Presidential appointment a signal for opposition, Lau Siu-kai says

Local | 14 Feb 2020 11:44 am

A vice-president of Beijing's top think tank on Hong Kong, Lau Siu-kai, says opposition forces in the territory ought to be worried about the reshuffle of mainland officials in charge of city affairs.

The central government announced a new head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, demoting his predecessor Zhang Xiaoming to a deputy director post yesterday. Meanwhile, the chief of the liaison office in Hong Kong, Luo Huining, was also made a deputy director of the office, along with his Macau counterpart.
Lau says the reshuffle means that Beijing will now focus more on the protection of national security, and will get more involved in Hong Kong affairs.
"Beijing will have a new policy towards Hong Kong which focuses on the protection of national security and to make sure 'One Country, Two Systems' is implemented in a correct and comprehensive manner," Lau said.
"It also means that Beijing will get itself more involved in Hong Kong affairs and play an important role in working together with the Hong Kong government to master the political situation," he added.
"For the opposition, I think they should be worried, because Beijing will not tolerate the situation where external and internal hostile forces are using Hong Kong to threaten China's national security."
On the other hand, he said, those who want Hong Kong to be more stable and to have a better relationship with the mainland, could welcome the shake-up.
Lau also told RTHK's Janice Wong that he does not expect the demotion of Zhang and recent sacking of Wang Zhimin as liaison office chief suggest that Chief Executive Carrie Lam will be next for the chop.
He also said he doesn't think Article 23 national security legislation will be introduced anytime soon.

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