- According to the Financial Times, the Chinese government is merely waiting for the situation in Hong Kong to stabilize before making the replacement.
- In September, Lam herself said she would like to resign, "if possible," in leaked audio recordings from a government meeting.
- If Lam leaves office, a replacement would take over next March, and serve until 2022.
According to a report by the international business newspaper, Financial Times, quoting sources with knowledge of the ongoing plans, China is reportedly planning to fire Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and appoint a temporary leader. That won’t happen, however, until the region has stabilized from its current crisis, sources have revealed.
Lam is seen by many protesters as being too kind to the Chinese government. Therefore, many have demanded her resignation. The replacement plans are in the pipeline following months of massive demonstrations in the former British Crown Colony over what the protesters describe as increased Chinese control. Many protesters have demanded the departure of the 62-year-old Lam because of the government’s handling of the crisis.
According to the Financial Times, the Chinese government is merely waiting for the situation in Hong Kong to stabilize before making the replacement at the very top of the governance of the region. China does not want the replacement to appear as though it is giving in to the protesters’ demands, the newspaper writes. If China’s leader, Xi Jinping, chooses to fire Lam, a replacement will take over in March next year and finish the rest of the term running until 2022, the Financial Times elaborates.
In September, Lam herself said she would like to resign, “if possible,” in leaked audio recordings from a government meeting. “For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable. If I have a choice, the first thing [I would do] is to quit, having made a deep apology,” Lam said, her voice breaking with emotion. “So I make a plea to you for your forgiveness.”
The news of the leaked audio was publicized by various media outlets, but she denied it. Appearing at a news conference afterward, she stressed that she had not asked the Chinese government to resign.
Since mid-June, Hong Kong has been rocked by major protests, with millions of people having so far participated. On several occasions, the demonstrations have developed violently with clashes between protesters and police. The crisis, in the partially autonomous metropolis, which has been under China since 1997, began with a bill designed to make it easier to extradite citizens for prosecution in China. The bill was subsequently dropped, but the demonstrations continued.
The police have massively targeted the protesters with barricades, water cannons, and tear gas. China has denied trying to increase control of the metropolis. Hong Kong gained a number of democratic rights by transferring British to Chinese control, which Communist China did not grant its citizens. China has, among other things, accused the United States and other Western countries of encouraging the Hong Kong unrest.