China replaces head of its Hong Kong and Macau affairs office

China has replaced the head of its office overseeing matters in Hong Kong, making him the most senior Beijing-appointed official to lose his job in the wake of sometimes-violent anti-government protests in the Chinese-controlled territory. China’s Human Resources Ministry announced on Thursday that Zhang Xiaoming would be removed as director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), to be replaced by Xia Baolong, a 67-year-old vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Hong Kong has been roiled by more than seven months of protests over an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

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