Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Hong Kong’s new #Chief Executive Carrie Lam leave after administering the oath for a five-year term in office at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong Saturday, July 1, 2017. (AP / Kin Cheung) HONG KONG — Carrie Lam was sworn in Saturday as Hong Kong’s new leader on the city’s 20th anniversary of the handover from British to Chinese rule, in a ceremony presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Lam’s inauguration as the semi-autonomous Chinese region’s fifth chief executive was partly overshadowed by harsh remarks from Xi in his address to the assembly, in which he pledged zero -tolerance for any acts seen as jeopardizing Hong Kong and China’s stability and security.
Lam and her Cabinet swore to serve China and Hong Kong and to uphold the Basic Law, the territory’s mini-constitution. In a short speech, she reviewed the dynamic financial centre’s achievements and challenges, pledged to support central government initiatives and declared that "the future is bright."
The life-long bureaucrat was selected through a process decried by critics as fundamentally undemocratic, involving just a sliver of a per cent of Hong Kong’s more than 3 million voters.
Ahead of an earlier flag raising ceremony, a small group of activists linked to the pro-democracy opposition sought to march on the venue carrying a replica coffin symbolizing the death of the territory’s civil liberties. They were swiftly stopped by police and Chinese flag-waving counter protesters, with the action ending about an hour later.
Protesters fear Beijing’s ruling Communist Party is increasing its control over the city’s political and civil affairs, undermining a pledge to permit it retain its own legal and other institutions for 50 years.
In a lengthy address, Xi pledged Beijing’s support for the "one country, two systems" blueprint under which Hong Kong […]
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