Senior Beijing official Xia Baolong, now secretary-general at the national committee of China's top political advisory body, was promoted to director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council.
Xia is a former close aide to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and served as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief of Zhejiang Province during a crackdown on Christian churches.
"As we continue to evaluate our operation between our USA hubs and Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong, we have made a decision to extend the suspension of those flights until April 24".
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.
People take part in a'universal siege on communists rally at Chater Garden in Hong Kong Jan. 19 2020. AFP
The cabinet-level Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office is China's top policy body on Hong Kong affairs.
The choice of Luo, a Communist Party cadre known for executing Xi's anti-corruption campaign, was seen as a signal of Beijing's intention to restore order over Hong Kong after months of violent unrest opposing China's grip on the city.
HONG KONG Hotpot has become the latest casualty of the Covid-19 virus outbreak after 10 members of a family in Hong Kong became infected after sharing the dish, a beloved communal favourite during winter.
"While that may give Hong Kong "face", it is certainly going to put Hong Kong under more political pressure", Cabestan said.More news: Senate votes to limit Trump's war powers on Iran, presidential veto expected
Xia's push in 2014 and 2015 to tear down crosses on the roofs of churches in the eastern province of Zhejiang was widely criticized by the global community.
"Xia is not a moderate and he has shown himself to be a zealous servant of Xi Jinping".
Hong Kong's worldwide schools are bracing for an exodus of families from the city, with some warning they may have to shut for good after the government suspended classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The State Council said two other officials will take on deputy director roles in the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.More news: Singapore's DBS evacuates 300 staff after employee contracts coronavirus
"It's the party's tradition to make appointments first and then to start structural changes", said Gu.
Beijing also said on Thursday that it had named Luo and Fu Ziying, the director of the Macau liaison office, as new deputy directors of the HKMAO, in addition to their existing posts.
China's new Liaison Office director, Luo Huining, wrote in January in the official People's Daily of the need to "establish and ideal the national security protection legal system and executive mechanism, as well as strengthening law enforcement".More news: Apple Might Launch AirPods Pro Lite Wireless Earbuds This Year