Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has stated in her annual policy speech that ending the chaos in Hong Kong’s political system is her priority next year.
According to Lam, Chinese constitutional order in the semi-autonomous city must be restored. It was Lam’s first annual policy speech since China stepped up repression against the pro-democracy movement through Hong Kong’s new national security law.
Lam gave the speech in the hall of the Hong Kong Parliament, the Legislative Council. She had postponed the speech for more than a month because she had to consult with the Chinese rulers in Beijing about economic recovery plans for the financial centre.
The actions of the Chinese government in Hong Kong received extensive attention last year, in particular with the introduction of the National Security Act in June. It came after months of mass demonstrations for more democracy in Hong Kong, the fiercest in decades.
“Over the past year, Hong Kong has endured the toughest political challenges since returning to the motherland,” said the leader of the former British Crown Colony. “One of our urgent priorities is to restore constitutional order and our political system after the chaos.”
Lam announced that the government wants to increase public oaths and upskilling of the people “to advance the understanding of the rule of law.” She accused foreign governments and parliaments of undue interference with Hong Kong. As far as she is concerned, Hong Kong’s affairs are Chinese domestic affairs, Lam said.
Lam, Hong Kong’s least popular leader since the handover to China in 1997, delivered her speech via video link last year after opposition members blasted through her speech the previous year.
This was not the case this year now that the pro-democratic opposition members have submitted their resignation as MPs en masse. They did so in protest after the government removed four opposition parliamentarians from office with the help of China.