Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong has vowed to continue with his duties, following a claim that he may be replaced.

After democrats won the District Council election by a landslide last month, a Reuters report cited an unnamed Chinese official as saying that Sai Wan’s Liaison Office had misjudged the situation in the city and its chief, Wang Zhimin, may be replaced. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the report was false.

Wang has rarely been seen in public following the election. But when meeting press at a seminar discussing the 20th anniversary of Macau’s implementation of the Basic Law, Wang sought to explain that he and the China Liaison Office team will stay put.

Wang Zhimin
Wang Zhimin. Photo: China Liaison Office screenshot.

“My colleagues and I at the Liaison Office will continue to loyally commit to the duties in Hong Kong that the central government gave us,” he said, according to a video posted on the Liaison Office’s website.

“We will not fail in terms of the concerns, support and expectations of Hong Kong compatriots. We will not fail in serving the expectations of 1.4 billion people of the motherland have in the central government’s office in Hong Kong. We will not fail in caring for the party’s central leadership with Xi Jinping as its core,” he added.

At the seminar, state leader Li Zhanshu praised Macau for fully implementing the Basic Law since its 1999 Handover.

Li Zhanshu
Li Zhanshu. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said Macau had implemented a national security law and implemented Beijing’s overall jurisdiction and Macau’s high degree of autonomy fully and organically.

Li also said Macau’s top officials – including the executive, legislative and judicial branches – were patriots, and patriotic education had been widely conducted across the city.

Li said Hong Kong had to grasp the “spirit of the central government” as well.

“The central government’s requirements for Hong Kong and Macau with regards to some work were the same,” he said.

Ho Iat-seng – Macau’s Chief Executive-designate – said last week that he did not see any lessons to learn from Hong Kong’s recent political turmoil. He added that Macaunese people “love the country and love the city”, according to RTHK.

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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.