Hong Kong’s first female CE Carrie Lam sworn in by President Xi Jinping, as city marks 20 years since handover

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China’s President Xi Jinping has inaugurated the new Hong Kong administration led by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the first woman to lead the city.

Lam, clad in a pink cheongsam and a long white coat, pledged to uphold the Basic Law and also pledged allegiance to the country.

In her inaugural speech, Lam vowed to repay the trust and support of the people and the central government’s support with “with diligence and achievements”.

“It is with a humble heart that I accept this greatest honour of my life and prepare to take on the greatest challenge in my public service career,” Lam said.

“To accurately and comprehensively fulfil my duties as chief executive, I will resolutely do everything within my ability to implement the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, uphold the Basic Law, defend the rule of law, and promote a deep and positive relationship between the central government and the Hong Kong SAR.

“I will, as I always have, rise to these challenges and firmly take actions in accordance with the law against any acts that will undermine the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” she vowed, in front of Xi, and some 2,000 guests.

She reiterated that her election campaign had helped her to better understand the business sector and young people’s worries, and she promised to rebuild social harmony and trust.

Lam gave her 12-minute speech predominantly in Putonghua, but switched to Cantonese as she quoted the lyrics of Sail On, the theme song of the “Hong Kong: Our Home” public participation campaign she spearheaded as chief secretary in 2013.

“There is a world we can go [to], there are bright spots in life. Soaring above the busy harbour and bustling city, lies narrow heritage lanes filled with love and passion. Everyone feels lost sometimes, but we won’t give up hope; we embrace all who show us trust in their eyes. All you need is to see me by your side, caring for you, all the way,” she said.

Read more at SCMP