HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s Secretary of Security John Lee and police chief Chris Tang, key figures behind the city’s authoritarian turn over the past year, are expected to be promoted “very soon,” the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Friday.
Lee will replace retiring Matthew Cheung as chief secretary, leader Carrie Lam’s No. 2, while Tang will replace Lee, SCMP said, citing unnamed sources. Tang will be replaced by one of his deputies, Raymond Siu.
The chief secretary’s office and the Security Bureau did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong in June 2020 was China’s first major step to set the global financial hub onto an authoritarian path, impacting most aspects of life in the city.
Lee, Tang and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng have been key local players in Beijing’s push to reassert its control over the former British colony.
Lam and about 60 senior public figures are set to travel to Beijing on Monday for the Communist Party’s centenary celebrations, the first time the chief executive will be out of town for the official anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover, SCMP said.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)