CHONGQING – In his first speech as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, former policeman John Lee pledged with a “humble heart” to start a new chapter for the financial hub, drawing a line under the past 25 years.

If the symbolism-filled ceremony attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping was any indication, Beijing is likely to make its presence felt more regularly in the territory’s governance, making more effort to integrate the territory with the mainland economically and culturally, and creating greater opportunities for the city’s residents.