Hong Kong’s new govt retains finance chief in sign of continuity

HONG KONG, June 19 (Reuters) – China unveiled on Sunday new top officials in Hong Kong under incoming leader John Lee, who vowed to take the global financial hub to fresh heights, while shrugging off concerns about sanctions the United States has imposed on him.

In a sign of continuity for the financial industry, which had watched the appointment closely, Finance Secretary Paul Chan, who is free of U.S. sanctions, is to retain his post in the Chinese-ruled territory.

Hong Kong’s new justice secretary will be Paul Lam, taking the place of Teresa Cheng, while Eric Chan becomes the new chief secretary, or No. 2 official, said the official news agency, Xinhua, and the territory’s government.

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Lee, the former deputy leader of Hong Kong, will be sworn in to replace Chief Executive Carrie Lam on July 1, a day after the end of her five-year term.

Lam oversaw one of the territory’s most tumultuous periods, featuring pro-democracy demonstrations, a sweeping new national security law and the battle against the coronavirus.

“The next five years will be a crucial time for Hong Kong to advance from stability to prosperity,” Lee told a news conference.

“We will be proactive in winning the trust of the people … My team and I will rise to the challenges leading Hong Kong.”

Some Hong Kong media have said President Xi Jinping is expected to attend Lee’s swearing-in ceremony in Hong Kong, but it was not confirmed if senior mainland…

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