Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - President Xi hails HK vote ‘successful’ in Lam meeting



President Xi hails HK vote ‘successful’ in Lam meeting

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam received a strong endorsement from Chinese President Xi Jinping after the city held elections under a Beijing-led national security law. AFP

President Xi hails HK vote ‘successful’ in Lam meeting

Chinese President Xi Jinping strongly endorsed Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam on December 22, saying the former British colony had transformed “from chaos to order” since a new security law was imposed last year, the city’s media reported.

China has overseen sweeping changes in Hong Kong after huge and often violent “pro-democracy” protests two years ago, introducing a national security law that criminalised “secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or extrnal forces”.

The first public vote under this new order was held on December 19 for the city’s legislature, with a low turnout recorded.

Despite only 30 per cent of the electorate casting ballots, Lam was backed by the central government on a three-day visit to Beijing this week.

Beijing “fully affirms” the Lam administration’s work, Xi told the territory’s chief executive in opening comments at a meeting shown by broadcaster RTHK and other Hong Kong TV channels.

The situation was “changing for the better”, Xi said, adding that the weekend’s vote had been “held successfully” under Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

Praising the Hong Kong government for “resolutely implementing” the security law, Xi told Lam that her administration had taken “firm steps to push forward Hong Kong’s democratic development in accordance with the actual situation”, according to RTHK footage.

“The democratic right of our Hong Kong compatriots to be masters of their own home has been realised,” Xi said, also commending the Lam administration’s efforts to restore public order and economic growth in the financial hub.

Lam told reporters at a press conference on the evening of December 21 in Beijing that “the Hong Kong government does not have a particular benchmark for voter turnout”.

“As there is no benchmark . . . there is no such thing as success or failure,” she said at the conference.

The elections were “in line with ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’” and “conducted in a way that is fair, transparent, clean, effective and humanistic”, Lam added.

She brushed off questions on whether she will run for another term, saying only that she would continue serving in office through to June next year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio