Xi voices 'high degree of trust' in Hong Kong leader over unrest

Xi voices 'high degree of trust' in Hong Kong leader over unrest

Meanwhile, effective efforts should be made in work including having dialogue with all sectors of the society and improving people's livelihood, Xi said.

"The very fact that he is so busy that he found time to meet (Lam) really is a vote of confidence in ourselves" and underlined the importance that Beijing attaches to Hong Kong, Cheung said at a news conference.

Hong Kong's leader, the chief executive - now Ms Lam - is elected by a 1,200-member election committee, a mostly pro-Beijing body chosen by just 6% of eligible Hong Kong voters.

Xi and Lam unexpectedly held talks Monday night on the sidelines of a trade event in Shanghai amid signals from China's central government that it may tighten its grip on Hong Kong to quell the unrest that has at times challenged Chinese rule. They have not officially demanded that Lam resign, opting instead to demand the right to vote her out of office, which they now do not have.

The protests began in early June against an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent for trials in mainland China, which many saw as infringing on Hong Kong's judicial freedoms and other rights that were guaranteed when the former British colony return to China in 1997.

Protesters have issued a list of demands, including universal suffrage and an investigation into abuses by police.

Hong Kong's acting leader said on Tuesday he deeply regretted the involvement of civil servants in protests that have plunged the Chinese-ruled city into crisis as activists planned masked "Guy Fawkes" demonstrations across the territory.

Lam was chosen in 2017 by a 1,200-strong committee stacked with Beijing supporters, a system that ensures Hong Kong's leader remains loyal to the central government but one that saddles the position with a pronounced democratic deficit.

Xi stated that his Beijing government "fully recognizes" and "highly trusts" the work of Lam and her administration as the city faces ongoing protests.

Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks attend an anti-government demonstration in Hong Kong, China, Nov. 5, 2019.

"Xi gave Lam an appropriate recognition but there isn't much praise in the report because after all the situations are yet to calm", Tam added.

After hearing Lam's report on the recent situation in Hong Kong, Xi said the disturbances in Hong Kong have lasted five months.

"The news agency quoted Xi as demanding "...unswerving efforts to stop and punish violent activities in accordance with the law to safeguard the well-being of the general public in Hong Kong".

"He expressed care and concern about Hong Kong, especially given the social disturbances that we have seen in the last five months and he expressed support for the various action taken by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government", she told reporters.

"The message to Hong Kong people is that we are with her, she has our backing and you better watch out", Mo told The Associated Press.

"It's a puppet show".

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