Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor scotched rumors Tuesday about an administrative reshuffle, saying restoring law and order and promoting the city's economic and social development were her immediate priorities.
Lam said she took comfort from a relatively calm and peaceful protest on Sunday.
Speaking to the press before the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Lam urged people to stop spreading rumors and speculating about a reshuffle involving principal officials and the Executive Council.
The CE said she will depart for Beijing on Saturday for her customary annual duty visit.
In Beijing, Lam said she will meet state leaders to give a comprehensive overview of the happenings in Hong Kong over the past year, as well as the work of the SAR government and its plan for the coming year.
She will also submit to state leaders what policy measures the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government needed from the central government, particularly in taking forward two national strategies on the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Lam called on the people of Hong Kong to cherish the achievements of the city's rule of law and the judicial system.
Her call was in response to "false allegations" made overseas by local politicians about human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Since its return to the country, Hong Kong has made progress both in terms of the rule of law and judicial independence and achieved a worldwide reputation, which "has not come easily," said Lam.
Lam also stressed that the government will not tolerate actions that undermine the rule of law and judicial independence, which are core values of Hong Kong. She was referring to online posts threatening harassment of judges who would rule on those under trial for criminal offenses related to anti-government protests.
The threatening posts came after the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal became targets of radicals. They hurled petrol bombs at the two courthouse buildings and lit fires at their entrances following a largely peaceful march on Sunday.
Harassment of judges will be absolutely not tolerated, said Lam.
Late Monday, two homemade bombs were found at Wah Yan College Hong Kong in Wan Chai and then defused by police.
Also on Monday, a teacher and six students were arrested on suspicion of plotting to block roads with homemade barricades, according to police.
Lam noted that it was alarming that many young people in Hong Kong had taken part in illegal activities during the demonstrations. Of 6,022 people arrested since June, 40 percent were students. The arrested students were from more than 300 secondary schools across the territory.
Lam has asked the Secretary for Education to seriously follow up the case of teachers under arrest. She also called on schools to prevent students from engaging in violence.