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Monday, December 12, 2016, 22:45

Financial Secretary John Tsang resigns

By Luis Liu

Financial Secretary John Tsang resigns
Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region John Tsang Chun-wah meets the media at Central Government Office on Dec 12, 2016. John Tsang resigned from his post earlier in the day. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah resigned from his post on Monday.

The city’s Chief Executive (CE) Leung Chun-ying had received Tsang’s resignation and submitted it to the central government for approval, a Hong Kong government statement said Monday afternoon.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury K.C. Chan will be the acting financial secretary

Tsang will go on leave from Tuesday. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Ceajer Chan Ka-keung will be the acting financial secretary during the interim.

In a special press briefing Monday evening, Tsang, 65, expressed his gratitude to the central government, the incumbent CE Leung and two former chief executives – Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen – for their support and encouragement during his years in the government.

John Tsang also thanked the civil servants and Hong Kong people.

He said he will consider thoroughly whether or not to run in the Chief Executive election next year.

Born in Hong Kong, Tsang moved to the United States with his family at the age of 13. He moved back to Hong Kong in the 1980s and joined the Hong Kong government.

After serving in several government departments, he was nominated as the city’s financial secretary in 2007 by former chief executive Donald Tsang and had taken up the post ever since.

During his time in office, John Tsang submitted nine annual budgets which were often associated with sweeteners – surplus revenue distributed by the government to boost the economy.

His resignation came after Leung announced on Friday that he would not seek reelection in 2017 due to family reasons.

Also following Leung’s announcement, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Saturday that she would reconsider the possibility of running for the CE post due to the “dramatic changes” brought by Leung’s decision.

Legislator and former secretary for security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee had also expressed willingness to join the race. According to earlier news reports, it is understood that Ip will hold a press conference later this week to announce her decision.

On Oct 27, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing became the first to throw his hat in the ring for the CE election in March 2017.

A new term of the 1,200-strong Election Committee, which is responsible for choosing the city’s top leader, was formed on Monday, after elections of the committee’s various sub-sectors were successfully conducted with a historic high turnout rate of 46 percent.

The CE election will take place on March 26, 2017, and the winner will assume office about three months later.

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