Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she would not seek a second term after taking over

Lam has firmly ended his term with Hong Kong, occupying Beijing

Tom Cheshire

Tom Cheshire

Asia Correspondent


Carrie Lam has presided over Hong Kong’s most tumultuous period since the UK handed over to China in 1997.

Three big events have changed the city a lot: the 2019 protests, the imposition of the National Security Act and the administration of the territory of Covid.

Lam was key to all of them, but nothing more than the 2019 protest. These ended violently, but this was not inevitable due to the peaceful mass procession in early summer.

Millions of people have called for an end to proposed extradition laws between Hong Kong and mainland China. Lam will not back down in the beginning, but will rely on the police to suppress them, starting a cycle of growth.

Were it not for the unrest, Beijing might not have enacted a national security law. It undermines Hong Kong’s traditional independence and condemnation from the West.

Finally, Kovid. Hong Kong has cut itself off from the world and has done well to keep the virus at bay. But its latest wave has been devastating, resulting in the world’s highest daily mortality rate and the pain of parents being separated from their children due to strict COVID policies.

And as a result of these restrictions, and the National Security Act, Hong Kong has lost its luster as a business center in Singapore, and has seen the brain drain of local and expatriate talent.

But the city is much more strongly occupied by Beijing – a result that Lam and central authorities are probably happy with.

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