Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has said Hong Kong must defend its core values and seek unity in working with each other, otherwise the city cannot progress with even the smallest plans. In his latest blog post, Tsang hinted at views he may be adopting for his potential election campaign.

He recalled a recent trip from Beijing back to Hong Kong and the scenes he saw from the aeroplane. “I have always asked myself, as an official majorly responsible for developing the economy, what path should I choose for Hong Kong? What development should I bring to Hong Kong to allow this generation to have a good life, and leave a better Hong Kong to the next generation?”

John Tsang. File Photo: Gov HK.

The post came a day after Tsang said he was “actively considering” joining the Chief Executive race if it was beneficial to Hong Kong.

In the post, Tsang described his vision, such as strengthening the logistics industry, exporting services, and improving education. He cited a Beijing financial official who told him that Hong Kong society must be stable before the economy can grow. He said that he agreed, adding that people having different views would agree about the city’s core values.

“I think you all agree that the core values of freedom, openness, diversity and rule of law are the foundation of our success, and they are the Hong Kong spirit that we must persist with,” he said.

John Tsang Chun-wah (left) and Leung Chun-ying (right). File

Tsang said he believed people having extreme views are in the minority and that most people share the goal of making Hong Kong into a better and more energetic society.

“But even if our visions are ideal and our plans are detailed, if we cannot be united, I am afraid our efforts will be in vain,” he said.

“Surely, there is no one single solution which can instantly resolve all the complicated problems in our society,” he added. “But if we have a placid atmosphere or harmonious environment, where everyone can work for consensus based on mutual trust and honest exchange, I believe we can go further and higher – albeit with a small step – each time. A more beautiful view is waiting in front of us.”

Ma Ngok, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said he believed Tsang was ready to run for election.

“[He] slowly switched from the official line – his words are clearly targeting the Achilles’ heel of Leung Chun-ying, because talking about unity – Leung Chun-ying could not even unify the pro-Beijing camp’s loyalties,” Ma told Apple Daily.

Regina Ip. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Several local media have cited sources as saying that pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, New People’s Party chairwoman, will ­announce her bid at an election rally on December 15.

The sources claimed that she will resign from the Executive Council before that day, though the party has invited automatically elected members of the chief executive election committee and politicians to attend the event.

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.