Carrie Lam advises against Hong Kong challenging mainland China

By staff writer and Ben Pang

HK chief executive-elect says the Causeway Bay bookseller case was done following with the mainland’s system

By staff writer and Ben Pang |

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Pro-democracy demonstrators burn a letter next to pictures of the missing booksellers last year.

Moves to challenge the Chinese government over the detention of Hong Kong booksellers on the mainland was inappropriate, chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

“It would not be appropriate to go into the mainland or challenge what happens on the mainland”, Lam told CNN on Friday. She added that the case had to be done “in accordance with the mainland’s system”.

Lam admitted the case had raised concerns about the deterioration of the “one country, two systems” rule, however.

In 2015, five booksellers from Causeway Bay Books – known for its books criticising of the mainland government – mysteriously disappeared and were later found in mainland custody.

All booksellers, except Gui Minhai, “returned” to the city. Gui is the only one still being detained in the eastern city of Ningbo.

The incident raised concerns over the city’s freedom and autonomy.

Hong Kong Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he was disappointed over Lam’s comments. “The core problem of this case was whether the mainland officers executed their duties in the city. I believe the Hong Kong government should have investigated if this is the case instead of following the ‘mainland’s systems’,” he said.

Edited by Andrew McNicol