John Lee was sworn in on Friday as Hong Kong’s new chief executive at a ceremony officiated by President Xi Jinping, as the city celebrated the 25th year of its return to Chinese rule.
In a speech at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre following his inauguration, Lee thanked the central government and Hong Kong people for their trust, and pledged to build a caring and inclusive Hong Kong full of vibrancy and development opportunities.
"It is the greatest honour for me today to shoulder this historical mission given to me by the central authorities and the people of Hong Kong. I know well the great responsibility that comes with it," he said.
"I will strive to comprehensively and accurately implement the principles of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and high degree of autonomy, to safeguard the constitutional order of the Hong Kong SAR as defined under the Constitution and the Basic Law, to safeguard our country's sovereignty, national security and development interests, and to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong."
The new leader noted that Hong Kong had made numerous achievements in the past 25 years and also encountered different challenges. including the global financial crisis, the illegal Occupy movement in 2014, the riots and violence in 2019 and the Covid pandemic.
"Thanks to the full support of the central authorities, the vitality and strength of the One Country, Two Systems principle, as well as Hong Kong citizens' diligence and determination to seek improvements, Hong Kong succeeded in overcoming each and every challenge and moving forward to scale new heights," he said.
Lee added that the national security law has enabled the city to undergo a transformation from chaos to order, while electoral reforms have ensured that only patriots govern the city.
He said the next five years will be key for the city to undergo another transformation from order to prosperity, and the SAR administration will strive to resolve issues facing society in a practical manner, and with a proactive and results-oriented approach.
"Even if we may only solve one problem a day, without making such small steps it is simply impossible to get to faraway places. Through perseverance we shall succeed."
John Lee's cabinet as well as the new Executive Council members also took their oaths of office.