China appointed a hardliner involved in a clamp down against protests on the mainland as the head of Hong Kong’s new security agency on Friday, state media said, days after imposing a sweeping law on the territory that
Zheng Yanxiong will take the helm of the controversial national security agency, a new office set up under the legislation that empowers mainland security agents to operate inside Hong Kong openly for the first time, unbound by the city’s laws.
The office -- which has investigative and prosecutory powers -- will monitor intelligence related to national security and process cases, in some circumstances handing them over to the mainland for trial, according to the law.
Zheng rose through the ranks of the local government in southern Guangdong province which borders Hong Kong, to serve as secretary general of the provincial Communist Party committee. The 56-year-old is known as a hardliner who stamped out often-violent anti-corruption protests that erupted in Wukan, a village in the province, in 2011 after a local activist died in
“He is a tough enforcer, a law and order person,” Willy Lam, an expert on China’s Communist Party at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told AFP.
Lam said Zheng could speak Cantonese, Hong Kong’s lingua franca, unlike other recent appointments of senior party officials who deal with Hong Kong.
“His experience in cracking down on riots in Guangdong will endear him to the authorities,” he added.
BEIJING AFP July3, 2020