John Lee met premier Li to receive "State Council decree" approving his appointment
Hong Kong’s next leader John Lee Ka-chiu met Chinese premier Li Keqiang during his first visit to China’s capital since his selection as chief executive earlier this month. Lee is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in the afternoon.
Premier Li Keqiang gave Lee "State Council decree" approving his appointment on Monday, the final formality before he’s sworn into office on July 1.
Li said China supported Hong Kong elevating its status as an international financial, trade and shipping hub, at a press conference with Lee. He also stressed that implementing the “one country, two systems” principle was key to the city’s long-term prosperity.
Li added Beijing would fully support Lee and his government in administering Hong Kong in accordance with the law.
Lee in response said he was deeply honoured, and vowed to do his best in leading the sixth term of government in implementing the one country, two systems principle comprehensively.
Lee plans to hold a press conference at Hong Kong airport upon his return Tuesday afternoon.
The former police officer is expected to submit his cabinet picks for the central government’s approval while in Beijing. Lee is expected to discuss with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng a plan to restructure the government.
Lee’s trip to the capital will be conducted under a closed-loop system, meaning his entourage won’t be allowed to interact with anyone outside their meetings.
This will be Lee’s first sit down with Xi since he was picked earlier this month by a group of some 1,460 election committee members who had been vetted for their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. He ran unopposed.
Lee’s meeting with Xi is considered routine. It’s common practice for the incoming chief executive to visit Beijing to be formally appointed to the role, in line with the Basic Law governing Hong Kong.
The former chief secretary will be formally sworn into office on the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule. He’ll face pressure to restore business confidence in the wake of the city’s restrictive hotel quarantine rules and address the affordable housing crisis.