A tough former policeman and security chief, John Lee has been selected as Hong Kong’s next leader by a largely pro-Beijing committee of lawmakers and industry representatives on May 8. During the 2019 pro-democracy protests and the implementation of the National Security Law the following year, Lee was the city’s top security official. He was sanctioned by the Trump administration for his role in undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. In April 2022, YouTube shut down Lee’s account citing his link to US sanctions. The move was slammed by both Beijing and the Hong Kong government which expressed “extreme outrage at any form of interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong by foreign forces.” CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout profiles Lee, Hong Kong’s sole leadership candidate on the cusp of becoming the first security official to run the city since its handover from Britain to Beijing 25 years ago.