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Beijing calls the shots over Tsang

The message is clear - China rules, OK?

This much became plain when Xinhua, China's official news agency, announced the appointment of Sir Donald Tsang Yan-kuen as Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration half an hour before the press conference in Hong Kong.

Antony Leung

Just 48 hours earlier Sir Donald - though no one in the politically correct special autonomous region of China addresses him as a British knight - Hong Kong's financial secretary, told local university students that he did not want to succeed Anson Chan Fang On-sang as the chief secretary and had asked chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, to find someone else.

Then came Xinhua's announcement that Tsang would assume the post from April. At the same time, Tung said that Sir Donald would himself be succeeded as financial secretary by Antony Leung Kam-chung, a professional banker who is Asia-Pacific chairman of JP Morgan Chase.

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