mixed reaction from business community to John Lee as Hong Kong’s next potential leader

  • Quite a few see Beijing’s backing of Lee as a indication that nationwide security would get prime precedence
  • They expressed hope that Hong Kong’s No 2 official would be friendly to the enterprise local community in a bid to maintain the city’s position as a worldwide financial hub

Diplomats and small business leaders have expressed the two careful optimism as very well as disappointment at the chance of John Lee Ka-chiu using Hong Kong’s top occupation. The city’s No 2 official resigned on Wednesday, paving the way for a run in up coming month’s chief govt election as the sole candidate with Beijing’s blessing.

Several noticed the endorsement of Lee as Beijing putting emphasis on countrywide safety, but felt the policeman-turned minister’s means to maintain Hong Kong’s position as a international economic hub would hinge on the depth of his cupboard.

A Hong Kong-primarily based consul normal from a European nation, who achieved Lee when he was security minister, explained the gentleman as “a able and serious manager”.

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“My personalized perception is that he does not come across as a extremely political figure, but is no doubt seen in Beijing as a responsible operator who will do what he is asked to do by the central federal government,” the individual, who spoke on issue of anonymity, instructed the Publish.

“I assume Beijing wishes to preserve Hong Kong as an global economic centre but I have no doubt that for Beijing, nationwide stability and further more strengthening political management above Hong Kong arrives first,” the consul basic included.

As it transpired: Hong Kong ex-No 2 John Lee to be a part of leadership race

A deputy consul normal from another European region, who also does not want to be named, mentioned that Lee’s endorsement demonstrated “it is what Beijing desires a lot more than what Hongkongers want”.

The diplomat’s individual assessment was that by backing Lee, Beijing would prioritise countrywide stability in the coming several years. Endorsing Economic Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, in the meantime, would have indicated a concentration on the economic climate and finance.

An additional senior diplomat primarily based in Hong Kong stated that though it was not a ought to to have a chief with a history in finance, it was nonetheless critical for the city’s future main executive to have an understanding of Hong Kong’s crucial function in the monetary environment.

The diplomat reported it was very clear that to correctly govern the metropolis, the next chief wanted to have the have confidence in of Beijing. Equipped with that, and an comprehending of Hong Kong’s unique place, Lee could make sure achievement as main government.

“I believe what is actually crucial now shifting ahead is restoring the self-confidence of both Beijing as effectively as the overseas group and I assume to do that, you do have to fully grasp the great importance of Hong Kong as a international monetary hub,” the diplomat stated.

Lee emerged as the frontrunner right after Main Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced on Monday she would not request a second expression, citing loved ones reasons.

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Hong Kong experienced never had a vocation policeman as the city’s No 2 official right up until Lee took up the put up in June very last calendar year. The 64-year-outdated had led the Security Bureau for four yrs from 2017 right before currently being promoted to chief secretary.

Stewart Leung Chi-kin, govt committee chairman of the True Estate Developers Affiliation of Hong Kong, said he was self-confident that builders could cultivate a cordial romance with Lee irrespective of limited conversation on the operating amount beforehand. The organisation counts all of the city’s big builders as users.

“In our placement, it is basic. The govt really should tackle the housing requires of the general public, whether or not the demands are personal or public, and present enough land for personal builders to deal with these kinds of requires,” he stated.

“The authorities does not have to give pros to developers, but there need to often be communication, as true estate serves as an significant pillar for the city’s overall economy.”

One diplomat said that while it was not a must to have a leader with a background in finance, it was still important for the city's next chief executive to understand Hong Kong's vital role in the financial world. Photo: Sun Yeung

© Provided by South China Early morning Article
A person diplomat explained that whilst it was not a will have to to have a leader with a history in finance, it was even now vital for the city’s following chief government to understand Hong Kong’s important function in the monetary entire world. Photo: Solar Yeung

Entertainment tycoon Allan Zeman, who has recognised Lee for 20 yrs, described the previous top rated law enforcement officer as a “reasonable and open up-minded person”.

Zeman reported he thought Beijing’s desire for Lee stemmed from wanting a “trusted guy” to guarantee national stability and enact the city’s possess guidelines to carry out Post 23 of the Simple Law.

Entertainment tycoon Allan Zeman has known John Lee for two decades. Photo: Edmond So

© Offered by South China Early morning Submit
Entertainment tycoon Allan Zeman has regarded John Lee for two a long time. Picture: Edmond So

An American financial investment supervisor and extended-expression resident agreed that he did not watch Lee’s deficiency of finance encounter as a challenge as long as Economical Secretary Paul Chan was in his cabinet.

“Paul Chan has the ability. He has demonstrated it. He is a quite very good communicator. He has been an superb finance secretary,” he reported.

The chairman of a small business chamber of a person of the Asean nations, who wished to keep on being anonymous, said he considered Lee would be a very good chief even if he experienced minimal publicity to the small business globe.

“He is a really humble particular person, mixes about, and understands a ton of people today. A single thing very good about him we have discovered among the businesspeople is he listens. He consults persons, he grew up with humble beginnings and did not go to faculty until finally he joined the law enforcement drive,” he stated.

The chairman claimed he believed Lee would be pleasant to both the regional and foreign company communities as “he is now very immersed” in them.

Hong Kong had never had a career policeman as the city's No 2 official until Lee took up the post in June last year. Photo: Felix Wong

© Provided by South China Early morning Post
Hong Kong had under no circumstances experienced a profession policeman as the city’s No 2 formal until Lee took up the put up in June last 12 months. Photo: Felix Wong

The head of one more international business chamber mentioned he was ready to give Lee the “profit of the doubt,” and hoped the new chief government would hear to small business chambers. A important issue, he claimed, was the ongoing vacation limits and ban of non-residents from viewing the city.

“For Hong Kong to be an attractive Asia’s environment city and as a monetary centre, I believe you will need to make guaranteed that it carries on to be an attractive spot for folks and their families to are living and perform in, and for these folks to be also from firms, exterior of purely finance,” he reported.

Meanwhile, a senior foreign businessman stated he thought numerous in the enterprise local community had greeted Lee’s operate for the top rated task with disappointment, owing to his lack of business enterprise encounter.

“There is certainly no indication that he has any curiosity in company. He’s almost never been exterior Hong Kong and has really minor focus on what Hong Kong wants to be, which is a enterprise centre,” he said.

A former lawmaker, who at the moment will work in the small business sector, pointed out that Lee experienced been sanctioned by the United States considering the fact that 2020, together with at the very least a dozen of former and current officers included in the implementation of the nationwide stability legislation.

“The notion would be fairly terrible for Hong Kong to deliver such a chief abroad to explore organization prospects,” he warned.

Additional reporting by Tony Cheung

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