Lam vows to work closely with new China envoy, get HK on 'right path', Latest World News - The New Paper

Lam vows to work closely with new China envoy, get HK on 'right path'

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said yesterday she would work closely with China's top official in the city to get it back on "the right path" after more than six months of pro-democracy protests.

The appointment of a new head of the Chinese government's most important office in Hong Kong, Mr Luo Huining, was unexpectedly announced at the weekend in a sign of Beijing's frustration with the latter's handling of the crisis.

The Hong Kong Liaison Office reports to China's State Council and is the main platform for Beijing to project its influence in the city.

"I will work closely with director Luo in the coming future, committing to 'one country, two systems', and the Basic Law, for Hong Kong to ... return to the right path," Mrs Lam said in her first news conference of the year, referring to the city's mini Constitution and system of governance.

Mr Luo on Monday, in his first remarks since taking office, used the same language, saying he hoped the city would return to the right path.

Mrs Lam did not mention the protests in her opening remarks, which focused on health risks related to an outbreak of a respiratory virus in the city of Wuhan in China.

The authorities have identified 21 cases in Hong Kong, of which seven have been released from hospital.

Clashes between police and protesters have intensified over the year-end holiday following an early-December lull in violence after an overwhelming win by the pro-democracy camp in city district council elections yielded no government concessions.

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have evolved over the months into a broad pro-democracy campaign with demands for universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into complaints of police brutality.

The police maintain they have acted with restraint. - REUTERS