Donald Tsang

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Donald Tsang Yam Kuen GBM JP KBE (Chinese: 曾蔭權, born 1944) is currently the Chief Executive of Hong Kong and former career civil servant. He joined the Chief Executive byelection 2005. On June 16, 2005, he was declared winner as the only qualified candidate. He was appointed by the Central People's Government as the Chief Executive on June 21, 2005.

Tsang was the second Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong SAR. As Chief Secretary he served as acting Chief Executive until May 25, 2005, following Tung Chee Hwa's resignation on March 12, 2005. He resigned as Chief Secretary on the afternoon of May 25, after the Chief Executive Election (Amendment) (Term of Office of the Chief Executive) Bill was passed at the Legislative Council, and went on leave. Financial Secretary Henry Tang took up as acting Chief Executive. His resignation was accepted by the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China on June 2, 2005.

Tsang has been dubbed Bow-Tie Tsang (煲呔曾) because of his habit of wearing a bow tie.

Tsang is married with two sons. His younger brother, Tsang Yam Pui, was the Police Commissioner of Hong Kong until December 2003, and had been a career police officer who worked his way through the ranks from inspector. He is a devout Roman Catholic.


Early life

Tsang was born in Hong Kong in October, 1944. His father was a police officer, Donald Tsang being the eldest. After completing his secondary education at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong in 1964, he worked briefly as a salesman before joining the civil service.

Civil service

He joined the civil service in January 1967, and he has held positions in many different government departments, ranging from finance and trade to policies relating to the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China.

From 1981 to 1982 Tsang studied in the United States, where he completed a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He has also received honorary doctorates from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong.

Born October 7 1944
Family Spouse: Selina Pow Siu Mei, with two sons
Education1964 Completing matriculation in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Working experience1965-1967Working as a salesman at Pfizer
1967Executive officer II
1970Administrative officer, Islands District Office
1974Finance Branch
1977Senior administrative officer, attached to Asian Development Bank
1978Civil Service Branch
1981Sent by the government to study an MPA at Harvard, completed with 9As
1982District Officer, Sha Tin
1984Deputy Director-General of Trade
1985Deputy Secretary for General Duties
1991Director-General of Trade and Chief Trade Negotiator
1993Secretary for the Treasury
1995Financial Secretary
1997Received KBE
2001Chief Secretary for Administration
2002Received GBM
2005Chief Executive of Hong Kong

He was attached to the Asian Development Bank in Manila in 1977 for a year and worked on water supply and railway development projects in the Philippines and Bangladesh.

As Deputy Secretary of the General Duties Branch between 1985 and 1989, he was responsible for the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the promotion of the "British Nationality Selection Scheme". He served as Director-General of Trade between 1991 and 1993, and was responsible for all facets of trade negotiation and administration affecting Hong Kong. In May 1993, he was promoted to Secretary for the Treasury, where he was responsible for the overall allocation of resources, the taxation system and the cost effectiveness of the Hong Kong government.

In September 1995, he was appointed Financial Secretary, the first ethnic Chinese to hold the position. He was created a Knight Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for his long-time service to Hong Kong, and was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal by the Hong Kong government in June 2002. Despite the bestowment of the knighthood and the right to be addressed as 'Sir', Tsang does not use his knighthood title in public.

During his six-year tenure, he steered Hong Kong through the Asian financial crisis that swept across the region in 1997 and 1998. He worked with Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and waged war on the speculators attacking the Hong Kong currency peg.

On May 1, 2001, former Chief Secretary Anson Chan resigned her post, citing personal reasons. Tung then appointed Tsang to become deputy leader and invited a civil service outsider, Antony Leung, to take up the post of Financial Secretary.

As Chief Secretary, Tsang ranked second to the then Chief Executive of Hong Kong Tung Chee Hwa, advising him on matters of policy and deputising for him during his absence. He was also a member of the Tung's inner cabinet, the Executive Council, which is also the highest policy-making body in Hong Kong. He assumed the post of acting Chief Executive when Tung's resignation was approved by the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China on March 12, 2005. Polls showed that Tsang enjoyed the highest approval in Tung's administration.

