Hong Kong’s pro-China leader, Carrie Lam, announced Monday she would not seek a second term as chief executive. Under Lam’s stewardship, Hong Kong has seen huge erosion of civil freedoms as China has sought to exert greater control on the former British territory. Lam supported a law allowing the extradition of Hong Kong citizens to mainland China which triggered mass protests. Lam’s reputation has also been battered by the response to the coronavirus pandemic which has seen Hong Kong enforce lengthy hotel quarantine in what increasingly looks to have been a futile attempt to deliver zero-COVID and has damaged its pro-business credentials. Lam, 64, told reporters: “There’s only one consideration and that is family… They think it’s time for me to go home.” The chief executive is selected by a committee of 1,500 members who are nearly all pro-Beijing loyalists. John Lee, a former policeman, is tipped to succeed Lam.
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