: China’s Foreign Ministry slammed reports that the central government was planning to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, calling such reports “political rumors with ulterior motives.”

Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a routine press conference on Wednesday.

Hua said the central government will firmly support Lam and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government in governing according to the law, stopping the violence and chaos as soon as possible and restoring order.

ON WAY OUT? Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam arrives at the Imperial Palace to attend the proclamation ceremony of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne in Tokyo. Reports are circulating that Lam will be replaced by Beijing as head of the island-state anytime. AFP PHOTO

Hua’s remarks came after the Financial Times reported the government was planning to replace Lam by March, and even listed candidates to succeed her, including Norman Chan Tak-Lam, former head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and Henry Tang Ying-nien, former chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR.

In response, Hong Kong government officials, including Tang, on Wednesday said they would continue serving as government officials and support Lam as chief executive, Hong Kong media reported.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a HongKong senior counsel and executive councilor, refuted reports and said the rumors convey wrong information.

They imply that the extreme violence could force Beijing to replace leaders. It is hoped that related authorities can clarify such malicious rumors, he said.

The Office of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong made no comment on the suspicion to Hong Kong-based online news portal HK01’s inquiry on the reports.

Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, secretary for Innovation and Technology, said in an interview with the local business program that the replacement is a rumor and he would continue serving for the government.

Early September, it was reported that Lam had said she would quit if she had a choice, a report that Lam immediately rejected.

GLOBAL TIMES

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