First term of Donald Tsang as Chief Executive of Hong Kong

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First Donald Tsang Government
Regional Emblem of Hong Kong.svg
2nd Government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region
Don&Selina 220.jpg
Date formed25 June 2005 (2005-06-25)
Date dissolved30 June 2007 (2007-06-30)
People and organisations
Head of stateHu Jintao
Head of governmentDonald Tsang
No. of ministers14
Member partiesDAB, LP, FTU, TA
Status in legislaturePro-Beijing majority
Opposition partyPan-democracy camp
Election(s)2005 Chief Executive election
Legislature term(s)3rd Legislative Council
PredecessorSecond Tung government
SuccessorSecond Tsang government

The First term of Donald Tsang as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, officially considered part of "The 2nd term Chief Executive of Hong Kong", relates to the period of governance of Hong Kong since the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong, between 25 June 2005 and 30 June 2007. Former civil-servant Donald Tsang was elected on 25 June 2005 to fill the position vacated by the resignation of his predecessor, Tung Chee Hwa.


Donald Tsang who resigned from his Chief Secretary for Administration was the only candidate, he was declared elected unopposed on 16 June. Nonpartisan legislator Chim Pui-chung and Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat failed to secure the minimum number of 100 nominations to enter the race. Before the election, controversies sparked as the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress interpreted Article 53 that the term of office of the new Chief Executive shall be the remainder of the previous Chief Executive but not the new term.[1]



Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Chief Executive Donald Tsang30 June 200530 June 2007Nonpartisan
Chief Secretary for Administration Rafael Hui30 June 200530 June 2007Nonpartisan
Financial Secretary Henry Tang30 June 200530 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung1 July 199719 October 2005Nonpartisan
 Wong Yan-lung20 October 2005Tsang IINonpartisan
Secretary for the Civil Service Joseph Wong1 July 200223 January 2006Nonpartisan
 Denise Yue24 January 2006Tsang IINonpartisan
Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology John Tsang5 August 200323 January 2006Nonpartisan
 Joseph Wong24 January 200630 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam1 July 2002Tsang IINonpartisan
Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow12 October 2004Tsang IINonpartisan
Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen1 July 200230 June 2007Nonpartisan
Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee5 August 2003Tsang IINonpartisan

Executive Council non-official members[edit]

The Executive Council was expanded with adding 8 new non-official members to the Executive Council, which balanced the ratio of composition to 14 official members (3 secretaries of the department and 11 secretaries of the bureaux) and 15 non-official members.

Members Affiliation Portfolio Took Office Left Office Ref
CY Leung Nonpartisan Non-official Convenor of the ExCo;
Chartered surveyor
1 July 1997 Tsang II
Andrew Liao Nonpartisan Former deputy judge of High Court 1 July 2002 Tsang II [2]
Jasper Tsang DAB Legislative Councillor 1 July 2002 Tsang II
Cheng Yiu-tong FTU General secretary of FTU 1 July 2002 Tsang II
Selina Chow Liberal Legislative Councillor 22 September 2003 Tsang II
Laura Cha Nonpartisan Non-executive deputy chairman of HSBC 19 October 2004 Tsang II [3]
Bernard Chan Alliance Businessman and politician 26 October 2004 Tsang II
Ronald Arculli Nonpartisan Chairman of HKEx 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Charles Lee Nonpartisan Former chairman of HKEx and director of Cheung Kong Holdings 1 November 2005 Tsang II
David Li Nonpartisan CEO of Bank of East Asia and Legislative Councillor 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Leong Che-hung Nonpartisan Former Chairman of Hospital Authority 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Marvin Cheung Nonpartisan Former Chairman of Airport Authority 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Henry Fan Nonpartisan Managing director of CITIC Pacific 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Victor Lo Nonpartisan CEO of Gold Peak Industries 1 November 2005 Tsang II
Anthony Cheung Nonpartisan President of the Hong Kong Institute of Education 1 November 2005 Tsang II

First term[edit]

Food safety[edit]

After 80% of fish from mainland China was found to contain malachite green, forcing many fish stalls to close, fishermen and businessmen criticised the Tsang administration for acting too slowly. Subsequently, the approval rating of Tsang and his administration fell in polls.

