Hong Kong new leader Leung Chun-ying (L) shaking hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao during the former's inauguration ceremony in Hong Kong on July 1, 2012.
Leung Chun-ying has been sworn into office as Hong Kong’s new leader amid rising public discontent and protests over his leadership.
The 57-year-old, who took office during a ceremony in the presence of visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday, is tasked with leading the territory’s seven million people.
“If we work together, I am sure Hong Kong -- the Pearl of the Orient -- will sparkle again,” Leung said in his inauguration speech.
Emphasizing Hong Kong’s development, he added that, “I will try my best to safeguard the civil liberties of every resident, protect press freedom and defend the impartiality of the media.”
This is while Leung has already faced opposition from protesters who see him as too closely linked with Beijing.
Leung’s swearing-in ceremony comes on the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to Beijing.
Hong Kong was returned to China on June 30, 1997 after more than 150 years under the British colony.
Hong Kong’s public believes that Leung’s administration will keep on favoring a tiny elite of tycoons over ordinary citizens.
Thousands of Hong Kong people are expected to take to the streets across the territory later in the day to voice their opposition against the newly elected leader.
Each year rallies are held in the territory to demand more independence from Beijing.