What Happened: The Chinese government is reportedly developing a strategy to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam by March 2020, the Financial Times reported Oct. 22, citing sources. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed the report as a rumor.
Why It Matters: Although the report remains unconfirmed, Lam is widely expected not to finish her current term, which ends in 2022. Beijing has already rejected Lam's earlier offers to resign, but a recent escalation in the Hong Kong protests could have changed Beijing's stance.
Background: Protests in Hong Kong have entered their fifth month and continue to escalate as security forces and protesters embrace increasingly confrontational strategies.
- In Hong Kong, Beijing Will Choose Chinese Sovereignty (Oct. 10, 2019)
- Hong Kong Is Set to Pull the Masks off Protesters (Oct. 3, 2019)
- The Hong Kong Protests Keep Escalating. Here's What We're Watching. (Oct. 2, 2019)