Beijing’s new man in Hong Kong appears to be raising expectations of a change in the way the city will be managed. Although he hasn’t said anything yet to indicate he will be different than his predecessor, Luo Huining’s CV suggests he will likely bring a breath of fresh air to local politics via the Central Government’s Liaison Office.
For a start, Luo has no ties to the city, and no previous time spent within the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office bureaucracy, which means he likely has no ties to the city’s business elite. This has long been perceived as a problem for previous leaders of the Liaison Office in Hong Kong: Every time the Chief Executive gathers enough gumption to move against vested interests blocking necessary reforms, a call is made to the Liaison Office and the initiative is nipped in the bud. (We are not saying this is what happened, only that this is a widespread belief.)
Perhaps more importantly, Luo has a distinguished record of corruption-busting during two previous postings, as Party Secretary in Qinghai and Shanxi.
Luo spoke to reporters for five minutes today and didn’t take questions. He gave a cheery statement, however, saying he hopes Hong Kong can “get back on track”. That is a whole lot more constructive than if he had simply said “the violence needs to end”.
Time will tell. Read more on SCMP.