March 13, 2005


Interim Leader Named to Take Over in Hong Kong (Mark Magnier, March 13, 2005, LA Times)

Career civil servant Donald Tsang was named Hong Kong's interim chief executive Saturday, replacing the unpopular Tung Chee-hwa, who stepped down citing health reasons. [...]

Many in Hong Kong believe that authorities will use the next two years to test Tsang's loyalty and performance before deciding whether to install him for a full five-year term.

At a news conference Saturday, Tsang touched on two challenges he faces: gaining Beijing's confidence and calming pro-democracy critics.

He told reporters that Hong Kong "would spare no effort" to help unify Taiwan and the mainland. Taiwan split from China in 1949 after a civil war. Beijing sees Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" formula as a model for unification with Taiwan.

Tsang also acknowledged the concerns of critics who say that under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the next leader should serve a five-year term.

"If there is any challenge, we will meet the challenge," Tsang said. "My task is to conduct the elections fairly and in strict accordance with the law…. I am not thinking about anything else."

"Tsang will try his best, but the problem isn't his ability, it's the position he's in between Beijing and Hong Kong people," said Liu Ruishao, a Hong Kong commentator.

The big question is whether Chang is Gorbachev or Jaruszelski. X seems to think he's the former, unfortunately.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 13, 2005 9:02 AM
Comments for this post are closed.