China plans to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

BEIJING: Beijing is drawing up a plan to remove Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive Carrie Lam, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, after nearly five months of pro-democracy unrest.

China plans to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. Reuters file

Beijing, October 23

Beijing is drawing up a plan to remove Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive Carrie Lam, the Financial Times reported on 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 central government in Beijing 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, the Chinese government 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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Hong Kong has now been battered by 20 weeks of protests and with no political solution in sight, clashes have intensified each month.

If President Xi Jinping decided to go ahead with the plan to remove Lam, the report said her replacement would be installed by March. AFP

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