Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam heads for Beijing as pressure mounts at home

WION Web Team New Delhi Dec 14, 2019, 11.12 AM(IST)

File photo: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government office in Beijing, China November 6, 2019.  Photograph:( Reuters )

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She will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, a Reuters report said quoting local media.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam left for Beijing on Saturday for her first visit to the Chinese capital amid speculation about changes in her leadership team following a crushing defeat in local elections last month.

Lam is expected to hold discussions about the political and economic situation in the China-ruled city with Beijing officials during a four-day visit. 

She will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, a Reuters report said quoting local media.

Hong Kong has been mired in daily and often violent protests for the last six months following demonstrations against a now-withdrawn extradition bill broadened into demands for greater democratic freedom.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched last Sunday to protest against what is seen as Beijing undermining freedoms guaranteed when the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997, a Reuters report said. 

Many young protesters are also angry at Lam's government, charging it with failing to address social inequality issues in one of the world's most expensive cities.

This week Lam said a cabinet reshuffle was not an "immediate task" and she would focus her efforts on restoring law and order to Hong Kong. Still there are doubts about how long Beijing is willing to back her. 

Especially after pro-democracy candidates won nearly 90% of the seats in district elections last month.

China has condemned the unrest and blamed foreign interference. It denies that it is meddling in Hong Kong's affairs. In an editorial this week, the official China Daily newspaper called on Hong Kong's government to uphold the rule of law.

(With inputs from Reuters)