Chief Executive Carrie Lam has denied a report that she will be replaced by Beijing next March.

When asked about a Financial Times report during a press briefing on Tuesday, Lam dismissed the claim as a rumour and said the Chinese Foreign Ministry had already denied it.

Carrie Lam. Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

“The central government has been very supportive and remains confident that I myself, my political team and the HKSAR government, particularly the police, will be able to handle the situation, end violence and return Hong Kong to normal as soon as possible,” she said.

The embattled leader also denied claims by Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah that she met with “violent protesters” for a comprehensive discussion: “No participants have told me they have undertaken such acts,” she said.

Mass protests, initially against a now-withdrawn extradition bill, have entered their 21st week and evolved into a wider movement seeking democracy and accountability over alleged police brutality.

Lam thanked the police for their tough work during the ongoing protests.

Photo: Studio Incendo.

“I must of course support the police for enforcing the law,” she said.

Doxxing officers

Lam told reporters that it was the responsibility of the secretary for justice and the police commissioner to apply for an injunction against the release of police officers’ personal information after more than 2,000 officers and their families were doxxed.

“There is also no dispute that the main target of this doxxing [are] the police,” she said.

Lam was also asked about murder suspect Chan Tong-kai, whose case sparked the extradition law crisis. Chan admitted to murdering his girlfriend in Taipei before fleeing back to Hong Kong last year. Though he served a sentence for a related crime, Hong Kong was unable to charge him with murder.

Chan Tong-kai is released from prison on October 23. Photo: Stand News.

Chan has said that he wishes to surrender himself to Taiwan with the help of the Hong Kong government, but Taipei has claimed that the transfer is a political plot designed by Hong Kong to undermine its sovereignty.

On Tuesday, Lam said that – according to Reverend Peter Koon who is assisting Chan – a decision has yet to be finalised over his surrender, since Chan and his family are receiving confusing information about the situation. “I do not know when will he leave Hong Kong and go to Taiwan,” she said.

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Kris Cheng

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.