China appoints new Hong Kong leader: Who is John Lee?

Chinese officials on Sunday appointed John Lee, 64, as the new chief of Hong Kong in place of outgoing leader Carrie Lam.

Lee was the only candidate in the fray and is due to become Hong Kong’s chief executive from July 1 as Carrie Lam ends her first term.

Who is John Lee?

Lee is Hong Kong’s former deputy commissioner of police and security chief. Lee said it was his “historic mission” to lead Hong Kong which witnessed large scale anti-government protests in 2019 and has been ravaged by a new coronavirus wave.

Also Read: Why Hong Kong plummeted 68 places in the recent press freedom rankings

The new chief belongs to a working-class family and has been known to crack down on anti-government protesters three years ago as China implemented the Hong Kong National Security Law. He reportedly has the confidence of Bejing leaders. 

Lee has promised to revive the city’s economy and work towards unity as citizens grapple with virus and anti-China feelings after the crackdown in 2019. In his manifesto, Lee had vowed to strengthen governance, tackle housing and work towards overall competitiveness to build an inclusive society and ensure upward mobility for the youth.

Lee studied in the University of Hong Kong and has worked at various levels in Hong Kong’s police service. The new Hong Kong chief is married with two sons.

Watch: Ex-security Chief John Lee succeeds Carrie Lam

 Lee’s election

Hong Kong’s new leader received backing from election committee members who were primarily in favour of pro-China policies. He was voted to power by 1,416 members as eight people reportedly decided not to support him. 

Lee reportedly won 99 per cent of the votes. 

(With inputs from Agencies)