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Tung Chee-hwa

On 1st July, Tung Chee-hwa, a little known businessman with a marine engineering degree from Liverpool University, becomes Hong Kong's first chief executive. Philip Bowring considers what made Beijing choose Tung to manage the transition to Chinese sovereignty

By Philip Bowring   July 1997

As first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Tung Chee-hwa has already secured himself a place in history. But the Chinese-appointed successor to Chris Patten would have seemed an improbable choice a decade ago, when he was struggling to resurrect his collapsing family business. Even a year ago most people would have asked: Tung who? Hong Kong people of 35 and over will remember his father Tung Chao-yung, the shipping magnate who when he died in 1982 was one of only two or three Hong Kong citizens who qualified for the ranks of the globally famous. But…

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