Serving as acting chief executive

Main article: Tung Chee Hwa's resignation

According to Article 53 ( of the Basic Law, if the Chief executive resigns, the Chief Secretary will assume the duty as acting Chief Executive for a maximum of six months. At 17:30 (HKT) on March 10, 2005 in Hong Kong, Tung Chee Hwa announced his resignation due to "health problems". The resignation was endorsed by the Central People's Government on March 12, which also confirmed Tsang as Acting Chief Executive. Tsang then assumed power as head of the Hong Kong government, where he is now busy preparing for the new Chief Executive's election. There is ample evidence that Beijing has already endorsed Tsang as the new Chief Executive and that he will be elected unopposed by the 800 members of the Election Committee on May 5th 2005. However, a recent "interpretation" of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has made it clear that Tsang will only serve out the remaining two years of Tung Chee Hwa's term, rather than the full five years originally mooted. In 2007, he will doubtless seek such a full five year term, but whether or not he is successful depends very much on his performance before then and whether he remains the favour of the central authorities.

Tsang formerly styled himself Sir Donald Tsang KBE though, like many other prominent local Chinese honoured by the Colonial government, he has not used his title since the handover. Some see this as an effort to distance himself from the former British colonials, since such ties are unpopular when gaining favour with Beijing, which has the ultimate authority over Hong Kong.

On May 25, 2005, Tsang resigned from the Chief Secretary for Administration because of his intention to run for the Chief Executive by-election, 2005.(Press Release by the HKSAR Government) ( The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen started to act as the Chief Secretary for Administration as soon as the resignation was accepted by the Central People's Government.

Chief Executive Election Campaign

Tsang's resignation was accepted by the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China on June 2, 2005. Soon he started his Election Office, with LegCo member, chairman of Bank of East Asia David Li Kwok-po as chair of the office. Tsang claimed that his agendas could be summed up with "Resolute, Pragmatic, Action". He also mentioned that it was his philosophy of governance and the reason he decided to run in the election. He said,"I would like to share with you my vision for Hong Kong, and how I will put my philosophy into practice after I am elected."

Tsang was instantly the frontrunner in the race to succeed Tung, due to his long-time experience and high approval ratings. However, some commentators feared that his close association with the past ruling British administration would lead Beijing to distrust him. Nonetheless, Tsang won the support from a wide spectrum ranging from pro-democracy groups to business tycoons.

Since Tsang is supported by the Central People's Government, his campaign is running fluently. On June 15, he handed in the nomination form with 674 signatures of members of Election Committee. Later in the evening, the Returning Officer, Madam Justice Chu Fun Ling, Carlye, had vetted the nomination form and determined that his nomination as a candidate in the election is valid. (Press Release by the HKSAR Government) ( As there are less than the required 100 members of the election committee remaining to nominate other pre-candidates, Tsang is the only valid candidate of the CE Election and the new Chief Executive working in 2005-2007. [1] (

On June 21, 2005, he was officially appointed Chief Executive of the HKSAR by the State Council of the Central People's Government to complete the remaining term until June 30, 2007. (Press Release by the HKSAR Government) (

See also

External link

Preceded by:
Yeung Kai Yin
Secretary for the Treasury of Hong Kong
Succeeded by:
Kwong Ki Chi
Preceded by:
Sir Hamish Macleod
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
Succeeded by:
Antony Leung
Preceded by:
Anson Chan
Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong
Succeeded by:
Michael Suen (acting)
Preceded by:
Tung Chee Hwa
Chief Executive of Hong Kong (acting)
Succeeded by:
Henry Tang (acting)
Preceded by:
Henry Tang (acting)
Chief Executive of Hong Kong
2005 -
Succeeded by:
current incumbent

Template:End boxde:Donald Tsang fr:Donald Tsang ja:曽蔭権 no:Donald Tsang pl:Donald Tsang zh:曾蔭權


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