China's Xi gives backing to embattled Hong Kong leader

HONG KONG Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:02pm IST

Leader of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping waits to greet former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in room 202 of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Ed Jones/Pool

Leader of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping waits to greet former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in room 202 of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing December 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Ed Jones/Pool

Related Topics

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping gave his backing on Thursday to Hong Kong's embattled leader, Leung Chun-ying, who is under heavy criticism in the territory over unauthorised building works at his home.

Leung narrowly survived a motion of no-confidence this month over the structures at his home that have undermined his integrity and triggered calls for a mass protest on January 1 to lobby for his resignation.

At a meeting in Beijing, Xi appeared to throw his support behind Leung, who was anointed for Hong Kong's top job after being selected by a small body of mostly pro-Beijing elites earlier this year.

"The (Hong Kong) government has done concrete work, it has been proactive and its responsibilities are heavy. The central government endorses the work of the (Hong Kong) government," Xi said in remarks carried on Hong Kong's Cable TV.

Xi added that China's new leadership will not change broad policy directions for Hong Kong and Macau and would uphold the "one country, two systems" principle under which the two territories are allowed to run its own affairs.

Hong Kong and Macau returned to Chinese rule in 1997 and 1999 and promised a high level of autonomy.

Beijing-backed Leung was criticised by pro-democracy lawmakers this month for failing to give a clear account of building works in his hilltop mansion - something he seized upon to oust his rival Henry Tang, when both ran for Hong Kong's chief executive post this year.

In space-starved Hong Kong, embellishments to homes are common to maximise living space, but similar violations have ensnared several prominent officials over the past year.

Leung has endured a difficult half year, wrestling with issues ranging from high property prices and perceived interference from China over education, to grassroots resentment caused by a tide of Chinese visitors and pregnant mainland women cramming maternity wards to gain local citizenship.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Expanding Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

U.S. in Afghanistan

U.S. in Afghanistan

Obama signs order expanding U.S. Afghanistan role - NY Times  Full Article 

Portugal Graft Case

Portugal Graft Case

Portuguese police arrest ex-PM Socrates in corruption investigation  Full Article 

Islamic State

Islamic State

Canadian vets plan to join Kurdish fight against Islamic State.  Full Article 

Rewriting History

Rewriting History

Fears grow about Hindu "Modi-fication" of education.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

International Ebola fight helping but more work needed - U.N. chief  Full Article 

Nuclear Iran

Nuclear Iran

U.S., Iran discussing new ideas to break nuclear impasse - sources  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage