March 25, 2007 / 2:26 AM / 12 years ago

FACTBOX: Five facts on Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang

(Reuters) - Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, a career bureaucrat-turned politician, is expected to be returned as leader of the territory in elections on Sunday.

Here are five facts about Tsang:

* Born on October 7, 1944, the son of a Hong Kong police officer joined Hong Kong’s colonial administration as a junior civil servant in 1967, and much later gained an advanced degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

* Tsang helped implement the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong’s post-handover future and was appointed finance chief in 1995 — the first ethnic Chinese to hold the post in the British colony. Knighted for his service in June 1997, a month before the city was handed back to China, he does not use his title.

* Holding the purse strings for six years, Tsang steered Hong Kong through Asia’s financial crisis during the late 1990s. In 1998, he masterminded a controversial government foray into the stockmarket to foil speculators attacking the Hong Kong dollar.

* When SARS struck in 2003, Tsang was tasked with heading a team to clean the city — a job that earned him the nickname of “chief street sweeper.” His love of bow-ties is a trademark. “Bow-Tie Tsang,” as he is sometimes called, reportedly has more than 100 of the colorful accessories.

* Named acting chief executive in March 2005 when his predecessor Tung Chee-hwa resigned, the self-described devout Roman Catholic is married with two sons and lists hiking, swimming and birdwatching among his hobbies. Three months later he was returned unopposed as chief executive.

Source: Reuters, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive Web site, (

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