Under John Lee, Hong Kong's Democratic Backsliding Will Accelerate
MIN READMay 9, 2022 | 21:50 GMT
Hong Kong Chief Executive-elect John Lee (right) and current Chief Executive Carrie Lam attend a press conference at the Central Government Complex on May 9, 2022, in Hong Kong, China.
(Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
The election of John Lee will strengthen Hong Kong's security apparatus and policy ties to Beijing, weaken personal freedoms and erode the business environment for foreign companies over the next five years. These consequences will boost U.S.-China tensions, but the chances of renewed mass protests in Hong Kong remain low. On May 8, Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Election Committee selected former Secretary for Security John Lee to be the next chief executive of Hong Kong, with Lee garnering 1,412 votes in support, eight against, and four abstaining. Lee's five-year term will begin on July 1, the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China. Local pro-Beijing parties hailed Lee's victory as a win for Hong Kong's stability, while local pro-democracy groups called it a sham election in the style of mainland China. Meanwhile, foreign groups like the European Union and the Group of Seven (G-7) condemned the elections as...