Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has been voted in as a member of China’s national political advisory body, the first politician to hold both roles at the same time.

In a brief government press release on Tuesday evening, Leung said he was honoured to become a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Leung Chun-ying
Leung Chun-ying during his 2017 Policy Address. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

Leung was among four new members of the advisory body. According to RTHK, of the 283 attendees at Tuesday’s CPPCC meeting, 275 voted in favour of admitting the four new members. One voted against, four voted to abstain, and another three did not vote.

Leung will now depart Hong Kong for Beijing to attend a conference between March 2 and 5.

CPPCC member Anthony Wu Ting-yuk told RTHK that CPPCC Chairman and Chinese Politburo member Yu Zhengsheng said there will be “further personnel arrangements” in the future.

He did not say whether this meant that Leung would be appointed as a vice chairman of the CPPCC’s standing committee, or a higher position: “As Chairman Yu said, the documents have not yet come down from the central government, so nobody knows.”

Traditionally, Hong Kong chief executives have been appointed as vice chairs of the standing committee only after leaving office.

Yu Zhengsheng
CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Concerns over UGL incident

Lo Man-tuen, another Hong Kong member of the CPPCC, told RTHK that some people within the advisory body had voiced concerns over Leung’s admission because of the ongoing UGL saga.

Leung had controversially received a payment of HK$50 million from Australian company UGL, in exchange for not joining rival firms within two years. The parties signed the agreement in December 2011, when he was running for chief executive.

However, Lo said he was confident that the central government had already fully investigated the incident before admitting Leung into the CPPCC.

Leung had resigned from his previous position in the CPPCC June 2012, before he officially took office as Hong Kong’s leader.

On Tuesday, he also told reporters that his dual roles would not affect the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, and that he would work in accordance with the law.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.