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Hong Kong : Carrie Lam, a woman, tenacious in the face of the chinese giant

She is the first woman to lead the Hong Kong government, 20 years after the retrocession of this economic power by the United Kingdom to China. But the task is already very complex for Carrie Lam, who was sworn in on July 1, in the presence of the chinese president Xi Jinping. The former deputy head of the outgoing government, Leung Chun-ying, will have to do everything to appease the political tensions are very present in Hong Kong. Its opponents fear that it will aggravate the fault lines in the former british colony.

Followers of Carrie Lam praise, for their part, his tenacity and his skills. Aged 60, this mother of two children, had a career in public service before entering politics. She said Saturday in his inaugural speech that she had reached the most important moment of his life, speaking of a ” huge challenge “. The unpopularity of Leung Chun-ying, who was accused by his critics of be the puppet of Beijing, and brought great credit to Carrie Lam.

A popularity low

Hated by the camp democrat, she is accused by its critics of being the “nurse” of the former head of the government (” lai-ma ” in cantonese) because of its loyalty to the latter. This negative image was reinforced when Carrie Lam was supported, in 2014, a reform project championed by Beijing, decried by the opposition as belonging to the ” false democracy “. This project was precipitated into the street, tens of thousands of people to demand genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Beijing had, however, nothing dropped.

In the countryside, it is presented as the architect of change, focusing on issues such as poverty and housing which also feed the dissatisfaction in the former british colony returned 20 years ago to the day in the lap of China. Born in a humble family of five children in the district of Wanchai (downtown), it was nowhere near as popular in the polls that the former Finance minister John Tsang. But this was of no consequence on his election as the chief executive is appointed by an electoral college acquired in Beijing.

Carrie Lam was seen as the candidate of the regime , and thus heavily favored. When she had left him, in January, his position of assistant to campaign, his resignation had been approved rapidly by China. Beijing had, however, put more than a month to accept the resignation of John Tsang.

“Healing the fractures “

During his speech Saturday, the new head of the Hong Kong government has pointed to Xi Jinping as the former british colony had benefited greatly from the support of China. “As long as we remain united, I have no doubt of the fact that Hong Kong will go even higher “, she said. After his election, she had lamented that Hong Kong ” suffers from divisions serious “. “My priority is to heal these fractures “, she had launched after its victory, emphasizing also that there could be no place for the independence claims issued by young activists tormented by the failure of the movement 2014.

Carrie Lam has suffered a few mishaps in attempting to present an image of a woman of the people. When she took the metro during the campaign, it seemed that she was unaware of the use of the Octopus card, hong Kong people are used in all transport and in many shops. She was also mocked after a story he told to the press on a mission that night to buy toilet paper, which showed that she did not know where to get basic food in a city that is full of supermarkets and convenience stores.

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