President Xi Jinping has installed a key ally as head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, demoting the current director, Zhang Xiaoming.
Xia Baolong, vice-chairman of the CPPCC and former Party Secretary of Zhejiang province, has taken over with immediate effect, while Zhang has been “reappointed” as deputy director in charge of daily operations, according to an official statement.
The heads of the two Liaison Offices, Luo Huining (Hong Kong) and Fu Ziying (Macau), will also serve as deputy directors of the HKMAO.
Xia Baolong was born and grew up in Tianjin, where he rose to the position of deputy mayor. Between 1999 and 2003 he studied political economics at Peking University, after which he was appointed as Deputy Party Secretary of Zhejiang, serving under the party chief who was later to become President.
Xia became the province’s party chief in 2012, and was appointed to the CPPCC post in 2018.
SCMP has more on the appointment.