Now that Carrie Lam has emerged victorious from Hong Kong’s most recent Chief Executive election, with 777 of the 1163 Election Committee-casted votes, where does Hong Kong’s fate lie?
With “one country, two systems” increasingly encroached upon under CY Leung’s administration, will his former No. 2 official steer the Special Administrative Region in a direction towards a future of universal suffrage, rather than one in which Beijing continues to interfere in Hong Kong’s legal and judicial affairs? Unlikely.
Lam, who has been the target of opposition and criticism by pro-democracy legislators, student activists, and many Hong Kong residents for her subservience to Beijing’s Communist authority, will face significant social, political, and economic challenges in her five-year term. Aside from the deepening ideological divide in Hong Kong’s sociopolitical landscape, Lam must attempt to combat the city’s aging population, low social mobility, slowing economic growth, widening wealth gap, and stratospheric housing prices.
Under Lam’s governance it is a near guarantee that Beijing will continue to pull the strings of Hong Kong’s “autonomous” government. Despite the onset of stagnant election reform, let us hope that Lam will not simply be an ideological mouthpiece for Beijing, but rather a leader that will attempt to solve the city’s economic grievances and social challenges.
Image Credit: The New York Times