China has nominated former Hong Kong police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung to be the next leader of the United Nations organisation fighting drug crimes.
If chosen, Tsang would become the executive director at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. He would be the second Hongkonger that Beijing has put forward to lead a major UN branch. China had also nominated Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun,
who was director general of the World Health Organisation from 2007 to 2017.
Tsang, 61, who led the Hong Kong Police Force during the Occupy Central protests in 2014, could not be reached for comment.
Tsang retired from the police department in 2015. He has been a controversial figure in Hong Kong because of his tough approach to handling protests, most notably during Occupy Central, also known as the “Umbrella Movement”, in 2014.
His policies earned him the nickname “the Vulture”.
Tsang was commissioner of the police force at the time, when tear gas was fired into the largely peaceful crowds calling for greater democracy in the city.
Former Young Post reporter Ariel Conant, who was there that night, wrote: “Watching that canister shoot past my leg, and feeling my lungs burning was an experience I never thought I’d have, and would never want to repeat.”
During Tsang’s time in office, Hong Kong crime rates dropped to their lowest levels since 1997. Tsang also reformed the police department’s anti-terrorism units.
After his retirement from the police department, he swiftly attained jobs on the national level, first as a delegate to a body advising the Beijing government, then, two months ago, as a deputy director of the mainland’s leading anti-drugs organisation.