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China appoints new chief of Hong Kong liaison office

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HONG KONG: China has appointed Zheng Yanxiong, who was head of the national security office in Hong Kong, as director of its liaison office in the city, the State Council, or Cabinet, said in a notice on Saturday (Jan 14).

He replaces Luo Huining, 68, as head of Beijing’s top representative office in Hong Kong.

Zheng is among the Chinese and Hong Kong officials sanctioned by the United States after the city’s pro-democracy protests in 2019.

The 59-year-old came to prominence during a clampdown on land rights protests in a south Chinese village.

In July 2020, he was appointed as director of Hong Kong’s new Office for Safeguarding National Security, to oversee the implementation of the sweeping national security law that was enacted a month earlier.

It prescribes terms of up to life in prison for crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, heralding a more authoritarian era for China’s freest city.

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities say the law was needed to restore stability after the 2019 protests. 

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