Beijing is drawing up a strategy to eliminate Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive Carrie Lam, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, following almost five weeks of pro-democracy unrest.
The pro-Beijing leader has faced continued criticism from protesters from the semi-autonomous city.
Thus far the central authorities in Beijing have given its support to the Hong Kong authorities, calling the demonstrators”rioters” and condemning the violence.
But, sources told the paper that the strategy would be determined by the situation in town stabilizing to ensure Beijing isn’t viewed as giving in to violence.
Lam’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Hong Kong has been battered by 20 months of all protests and without a political solution in sight, clashes have intensified every month.
Before this month, Lam — that has refused to grant some significant concessions into protesters — invoked a colonial-era emergency legislation to prohibit face masks, putting off a fresh wave of protests and vandalism that closed down much of the town’s transportation network.
In case President Xi Jinping decided to proceed with the plan to eliminate Lam, ” the report stated her replacement could be set up by March.
A leaked sound recording surfaced in September of Lam stating she’d stop if she had an option — even though she stated she hadn’t considered standing down.
Lam has faced a string of political issues because the town’s legislature returned to get a new session a week.
She was not able to provide her State of the Union-style policy address following pro-democracy lawmakers repeatedly disrupted her, forcing her to send the speech using a pre-recorded video.