Security official appointed to Hong Kong's No.2 post

The Chinese government has appointed principal officials for the incoming government of Hong Kong, with the territory's second highest position to be assumed by a senior security figure.

State-run Xinhua news agency says the appointments came on Sunday, with Hong Kong's "Chief Secretary for Administration" position going to Eric Chan.

Chan is currently the secretary-general of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong, which was set up after the introduction of a national security law for the territory in 2020.

The appointment of Chan who is a former immigration official, together with Hong Kong's Chief Executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu who is a former police official, apparently reflects Beijing's stance that national security is a top-priority issue.

Chan is on the list of individuals who were placed under US sanctions in 2020, along with Lee and current Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Washington accused them of undermining Hong Kong's autonomy and restricting citizens' freedom of expression and assembly.

Meanwhile, Paul Chan will remain as Financial Secretary.

Hong Kong will hold a swearing-in ceremony for Lee on July 1, when another event will mark the 25th anniversary of the territory's handover from Britain to China.

Attention is also focused on whether President Xi Jinping will attend those ceremonies in person.