Asia

HK leader given role in China's top political advisory body

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying after Leung's appointment as a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) during the closing session at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying after Leung's appointment as a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) during the closing session at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, arrives for the closing session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, arrives for the closing session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, shakes hands with Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) after the closing session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, shakes hands with Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) after the closing session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has been appointed to the ceremonial post of vice chairman of China's top political advisory body ahead of his expected departure from office in July.

Leung announced in December that he wouldn't seek a second term as leader of the Chinese-controlled territory, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

His five-year term was marked by increasingly bitter political divisions between pro-democracy activists and Beijing loyalists. Leung has said Hong Kong is an "inalienable" part of China and independence is not possible.

Members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference voted to appoint him Monday, the final day of their annual meeting. The body advises China's legislature and is made up of politicians and representatives from business and civil society.