Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has said he is willing to be the chief executive, if the position can make contributions to Hong Kong.

Tsang was asked by Commercial Radio host Stephen Chan Chi-wan in a pre-recorded interview why he has not considered running for the top job in Hong Kong. Tsang denied he had said he would not join the race.

“If [the position] can make contributions to Hong Kong, I am willing to do [it]. I love Hong Kong, this is not questionable. But you know, the Chief Executive job is a bad job, not a very good job, a job that is hard to do, any one who takes the job will be criticised, no one will be happy.”

John Tsang. File

Though the interview was pre-recorded, it coincided with the broadcast of the interview of outgoing Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing on Friday morning.

Tsang Yok-sing said that he would consider running for Chief Executive if no other candidate believed to be a “real choice” challenges incumbent leader Leung Chun-ying for the job.

John Tsang, often considered a softer figure than Leung, said in the interview that society has to go back to a “rational environment.”

“That people can communicate, so that more people with ability could be encouraged to come out and work on this aspect [politics], this is my wish” he said.

He added that past Chief Executives intended to do good for Hong Kong’s future, but the next Chief Executive has to understand the changing environment in Hong Kong.

“Once you have that thought, you can deploy some measures to push for something, so that things can go forward, this is important,” he said.

John Tsang posed with a Hong Kong team jersey in Mong Kok Stadium. Photo: John Tsang/Facebook

In the interview, he said that there were differences and contradictions between the cultures of Hong Kong and China.

“But if we respect the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong’ principle, we respect the other system, and the other respects our system, I believe many things can be solved,” he said.

He also said localism viewpoints represented love for Hong Kong, but they should not be identified with calls for Hong Kong independence.

“Hong Kong independence is unacceptable, it has no market in Hong Kong, and it is wrong,” he said.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.