Less than a month after assuming office, Chief Executive John Lee faces a major stumbling block in his much ballyhooed campaign to promote Hong Kong in the international community by “telling a good Hong Kong story.”

Even before he was handpicked by China as the sole candidate in the chief executive election on May 8, Lee spoke about countering what he called “smearing” of Hong Kong by “foreign forces” by promoting a different narrative.

In his inaugural address July 1, Lee praised the 2020 National Security Law imposed by Beijing for having enabled Hong Kong to end the chaos that began in 2019 and restore order. Others, on the other hand, see the China-drafted legislation as responsible for narrowing Hong Kong’s autonomy and eroding its people’s rights and freedoms.