Fearing H5N1 bird flu would come back to Hong Kong one day, Tsang announced that free fresh chicken sale would be replaced by a system of central slaughtering starting from 2009. A slaughter house will be built in Sheung Shui.[4]

Relations with pan-democrats[edit]

On 30 August 2005, Tsang announced that the Guangdong Provincial Government invited all 60 members from the Legislative Council to visit Guangdong between 25 September to 26 September 2005. This was the first chance for most of the pro-democrats such as Martin Lee to visit the mainland China since 1989.

Tsang has talked of discriminatory treatment of political parties and politicians, describing their relationships with him as either intimate or distant. This is what is known as the policy of friend-or-foe dichotomy (親疏有別). In June 2008, through praising Frederick Ma, the former Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, for his even-handedness with all political parties, pan-democratic politicians landed an indirect attack at Tsang's style.[5] Tsang explained that he had been quoted out of context. He explained in the Legislative Council that what he meant was he would “stay close” to what was representative of mainstream public opinions, and “stay away” from what was against mainstream public opinions.

Political reform[edit]

On 30 November, he televised appeal for support on the electoral reform package. Opposing the package publicly, thousands of Hong Kong people demanding immediate universal suffrage (63,000 as reported by the police, 81,000 - 98,000 by HKU-POP research team, at least 250,000 by the organisers) demonstrated against the reform package four days later. It was clear that Tsang would not change the reform package which was supported by about 60% of the population.

On 21 December, the Legislative vetoed his reform proposal as the government failed to get support from more than two third councillors. Some lawyers in Beijing said that if the problem can't be solved, Donald Tsang has the power to dissolve the Legco under the Basic Law.[citation needed] He angered democrats, who voted down his proposals, when he referred to them as "horrid animals".[6]

Economic policies[edit]

Henry Tang introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the public in early 2006. Despite public opposition and opposition from all pro-Beijing and pan-democracy parties, Tsang publicly supported the GST in September 2006. The plan for the tax was shelved unexpectedly on 5 December 2006, prior to the end of the planned consultation period.[7]

Besides, Tsang announced that the Government no longer adopted the positive non-intervention policy in September 2006, further harming the relations between the Liberal Party and the government. He said the term had never reflected the policies of the government accurately. He is of the view that “Big Market, Small Government” is a more accurate description of the way Hong Kong operates.


Tsang has been criticised for not doing enough to improve Hong Kong's environment. In recent years high air pollution levels have been an increasing concern for people in Hong Kong, with pollutants from factories and power stations in China's industrial hinterland mixing with the fumes of the region's growing fleet of vehicles and wafting into the city on prevailing winds. The city has fallen in the rankings in several quality of life indices and there are worries that foreign firms will relocate to cleaner cities such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Concerns over the pollution's effect on public health and the tourism industry are also rising. In mid-2006 Tsang launched the "Action Blue Sky Campaign" and outlined a comprehensive plan to tackle air pollution in Hong Kong and in collaboration with the neighbouring Guangdong province. Scepticism however remained among the expatriate and local population of Hong Kong and, in late November 2006, they ridiculed Tsang for citing the long life expectancy of Hong Kong residents as evidence of Hong Kong's high quality of life relative to other major cities in the East Asian region.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Interpretation of Paragraph 2, Article 53 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
  2. ^ "The Honourable Andrew LIAO Cheung-sing, GBS, SC, JP". Executive Council. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "The Honourable Mrs Laura CHA SHIH May-lung, GBS, JP". Executive Council. Retrieved 2 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Central Slaughter House to be built in Hung Kiu, Sheung Shui" (中央屠宰場擬設上水紅橋), Yahoo Hong Kong News, 24-08-2006. Retrieved on 20-02-2007. (in Traditional Chinese)
  5. ^ Chris Yeung (26 June 2008). "A hard act to follow, and a blow to a team in a spot of trouble". South China Morning Post. pp. A3.
  6. ^ Yau, Cannix (22 December 2005), Back to square one for Tsang Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard
  7. ^ Chester Yung, "Sales tax sunk" Archived 2009-09-16 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 6 December 2006
  8. ^ Jonathan Cheng (4 December 2006). "Lot of hot air on pollution, claims Tien". The Standard. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
Preceded by
Tung II
Government of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Tsang II