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New Team Takes Charge of Hong Kong Affairs
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The Chief Executive (CE) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has pledged to create a better future for Hong Kong people.

Announcing the list of principal officials for the SAR's third-term government on Saturday, Donald Tsang said: "We know we are likely to encounter unpredictable events and trials on the road ahead. But I am fully confident that our new team will do its utmost to lead the public service, and will work together wholeheartedly with the Legislative Council and the community to create a better future for everyone who lives here."

Shortly after the central government of the People's Republic of China approved his nominations, Tsang called a press conference to introduce his new governance team. He briefed reporters on the administration's new ideas and initiatives and the tasks the new team members are supposed to perform. The new team includes incumbents as well as newly appointed principal officials.

Henry Tang will take over from Rafael Hui as the Chief Secretary for Administration, and John Tsang will succeed Tang as the Financial Secretary. Wong Yang Lung keeps his post as Secretary for Justice.

Several bureau directors and/or their posts will be changed in the third-term SAR government, which will take office on July 1, 2007. Stephen Lam keeps the newly expanded post of Secretary for Constitutional and Chinese Mainland Affairs, and Michael Suen will be the new Secretary for Education, with Frederick Ma taking over as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.

Tsang Tak-sing will be the new Secretary for Home Affairs, Matthew Cheung, the Secretary for Labor and Welfare, and K.C. Chan, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury. The newly created post of Secretary for Development goes to Carrie Lam, with Edward Yau being appointed the Secretary for the Environment. Eva Cheng will be Secretary for Transport and Housing.

Several bureau chiefs will keep their posts, including Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee, Secretary for Food and Health York Chow and Secretary for Civil Service Denise Yue.

Some heads of law enforcement agencies, however, have been shuffled. The Police Commissioner's post will be continue be held by Tang King-shing, but the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will get Timothy Tong as its commissioner. Lai Tung-kwok will be the new Director of Immigration, and Richard Yuen, the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, with Benjamin Tang continuing as the Director of Audit.

Norman Chan will be the new Director of the Chief Executive's Office, while Lau Siu-kai keeps his post as head of the Central Policy Unit.

The CE said the central government's appointments have infused new blood into his governing team, ensuring its continuity and stability at the same time. "All the members of my new team have displayed in their work a strong sense of pragmatism that I promote," Tsang said.

"The backgrounds of the principal officials may be diverse, but they all share a common commitment to our country, our territory and our people and agree with my governing philosophy.

"Given their talents and abilities, they are the best candidates for the senior posts," he said. "They will make a great team together."

Tsang said he was extremely grateful to outgoing Chief Secretary for Administration Rafael Hui and the five bureau directors. "During times of adversity, they resolutely remained with the SAR government to loyally serve our people. Looking back, we can see that Hong Kong has overcome one challenge after another. Today, we are back on track, moving forward, and our economy has been growing impressively," Tsang said.

"While thanks should go to the Hong Kong people for their determination and resilience, as well as their understanding and support for the SAR government, we must also pay tribute to the meritorious service of these principal officials," he said.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2007)

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