Tung Chee-hwa

Tung Chee-hwa
▪ 1998

      Few of Hong Kong's 6.3 million people were sleeping as midnight approached on June 30, 1997. Those celebrating in the streets and those watching television at home were all waiting for the historic moment when the Union Jack would be furled and the flag of China hoisted over what had been a British colony for 156 years. Most eyes, however, were on Tung Chee-hwa, the wealthy businessman Beijing had picked to serve for the next five years as chief executive of the new special administrative region of Hong Kong.

      Tung Chee-hwa was born in Shanghai on May 29, 1937 (a date derived from the Chinese lunar calendar). He was educated in Great Britain, became fluent in English, and spent six years in the U.S. studying business practices. In numerous interviews the unassuming millionaire had spoken confidently of his ability to persuade China's rulers, if it ever became necessary, to adhere to the provisions of the Joint Declaration signed by China and Britain in 1984 and officially registered at the United Nations as an international treaty. The principles of the document, which were incorporated into Hong Kong's miniconstitution known as the Basic Law, guaranteed that Hong Kong's traditional way of life would remain essentially unchanged for 50 years.

      Tung's supporters as well as pro-democracy activists conceded that the new chief executive would have to exhibit exceptional diplomatic skills to keep Hong Kong on an even keel in the months ahead. The people of Hong Kong had been promised, and expected to continue enjoying, substantial economic and political freedoms unknown in the rest of China. The ultimate authority, however, would reside in Beijing, and "one country, two systems" would come to mean what Beijing said it meant.

      Those who viewed Tung as China's man in Hong Kong rather than as a protector of Hong Kong's rights noted that his wealth was derived from the Orient Overseas shipping company founded by his father, who died in 1982. At that time the company owed more than $2.7 billion to some 200 banks and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Tung Chee-hwa worked tirelessly to save the company and in 1986 obtained a $120 million loan, $50 million of which came from the state-owned Bank of China. Additional millions were provided by China Merchants, the Hong Kong branch of China's Transport Industry. This alone, critics charged, made Tung beholden to China and involved a conflict of interests. Tung also came under fire for supporting Beijing's decision to abolish Hong Kong's legislature, which had been elected in 1995, and to replace it with an appointed provisional legislature the moment Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty.

ARTHUR LATHAM

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tung Chee Hwa — est un nom asiatique ; le nom de famille, Tung, précède donc le prénom. Tung Chee Hwa (chinois : 董建華) né le 7 juillet 1937 à Shanghai (Chine) a été le premier chef exécutif de la Région administrative spéciale de Hong Kong en République …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tung chee-hwa — est un nom asiatique ; le nom de famille, Tung, précède donc le prénom. Tung Chee Hwa (chinois : 董建華) né le 7 juillet 1937 à Shanghai (Chine) a été le premier chef exécutif de la Région administrative spéciale de Hong Kong en République …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tung Chee Hwa — GBM (chin. 董建華 / 董建华, Dǒng Jiànhuá; * 7. Juli 1937 in Shanghai) ist ein chinesischer Geschäftsmann und Politiker. Er war der erste Chief Executive der Sonderverwaltungszone Hongkong. Er wurde auf diesen Posten nach der Übergabe der Stadt im Jahre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tung Chee-hwa — GBM (chinesisch 董建華 / 董建华 Dǒng Jiànhuá; * 7. Juli 1937 in Shanghai) ist ein chinesischer Geschäftsmann und Politiker. Er war der erste Chief Executive der Sonderverwaltungszone Hongkong. Er wurde auf diesen Posten nach der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Tung Chee Hwa — This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tung. The Honourable Chee hwa Tung 董建華 GBM …   Wikipedia

  • Tung Chee-Hwa — Dans ce nom asiatique, le nom de famille, Tung, précède le prénom. Tung Chee Hwa Mandats Chef de l exécutif de Hong Kong …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tung Chee-hwa — Este es un nombre chino; el apellido es Tung. Tung Chee hwa (chino tradicional: 董建華, chino simplificado: 董建华, pinyin: Dǒng Jiànhuá), (Zhoushan, provincia de Zhejiang, 7 de octubre de 1944), político de la Región Administrativa Especial de Hong… …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Chee (given name) — Chee is a unisex given name, and may refer to: Chan Heng Chee (born 1942), Singaporean diplomat Chee Dodge (1860 1947), American politician Chee Soo (1919 1994), English writer Chor Chee Heung (born 1955), Malaysian politician Chow Chee Keong… …   Wikipedia

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