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John Lee elected as Hong Kong’s next chief executive

John Lee waves after he was elected as Hong Kong's chief executive on Sunday

A Hong Kong committee stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists has elected an official who oversaw a crackdown on the city’s democracy movement as its next chief executive.

John Lee won 1,416 votes of approval from the 1,500-strong Election Committee on Sunday. Eight voted against him.

His election places a security official in Hong Kong’s top job for the first time.

The former secretary for security in Hong Kong ran under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together” and was the sole candidate in the polls.

The 64-year-old was sanctioned by the United States in 2020 for his role in implementing a Beijing-imposed national security law that has crushed the city’s democracy movement.

More than 150 people have been arrested under the legislation, which outlaws what it terms secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city’s affairs. Nearly all prominent pro-democracy activists have also been jailed, with others fleeing abroad or being intimidated into silence.

Civil society groups have been disbanded while liberal media outlets, such as Apple Daily and Stand News, have also been shut down.

Chinese authorities say the law is necessary to restore stability after protracted pro-democracy protests in 2019.



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