Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has appointed two prominent pro-Beijing lawmakers to the Executive Council (ExCo), with immediate effect. They include Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, chairman of the pro-business Liberal Party, and the camp’s convenor Martin Liao Cheung-kong.

The Executive Council is an advisory body which helps the Chief Executive make policy decisions. The move came as the current administration only has a term of around seven months remaining. Leung has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election.

“Mr Cheung and Mr Liao have rich experience in the Legislative Council and public service, and have made significant contributions to their respective sectors. I am confident that they will offer valuable advice and effectively fulfil the role of assisting policy-making after joining ExCo,” said Leung.

Martin Liao and Tommy Cheung.

Cheung, 67, has been the lawmaker for the catering sector functional constituency since 2000. He is a member of the Housing Authority and a member of the governing Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He was also a member of the Eastern District Council and was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star – Hong Kong’s top honour – in 2015.

Liao, 59, has been the lawmaker for the commercial (second) functional constituency since 2012. A practising barrister, he is also a deputy to the National People’s Congress. His older brother Andrew Liao Cheung-shing is also currently a member of the Executive Council.

He used to serve as a temporary judge at the District Court of Hong Kong, was chairman of the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, council member of the University of Hong Kong and council member of the Hong Kong Bar Association, among other roles.

Liao was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star in 2014.

Regina Ip. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Other than Cheung and Liao, pro-Beijing lawmakers Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee of the New People’s Party and Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong are also members of the Executive Council.

In March, Ip Kwok-him – a lawmaker serving his last term at the time – was appointed to the Executive Council, following the resignation of lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king. They are both of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Lee, the chairwoman of DAB, said that she hopes to focus on the work of LegCo and her party.

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.