China‘s President Xi Jinping on Monday told embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam he has a high degree of confidence in her and fully recognises the work she and her team have done, state media reported.
The Chinese leader said the Hong Kong government had done a lot of hard work to control the volatile situation with pro-democracy demonstrators and improve sentiment in society, the Xinhua news agency said.
Stopping violence and chaos and restoring order continue to be the top priorities for Hong Kong, Xi told Lam in Shanghai, where she was attending the second China International Import Expo.
Xi said the central government “fully recognises” and “highly trusts” the work of Lam and her administration after the last five months of unrest in the city.
At the same time, Xi stated his hopes for citizens from “all walks of life” in Hong Kong to accurately implement the policies under the so-called “one country, two systems” principle, which allows the former
British colony greater autonomy than the mainland, to stabilise the territory’s economic growth.
Pro-democracy protesters are campaigning against what they see as Chinese meddling with the freedoms promised when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
China denies doing so and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble.
Hong Kong entered its 22nd week of protests over a now-scrapped extradition bill proposed by the government, which drew widespread condemnation. Demonstrations have now morphed into
greater calls for democratic reform in the city, including the police amid accusations of brutality against protesters.
Once considered one of the region’s most respected police forces, it has become one of the territory’s most controversial institutions, undoing decades of work to secure public trust.
Internal police documents obtained by legislators and seen by Al Jazeera show that since September the Hong Kong police force has lowered its threshold for the use of force.