The Financial Times is reporting that “The Chinese government is drawing up a plan to replace Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s leader, with an “interim” chief executive following violent protests against her administration, according to people briefed on the deliberations … [and] … The people said that if Xi Jinping, China’s president, decided to go ahead, Ms Lam’s successor would be installed by March and cover the remainder of her term, which ends in 2022. They would not necessarily stay on for a full five-year term afterwards.“
The report also says that “Leading candidates to succeed Ms Lam include Norman Chan, former head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Henry Tang, son of a textile magnate who has also served as the territory’s financial secretary and chief secretary for administration … [and] … The protest movement, now in its fifth month, is seen as the most serious challenge to Communist party authority on Chinese soil in three decades. Protesters say they will not stop until the territory’s chief executive and legislators are chosen through democratic elections … [but] … Chinese officials want the situation to stabilise before making a final decision on whether to proceed with a leadership change, as they don’t want to be seen to be giving in to violence, according to the people briefed on the discussions.“
As I have said before, I think this is an essential first step. I believe that Ms Lam should be allowed to resign, gracefully, for medical reasons ~ I’m sure she’s under enormous mental and physical stress ~ and she and her family should go the United Kingdom for medical care … for an indefinite period.