Beijing Loyalist Wins Hong Kong Election

Leung Chun-ying a self-made billionaire who advocates closer ties to China

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2012 6:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – In something of a non-surprise, Beijing's man won the race for chief executive of Hong Kong today, reports Reuters. A self-made billionaire and son of a policeman, Leung Chun-ying took 61% of the 1,200-vote election committee, comprised of political, business, and labor leaders, that decides Hong Kong's leadership. His main rival, Henry Tang, a billionaire construction mogul, had been the early favorite to win, but a series of scandals derailed his campaign. "Somehow Tang has managed to blow a fixed election," quipped one Western diplomat.

“I promise that all the freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong people won’t change,” Leung said at a press conference. “We need to defend our core values and to work aggressively to solve many problems.” Hong Kong is scheduled to begin universal suffrage in 2017, but Bloomberg notes that Leung's reputation as aloof, combined with his relatively narrow margin of victory, may make for a tempestuous tenure until then. “Bill Clinton, he’ll make you think he’s your best friend inside of 10 minutes,” said a property developer with close ties to Tang. With Leung, “you may not feel that even after knowing him for 10 years.”

Leung Chun-ying waves as he celebrated after winning the chief executive election in Hong Kong earlier today.
Leung Chun-ying waves as he celebrated after winning the chief executive election in Hong Kong earlier today.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Leung Chun-ying, center, and his wife Regina, right, celebrate his victory in the chief executive election in Hong Kong earlier today.
Leung Chun-ying, center, and his wife Regina, right, celebrate his victory in the chief executive election in Hong Kong earlier today.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
10%
10%
20%
35%
15%
10%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment