March 02, 2005

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Tung Che-hwa to resign

The rumours started as soon as knowledge of Tung's appointment to the CPPCC. Now the momentum is unstoppable. The FT started the ball rolling. Tung resigns says the Standard. The unlinkable SCMP screams "Tung 'will stand down early'". Curiously the front and back page are all Tung, but the editorial page doesn't discuss it at all. The only questions remainng are when will he officially go and who will succeed him? The answers: very soon and Sir Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the current Secretary for West Kowloon Boondoogles Chief Secretary. It almost seems besides the point that he hasn't actually resigned yet. Once the frenzy starts it cannot be stopped without the use of tanks...and let's not delude ourselves that Tung is worth sending the PLA out of the barracks. Just as his rule has been inept, so has the handling of his resignation.

What's interesting is this has all happened when the pressure on Tung has eased up a little. China can now look like they haven't given in to people power or the democrats while getting rid of a man who clearly found the job beyond his capabilities. And what of Sir Donald? If he gets the nod it will be a clear understanding of what is expected. His bosses remain in Beijing, not walking the streets of the Big Lychee.

Reactions and Updates

* The Dustless Workshop commenting yesterday on the speculation makes some telling points.
* Chris says the writing was on the wall once the CPPCC appointment was made.
(10:46) * Chatter Garden has scanned the SCMP.
* Fumier's not so sure about Donald Tsang's English.
* Tom almost feels sorry for both James Tien and Long Hair.
* The Hong Kong stock market is expected to like the news.
(11:20) * Apparently not...Hang Seng is down around 90 points at the moment. Finished the day down 210. Tung leaving isn't so good for the cartels.
(12:38) * Hemlock is not so sure Tung's going, but finds himself in a win-win situation regardless.
* Ron says goodbye.
* Andrea wonders how long Tung's successor will serve for.

It's's now the middle of the day and no-one's quite sure if Tung's actually resigned or not. Or is this just a test to see if we notice the difference?

(13:35) * Democracy is breaking out all over the Middle East, most recently in Egypt and Lebanon (full Lebanon news roundup via I/P). Today's assignment: compare and contrast Hong Kong's democracy with Iraq's. Bonus credit: which will become truly democratic first, Hong Kong or Iran?
(15:18) * ESWN examines the Hong Kong Basic Law and the details of the succession.
(18:19) * Chatting with Giles, we've decided it's time to move to the more serious matters. While Tung is in Beijing will the fight be on for his office supplies? Who gets the snazzy chair? Who gets the oak desk? The chesterfield? The brandy?

Let's make it a contest - what would you take from Tung's office?

posted by Simon on 03.02.05 at 06:19 PM in the


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Excerpt: It seems that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Tung Chee-hwa, has resigned for health reasons, that old Kremlinesque phrase for political housecleaning. Simon has some analysis and reactions from the ground and it does indeed looks like a masterstroke with...
Weblog: Peaktalk
Tracked: March 3, 2005 12:50 AM


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