Asia

No surprise: Beijing's pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong leader

  • Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)

    Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)

    Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)

    Protesters scuffle with police officers during a protest against the chief executive election in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites is casting ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The system has been criticized by pro-democracy activists as a "fake election". (Apple Daily via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A Hong Kong committee has chosen the government's former No. 2 official Carrie Lam to be the semiautonomous Chinese city's next leader.

The 1,194-member election committee picked Lam to be Hong Kong's new chief executive on Sunday. She will be the first female leader for the city and its fourth since British colonial control ended.

Her victory was no surprise because China's communist leadership had lobbied the committee, dominated by pro-Beijing elites, to support her.

Pro-democracy activists have criticized the system as a "fake" election and it was at the root of huge protests in 2014.

Lam won with 777 votes while her closest rival, former financial secretary John Tsang, got 365 votes. Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing had 21 votes.

Tsang was much more popular locally, but neither he nor Woo had Beijing's backing.