The agency overseeing Hong Kong affairs under China’s State Council has praised Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s contribution to the stability of the city after he announced that he will not run for re-election in March.

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At a surprise press conference Friday afternoon, Leung said that he would not be seeking re-election as he wished to take care of his family.

“Everyone in Hong Kong can see the central authorities including the top leaders of the country have been very supportive of my work all these years,” he said.

In a statement posted shortly after Leung’s announcement, a spokesperson from the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council said it was deeply sorry that Leung has decided not to run for family reasons and that it would respect his personal decision.

The spokesperson said that since CY Leung became the SAR’s fourth chief executive, he has firmly implemented the principle of One Country, Two Systems and the Basic Law.

Sing Pao’s front page on September 12 calls Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Zhang Xiaoming of the China Liaison Office, Tai Kung Pao Chairman Jiang Zaizhong and another the “Gang of Four” trying to destablise Hong Kong. Photo: Screenshot.

He has dealt soundly with a series of important political and legal questions, and made important contributions to the development of Hong Kong and its social and political stability, the statement from the office said. It said that he led the SAR government in developing the city’s economy, improving livelihoods and aiding cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland.

“The central government has always given his work full affirmation and high praise,” it said.

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.