- Title: Hong Kong financial secretary resigns, expected to seek top job
- Date: 12th December 2016
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (DECEMBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** HONG KONG FINANCIAL SECRETARY JOHN TSANG WALKING TO NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG FINANCIAL SECRETARY JOHN TSANG, SAYING: "Whether I would run or not run is a serious and solemn matter. I shall think through this in the coming days and make an announcement once ready. I hope you would understand that I'm not able to say anymore than what I have said so far, given my current position as financial secretary. So thank you. TSANG WALKING AWAY FROM NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 27th December 2016 12:57
- Keywords: China Hong Kong financial secretary chief executive
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CKVMMD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang resigned on Monday (December 12) and is widely expected to announce his intention to run for the city's top job in March.
There has been months of speculation that 65-year-old Tsang, who tops popularity polls, would step down and enter the race to become the financial hub's chief executive.
"Whether I would run, or not run is a serious and solemn matter. I shall think through this in the coming days and make an announcement once ready," Tsang said.
Hong Kong's unpopular incumbent chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, announced on Friday (December 9) that he would not stand for a second five-year term.
The city government said Leung had already submitted Tsang's resignation to China's central government and the secretary for financial services and the treasury, Chan Ka-keung, would be acting financial secretary.
Tsang is a U.S.-educated fencing and martial arts enthusiast who has been the former British colony's finance minister since July 2007.
Compared with Leung, who is generally seen as a dour, hardliner, Tsang has tried to present a more gentle persona, more in touch with the public.
He is also less closely identified with Beijing's Communist Party leadership than Leung.
Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing became the first person to enter the race and announced his campaign in October.
Hong Kong's chief secretary, Carrie Lam, and a legislator and former security chief, Regina Ip, have also expressed an interest in running.
Candidates running for chief executive have to be vetted by a 1,200-strong Election Committee selected on Sunday (December 11) which will decide who will lead the city of 7.2 million people in late March.
Hong Kong's next leader faces a host of challenges with concern growing over the influence of Beijing in city affairs as well as a fledging independence movement that has alarmed China's Communist Party leadership.
Hong Kong's economy generally grew at a stable pace under Tsang and the government recorded surpluses every year.
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