Tung Chee-hwa, the former chief executive of Hong Kong, remains focused on public service

Profile


Tung Chee-hwa rose to the very top of Hong Kong public life as its the first chief executive after the handover of sovereignty and the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR in 1997.

Born in Shanghai, he first lived and worked in the US. He returned to Hong Kong in 1969 to work for the family business, Orient Overseas Container Line, which was established by his father, Tung Chao-yung. The company was bought by mainland China’s Cosco in 2017, with Chee-hwa eventually becoming chairman; it is now headed by his brother, Chee-chen.

Tung Chee-hwa’s involvement in high-level politics began when he became a member of the Executive Council, Hong Kong’s cabinet, in 1992, ascending to the top job five years later. Since stepping down in 2005, he has been a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He is also the founder of the China—United States Exchange Foundation, and of think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation, whose membership includes a wide range of prominent figures, and which has researched subjects including housing policy, innovation and technology.

A holder of the Grand Bauhinia Medal, he is married to Betty, with whom he has three children.

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