Hong Kong’s next leader John Lee reveals hiccups in forming cabinet, with some candidates deterred by possible foreign sanctions

Chief Executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu has opened up on efforts to form Hong Kong’s next cabinet, revealing some candidates approached were deterred by possible foreign sanctions, while he had to turn down other names put forward to him. Lee on Sunday confirmed on a radio programme he had someone in mind for the chief secretary position, the city’s No 2 spot, but declined to divulge a name as he did not want to put the individual under pressure. At a declaration signing later in the day to confirm non-affiliation to any political party, Lee also did not say if he would be travelling to Beijing to receive a certificate of appointment from state leaders. Asked at the event about top government pandemic adviser Gabriel Leung’s warning on Saturday that Hong Kong could be hit by a sixth wave of coronavirus infections in as little as two weeks, Lee said he was confident authorities would be up to the task. “I believe that the current administration will handle this well. My office will be in close communication with the Chief Executive’s Office on the arrangement of handover anniversary activities,” he said, referring to the July 1 date marking Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule 25 years ago. With less than seven weeks before he is sworn in as chief executive on July 1, Lee earlier told the radio programme he had yet to make a final decision on the composition of his team, as he was forming a candidate list and in discussion with colleagues. He noted that the ministers would face different challenges ahead, as they needed to get around foreign sanctions. John Lee vows ‘new chapter’ for Hong Kong as he wins chief executive election “They will face different pressures, given the complexities in international relations. Hong Kong has often become the target of US-China relations,” Lee said, adding some people might have reservations joining his team. “There is a little effect [from the possible sanctions]. But most of them seem to be passionate about this. I am happy to see that. “Although some candidates are also…

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