Luo Huining will take over from Wang Zhimin as the Hong Kong liaison office director, the government said late Saturday in a two-sentence statement that did not elaborate on the changes in the semi-autonomous financial hub.
With protests in Hong Kong now reaching past the half-year mark with no signs yet of abating, Bloomberg has reported that some Hong Kong parents are looking at sending their children to Singaporean schools. Hong Kong media quote experts as saying his unusually short stint indicates China's top leaders were dissatisfied with the analysis by the liaison office of the months-long protests in the territory. While the polls were for what's considered to be the lowest rung of the city's government, the results signaled a rebuke of Beijing and demonstrated underlying public dissatisfaction with Chief Executive Carrie Lam's administration.
Luo gave a conciliatory tone and said that Hong Kong had made an "important contribution to the opening and modernization (of China)".
Luo's resume includes work in three Chinese mainland provinces - including Shanxi in the north, central China's Anhui, and the far-flung western province of Qinghai - all with comparably weaker economies.
Thousands of people marched through a Hong Kong border town on Sunday to oppose traders from mainland China.
Other than withdrawing the extradition bill, the Hong Kong government has rejected all demands while reiterating its resolve to restore social order, first and foremost.
Luo said the situation in Hong Kong over the past six months was worrying: "We all eagerly hope Hong Kong can return to the right track".
She also thanked Wang, who had served for years in a number of positions at the Liaison Office before his appointment as its director, for giving her government "staunch support" and "a lot of confidence and encouragement" during the crisis.
Hong Kong's unrest is the biggest political challenge facing Xi since becoming president in 2012.
Lam's administration proposed a bill a year ago that would have allowed extraditions to China for the first time, prompting the protests.
Mr Luo said the "one country, two systems" type of governance that guarantees Hong Kong freedoms not available on the mainland was the city's greatest advantage and that the basic law, the city's mini-constitution, will be "fully implemented". Xi asked. "I sincerely wish Hong Kong well".