Jan. 4 (UPI) -- China replaced its liaison to Hong Kong on Saturday amid months of protests in the special administrative region over its relations with the mainland.
Beijing's State Council appointed Luo Huining as director of the Liaison Office in Hong Kong, ousting Wang Zhimin.
Luo was previously the Communist Party secretary for Shanxi province.
The New York Times reported Wang faced criticism for failing to anticipate protests in reaction to a proposed extradition bill.
Protests first erupted in Hong Kong in June over the now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed for some refugees of Chinese law to be transferred to the mainland to face Communist Party courts. However, following accusations of police brutality, the movement evolved into a wider pro-democracy push that has persisted for seven months.
Beijing also faced losses in November district council elections, with pro-democracy candidates winning 87 percent of seats. Wang made no efforts to stop the elections.
"The massive defeat of the pro-establishment camp at the district council elections sealed his fate, but I think even before then, they had decided to remove him because he repeatedly failed to predict the mood of the city," Willy Lam, an expert in Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told the Times.
Wang was the first Chinese official to lose his job amid the seven months of discord.