Statement on the appointment of Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee

May 9, 2022


The appointment of John Lee as Hong Kong Chief Executive through a so-called election in which less than 0.2% of the Hong Kong population took part highlights the contempt with which the Chinese government views Hong Kong’s democratic ambitions. Lee was the sole candidate in a strictly vetted “patriots-only election” with only members of the small, pro-Beijing election committee able to cast a vote.

As Deputy Secretary for Security, Lee was responsible for the shocking police brutality that accompanied the crackdown against the pro-democracy protests in 2019. Under the leadership of his predecessor, Carrie Lam, Lee has overseen the enforcement of the Hong Kong National Security Law, which has outlawed nearly all forms of political opposition in the city. Lee was sanctioned by the US government in 2020 for his role in undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting its citizens’ freedom of expression and association through the National Security Law.

Lee’s farce election is a further insult to the people of Hong Kong, whose right to vote and to stand for election are enshrined in the city’s Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. His plans to bring forward further national security legislation are deeply troubling, with previous proposals including no time limits on prosecutions for sedition charges and further criminalisation of ‘thought crimes’.

We, as Co-Chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, call on our governments to place sanctions on John Lee, his predecessor Carrie Lam and all others who have denied Hong Kong its autonomy and fundamental freedoms. The Chinese government’s failure to abide by international law on Hong Kong must be held to account.


Senator André Gattolin⁩ (France)

⁨Cătălin Teniță MP⁩ (Romania)

Fatmir Mediu MP (Albania)

⁨Žygimantas Pavilionis MP (Lithuania)

Representative Samuel Cogolati (Belgium)

Tom van der Lee MP (Netherlands)

Uffe Elbaek MP (Denmark)

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma MP (Netherlands)

Senator Malcolm Byrne (Ireland)

Michael Brand MdB (Germany)

Reinhard Bütikofer MEP (European Parliament)

Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP (United Kingdom)

Guri Melby MP (Norway)

Senator Pavel Fischer (Czechia)

Senator Barry Ward (Ireland)

Simon O’Connor MP (New Zealand)

Ingrid Leary MP (New Zealand)

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Canada)

Miriam Lexmann MEP (European Parliament)

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