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Wen lauds Tung's role in HK's development
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-13 08:56

Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday was lavish in his praise of Tung Chee-hwa's contribution to the development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) at a cabinet meeting to approve his resignation as chief executive.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) greets Hong Kong's outgoing chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (L) as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao looks on during the annual National People's Congress in Beijing.[AFP]
A plenary meeting of the State Council accepted Tung's request to resign from his post yesterday, Xinhua News Agency said.

Premier Wen signed Decree No 433 of the State Council, allowing Tung to leave his post as HKSAR chief executive as of yesterday.

Shortly before the approval of his resignation, Tung was elected vice-chairman of China's top political advisory body together with two others.

In line with the Basic Law of the HKSAR, the territory's mini-constitution, Chief Secretary Donald Tsang took over as acting chief executive until a new chief executive is elected within six months and then appointed by the central government.

Tung, 67, was elected to the new post with a thumping majority 2,065 for, 21 against and 20 abstentions at the closing meeting of the annual full session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Citing poor health, he officially submitted his resignation to the central government on Thursday after nearly eight years in office.

Tung said he was being responsible to Hong Kong and the nation in choosing to resign at a time when the city's economy was recovering and its social situation stable.

Tung told the press in Beijing yesterday that he felt "greatly honoured" to become a vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee.

"I will work hard to serve the country in my new post," he said, expressing thanks for the central government's approval of his resignation.

At the State Council plenum, Premier Wen noted that Tung had put in great effort to implement the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high-degree of autonomy.

Tung led the HKSAR government in fully implementing the Basic Law, administered the SAR in accordance with law, united Hong Kong people, and surmounted various challenges posed by the Asian financial crisis and changes in the global economic environment, Wen said.

He added that Tung properly handled a series of key political, economic and social problems, and maintained Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.

Since Tung took office as the HKSAR chief executive, he performed his duties faithfully, always being clean and honest, enduring all hardship, and taking pleasure in his dedication and sacrifice to his work, the premier said.

"The central government fully acknowledges the work done by Tung Chee-hwa and the HKSAR government."

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR "fully affirmed and highly appraised" Tung's historic contributions towards maintaining stability and prosperity in Hong Kong; and called on Hong Kong society to work together to safeguard the prosperity and stability of the SAR.

Tung was elected by the Hong Kong people and approved by the State Council as the HKSAR chief executive, first in December 1996 and for the second time in March 2002.

The liaison office praised Tung for "exerting his utmost for the maximum interests of Hong Kong residents and dedicating himself to the overall interests of Hong Kong and national interests as well."

The office expressed its conviction that Hong Kong people from all spheres, social strata and walks of life would more than ever keep the overall situation in mind and make joint efforts to safeguard the hard-won economic revival and social stability in Hong Kong while preparing for the election of a new chief executive.

The central government would strictly adhere to the Basic Law in handling affairs related to the subrogation of the chief executive, the office said.

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