Hong Kong’s next leader wants to make life easier for pupils

The old Carrie Lam

THE leader of Hong Kong, Leung Chung-ying, will not be widely missed when he steps down at the end of June, especially by the young. His five-year term has been dogged throughout by student-led protests. In 2012 thousands of high-school pupils demonstrated against what they saw as an effort to teach them to love the Chinese Communist Party (“national education”, as the government called it). Leaders of the campaign were back on the streets again two years later demanding full democracy. Their “Umbrella Movement” was the biggest act of civil disobedience in the territory’s history and spawned new groups demanding “self-determination” for Hong Kong.

No wonder, then, that Carrie Lam, who was chosen in March to succeed Mr Leung, is trying to win over the territory’s youth. To be successful, she cannot be seen as another Mr Leung. That will be tricky. In her previous role as Hong Kong’s top civil servant, she had to implement his policies—and, by extension, those of the party in Beijing. Mrs Lam is widely remembered for her obduracy in a televised debate with student leaders during the Umbrella unrest (protesters…Continue reading

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