Lam to go over her cabinet choices with state leaders

Top News | Phoenix Un 10 Apr 2017

Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor says she will discuss her cabinet and report on Hong Kong's situation with state leaders during her trip to Beijing.

Two weeks after her election, Lam left yesterday to be formally appointed by Premier Li Keqiang as Hong Kong's fifth-term chief executive tomorrow.

She will meet President Xi Jinping tomorrow as well.

Lam said meetings will not particularly focus on political reform or the "August 31 framework" set by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

"I will just generally report on various aspects of Hong Kong's situation to the leaders whom I will meet, and I don't think there will be concrete discussion about a particular topic," Lam said before her departure at Chek Lap Kok.

Last week, Lam said she would convey the pro-democracy camp's opposition to the framework to Xi.

Lam will meet NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang and have a working conference with Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office director Wang Guangya today.

She will discuss with Wang progress on the formation of a new cabinet, as she has been meeting potential candidates.

"I meet around the clock with people whom I believe are suitable for posts, but today I cannot reveal these choices," she said. "I'll do the work unceasingly and intensively, hoping to form a cabinet as soon as possible."

Lam will also visit the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and meet the press. Lam and her entourage, including husband Lam Siu-por, will return to Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Secretary for the Civil Service Clement Cheung Wan-ching - regarded by some as Lam's choice for chief secretary - said: "I believe the cabinet formation will be discussed during the trip, and I think she will come to an arrangement at the right time."

Under Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu - expected by some to be promoted to security chief - said he will give Lam space to decide on her cabinet and he will "make a decision when [I need] to."

Under Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee - who is also tipped for a senior position - said she will "focus only on present work."

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said he has an open- mind about staying on.

"We should allow time and space for the chief executive-elect to form her team of partners," Wong said.

Permanent Secretary for Food and Health Patrick Nip Tak-kuen - tipped to be the Chief Executive Office director - said he will stay on "the team" if asked to.

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