HKSAR holds chief executive election, winner ready to roll up sleeves

The election of the sixth-term chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held on Sunday with John Lee declared as the winner of the election.
HKSAR holds chief executive election, winner ready to roll up sleeves

John Lee waves on stage after being elected as Hong Kong's Chief Executive, in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday.

The election of the sixth-term chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held on Sunday with John Lee declared as the winner of the election.

The 64-year-old former chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government won 1,416 votes by the Election Committee members in the first chief executive election in the HKSAR since the improvement to its electoral system in 2021.

"I will faithfully and resolutely undertake this historic mission and shoulder the great responsibility to unite and lead the 7.4 million Hong Kong residents to open a new chapter for Hong Kong," Lee said when meeting the press after the election.

He still awaits the appointment by the Central People's Government before being sworn in as the HKSAR chief executive on July 1, also the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

Patriots administering Hong Kong

Polling for the election ran from 9:00 am local time (0100 GMT) to 11:30 am on Sunday. Members of the Election Committee cast their secret ballots on a one-person-one-vote basis at the main polling station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Smooth running of the chief executive election marked the further implementation of the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong," said Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

In 2021, the HKSAR made systematic amendments and improvements to its electoral system according to the decisions of the NPC and the legislation of the NPC Standing Committee, and successfully held elections of the Election Committee and the seventh-term Legislative Council of the HKSAR, a solid step forward promoting the development of democracy in line with the reality of Hong Kong.

Under Hong Kong's amended electoral laws, the expanded Election Committee comprises 1,500 members from five sectors, and candidates for the office of the chief executive shall be nominated jointly by not less than 188 members of the Election Committee, among whom the number of members of each sector should not be less than 15.

Tam said such stipulations ensure that the Election Committee is widely representative and the result of the chief executive election is sound under the improved electoral system.

Lau Siu-kai, vice president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said the Election Committee fully represents the positions and interests of the growing patriotic forces of different sectors and groups.

The sixth-term chief executive election has further enhanced the unity of the patriotic forces and the implementation of the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong," Lau said.

Tse Hiu-hung, a member of the Election Committee, said it is the committee's responsibility to elect a chief executive who can fully and accurately implement "one country, two systems" and lead Hong Kong toward better development.

New Chapter for Hong Kong

Announcing his decision to run for the election a month ago, the 64-year-old Lee said if he wins the election, his administration will work on three goals: first, to address different issues with a result-oriented approach; second, to enhance Hong Kong's overall competitiveness; and third, to lay a solid foundation for Hong Kong's development.

Chan Yung, a member of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR, said the three goals outlined by Lee fit Hong Kong's actual situation and accurately capture the key to Hong Kong's future development.

With the support from the central authorities and the efforts from the Hong Kong society, Hong Kong will surely usher in a new chapter in the coming five years, Chan said.

Lee said that he wishes to lead Hong Kong in opening a new chapter which is from order to prosperity in the next five years.

His election manifesto contains four tenets of vision: to strengthen governance capability and tackle pressing livelihood issues together; to streamline procedures and provide more housing and better living; to enhance overall competitiveness and pursue sustainable development; and to build a caring and inclusive society and enhance upward mobility for youths.

Joseph Chan, a member of the Election Committee of the HKSAR, said Lee has made clear and unambiguous proposals on strengthening patriotic education for youths in Hong Kong, promoting better integration of Hong Kong youths into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), and initiating targeted measures to solve housing problems.

Chan, who is also the president of the Hong Kong Youth Association, said that Lee's proposed policies will allow more Hong Kong youths to live a peaceful and prosperous life.

Zhi Zhenfeng, a researcher with the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Lee's election manifesto further expands the space for Hong Kong's development and provides a path for Hong Kong to maintain and enhance its international competitiveness.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. The governing team of the new term of the HKSAR government shoulders responsibilities in ensuring the implementation of "one country, two systems" without being bent or distorted.

In the eyes of Chan Yuet-lan, a local resident, Hong Kong has seen a lot of ups and downs in the past two years. "Only when the social environment is stable and harmonious can our families be happy and healthy," she said.

Amid the increasingly complicated international environment, Hong Kong faces multiple security threats. It has always been the primary duty of those administering Hong Kong to do everything possible to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests as well as Hong Kong's interests, said Zhang Jian, director of the Hong Kong and Macau research section of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies.

Lee said the next five years will be a crucial period for Hong Kong in which Hong Kong will transform from order to prosperity amid opportunities and challenges.

The new HKSAR government will act to win confidence with actions, narrow differences with results, and build mutual trust with achievements, so as to work together to build a more livable, open and harmonious Hong Kong that is full of hope, opportunities and vitality, said Lee.

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