China yesterday appointed hardliner Zheng Yanxiong (鄭雁雄) — a Chinese Communist Party official best known for tackling protests on the mainland — to head its new national security agency in Hong Kong.
Zheng is to lead the office set up by national security legislation that empowers Chinese security agents to operate in Hong Kong openly for the first time, unbound by the territory’s laws.
The office has investigation and prosecution powers, and is to monitor intelligence related to national security and process cases, in some circumstances handing them over to the mainland for trial.
Zheng rose through the ranks of the local government in Guangdong Province to serve as secretary-general of the provincial Chinese Communist Party committee.
The 56-year-old is known as a hardliner who stamped out often-violent anti-corruption protests that erupted in Wukan, a village in the province, in 2011 after a local protester died in police custody.
“He [Zheng] is a tough enforcer, a law-and-order person,” Willy Lam (林和立), an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Centre for China Studies.
Beijing yesterday also named Hong Kong Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government Director Luo Huining (駱惠寧) as national security adviser to the territory’s new national security commission, chaired by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥).
A loyalist of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Luo has built a reputation for enforcing party discipline and tackling corruption.
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