Luo Huining was appointed as the new head of Beijing’s liason office in Hong Kong. Huining stated that he hoped Hong Kong would one day return to the ‘correct path’.
Luo Huining’s appointment is seen as a sign of Beijing’s frustration with how his predecessor, Wang Zhimin, handled the crisis and makes Wang the shortest serving liaison office director since the city’s 1997 return to Chinese rule.
The liaison office, which reports to China’s State Council or cabinet, is a platform for Beijing to project its influence in the city.
In November, Reuters reported exclusively that Beijing was considering replacements for Wang, who had come under criticism for failing to foresee the public reaction to a now-withdrawn extradition bill or adequately report upwards on the sentiment on the ground.
Unlike Wang, who worked at China’s state news agency and within the liaison office before taking its helm, Luo has no prior experience in Hong Kong, a point he was keen to address in his first remarks to the media after taking office.