China’s Xi Backs Lam’s Leadership Amid Hong Kong Protest Chaos

Jason Scott

(Bloomberg) -- China President Xi Jinping has backed the leadership of Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam after five months of pro-democracy protests that have roiled the city, saying he has a high degree of trust in her.

During a face-to-face meeting in Shanghai on Monday, Xi told Lam that she had led the Hong Kong government in stabilizing the situation and put in a lot of hard work amid the unrest, according to a report from China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Xi told Lam, who was in Shanghai to attend the China International Import Expo, that he demanded unswerving efforts to stop and punish violent activities in accordance with the law to safeguard the well-being of the general public in Hong Kong. After she delivered a report to the president on the situation, Xi said that ending violence and chaos and restoring order remained the most important tasks in the city.

Beijing-appointed Lam remains in the job after denying media reports that the Chinese government was planning her removal after her administration failed to quell months of increasingly violent unrest.

Her introduction of legislation that would allow extraditions to mainland China sparked the months of protests against Beijing’s tightening grip over the former British colony, which continue even after the bill was withdrawn.

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