China replaces its top official in Hong Kong over continued pro-democracy protests

China today replaced its top official in Hong Kong, days after President Xi Jinping expressed concern over the continued pro-democracy protests.

According to an official media report, Wang Zhimin, the director of its liaison office in Hong Kong, who coordinates between the local government of the former British colony and the central government in Beijing, has been replaced.

Wang was replaced by Luo Huining, the former party boss of Shaanxi province, in the first major reshuffle of the office since the anti-government protests that started seven months ago. Luo’s appointment came as a surprise as he was named the deputy director of the financial and economic affairs committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature just a week ago.

China’s liaison office in Hong Kong is the symbol of Beijing’s authority. However, it has also become a centre of pro-democracy protests where the protesters have burnt the Chinese flag.

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