Pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong have come out in support of Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, who has resigned in order to launch a potential run for chief executive.

Lam tendered her resignation last Thursday. She said that she intends to run for the top job if her resignation is approved. It is reportedly set to be approved by Beijing on Monday, according to sources cited by RTHK.

Since Saturday, Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po have been carrying positive reports related to Lam on their front pages.

Ta Kung Pao on Saturday quoted pro-Beijing political figures who all said Lam will be an “appropriate choice” for Chief Executive, and that her eight visions for Hong Kong’s development showed her assertiveness, just as her financial philosophy demonstrated her meticulous thought.

A Wen Wei Po report on the same day described how Lam’s six personal characteristics were “approved by the public.” The paper said she is not afraid of difficulties, is strong on principles, has a long-term vision, is concerned about grassroots people, is able to handle crisis, and has no properties in Hong Kong – meaning that she can avoid conflicts of interest.

Carrie Lam Bernard Chan Lau Ming-wai
Photo: Facebook.

Sunday’s reports in both papers focused on Lam’s visit to a co-working space, where two tech start-up companies are located. The papers said Lam had mentioned supporting the tech industry in her eight-point vision.

Lau Ming-wai, the son of tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung and the Chairman of Commission on Youth, accompanied Lam and posted photos on social media.

Lam does not have a public social media account.

Carrie Lam Bernard Chan
Carrie Lam and Bernard Chan (taking photo). Photo: Facebook/Bernard Chan.

On Monday, the papers reported on her hike with Executive Council member Bernard Chan, who posted photos on social media saying Lam was “super popular.”

“Took my friend Carrie Lam for a walk down Tai Tam Reservoir this afternoon. She was super popular… So many people wanted to take photos with her!” he wrote. “And a few said [fight on, support you] #carrielam.”

The two papers have seldom carried reports on other potential candidates including retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, lawmaker Regina Ip, and Financial Secretary John Tsang.

According to RTHK, acting Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung will be formally appointed in place of Lam. However, acting Financial Secretary Chan Ka-keung will not replace Tsang. Instead, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po will be appointed as Financial Secretary, it said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.