Political commentator Johnny Lau said on Saturday that he doesn't think the departure of Wang Zhimin as director of the liaison office heralds any significant shift in Beijing's policy on Hong Kong.
Lau told RTHK that he believes the central government replaced Wang because the SAR's protests have lasted so long, and it is also in response to the United States passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
He said Beijing was no doubt unhappy with Wang's work, but his removal is unlikely to be followed by fundamental changes to the central government's hardline policy on the territory.
Lau noted that Wang, 62, hasn't reached retirement age for his rank yet, so it remains to be seen whether his political career is over or not.
Wang's successor has been named as Luo Huining, 65, who is a former Communist Party secretary of Shanxi province.
Lau said given Luo's past leadership roles and experience in economic affairs, he thinks Beijing may be looking at doing more to improve Hong Kong's economy and work on livelihood issues, as well as promoting further economic integration of the SAR with the mainland.