In Hong Kong, a Weakened Chief Executive Opens the Door to Beijing

In Hong Kong, a Weakened Chief Executive Opens the Door to Beijing

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who has faced mounting public discontent with his rule since winning office six months ago in an election in which most of Hong Kong’s citizens could not vote.

Leung is facing deepening controversy over questions concerning his personal integrity. Protesters at the New Year’s Day demonstrations demanded he step down, spurred by the news that Leung had made unauthorized additions to his $64 million home and concealed this fact during his election campaign. Henry Tang, Leung’s primary opponent and the early favorite in last year’s election, suffered a stunning reversal after being forced to admit that he had made illegal additions to his own house.

Mei Gechlik, director of the China Guiding Cases Project at Stanford Law School, said it is widely believed that Leung would never have become chief executive had the revelations about Tang not emerged.

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