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Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, speaks with Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying on March 12 in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

China elevates Hong Kong chief as vice chairman of top advisory body

Beijing reiterates strong opposition to independence for Taiwan and Hong Kong

CHENG TING-FANG, Nikkei staff writer | China

BEIJING -- China promoted Leung Chun-yin, the unpopular outgoing leader in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, to a key position of the nation's top political advisory body on Monday. This unprecedented move is triggering renewed debate on the erosion of the "one country, two systems" principle that was guaranteed to Hong Kong at the time of handover in 1997.

Leung was elected as vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the end of the annual meeting. He secured support from 2,066 representatives. Only 13 voted against him.

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