Former adviser to the Hong Kong government Lau Siu-kai said Wednesday that Beijing has a preference for candidate Carrie Lam in the chief executive election.

He said China’s No.3 official Zhang Dejiang recently disclosed Beijing’s position during the annual “two meetings” of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – China’s top advisory body.

lau siu kai
Lau Siu-kai. File

“Zhang made it very clear, especially when he spoke about Beijing’s trust and protecting national security and interests… Anyone, especially the Election Committee members, could tell Zhang was hinting that Beijing prefers Carrie Lam,” Lau told i-Cable in Beijing.

“Lam is more politically loyal and capable. She also has a sense of responsibility when it comes to major issues.”

The adviser said Beijing likely drew the conclusion after observing Lam and rival John Tsang over a long period of time.

He added that even though the election will be conducted through a secret ballot, he believed most of the 1,194 Election Committee members would cast their vote bearing in mind the condition that the city’s leader must be trusted by Beijing.

carrie lam
Carrie Lam. , via Facebook.

“If Beijing does not fully trust the chief executive, it may result in ineffective governance, conflicts between Hong Kong and the central government, and Beijing’s refusal to provide policies beneficial to Hong Kong,” he warned.

Lau is the vice chair of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, a semi-official advisory body for the Chinese government.

The small-circle chief executive election is scheduled for March 26. Ex-judge Woo Kwok-hing is also in the running.

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Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.