According to AP News, John Lee, Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official, said in an online press conference on April 9 that he would run for the upcoming May 8 leadership election to take the position of chief executive officer, considered Beijing’s preferred candidate.

The announcement came after the Chinese government approved his resignation on April 7 to join the race to replace Chief Executive Carrie Lam after completing her 5-year term in June.

Reuters quoted Lee, the city’s security chief during the 2019 anti-government protests, saying, “This will be a new symphony, and I will be the conductor.”

He stated that a new government would protect the rule of law and the city’s “one country, two systems” framework.

Lee stated, “This decision is made out of my loyalty to my country, my love for Hong Kong, and my sense of duty to the Hong Kong people.”

According to Reuters, Hong Kong media reports this week said Beijing officials want Lee to be the sole candidate and will not allow others to run against him.

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