Expecting Hong Kong leader John Lee was approved for the city’s top post on Sunday (May 8th) by a committee made up of Beijing supporters as the financial center tries to rebuild itself after years of political turmoil.

Lee, the only candidate, received the votes of 1,416 members of the Pro-Beijing Electoral Committee on Sunday morning, giving him the majority needed to appoint him as Hong Kong’s next leader. Eight voted “not to support” him.

Speaking afterwards, Lee said his “historic mission” was to lead a new chapter for Hong Kong, while promising to unite the city and preserve Hong Kong’s international status as an open and more competitive financial hub connecting China and the world.

Few of the city’s 7.4 million residents have the right to choose their leader, despite China’s promises to one day give full democracy to the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hong Kong residents have mixed feelings about the election of a new leader

Hong Kong’s only candidate for chief executive, John Lee, was approved on Sunday by a committee made up of Beijing supporters, and locals had mixed feelings about their next leader.

One local woman named Kwok said she has modest expectations of the new administration, but hopes they will be able to improve the economy and help people facing economic hardship.

Another resident named Ho was pleased to learn that Lee had been elected the new head of the former British colony by more than 90% of the electoral committee, and congratulated him.

Lee, a former Hong Kong security minister, forcibly imposed a tougher Chinese regime under the National Security Act and is due to step down from incumbent leader Kerry Lam on July 1.

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