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Xi Jinping

President Xi tops newsmaker list in Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong; Leung Chun-ying tops city list

Bookseller Lee Po comes second in list focussing only on Hong Kong personalities

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 January, 2017, 7:57pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 8:45am

Chinese President Xi Jinping emerged as the top newsmaker in Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong last year, beating US president-elect Donald Trump and outgoing US President Barack Obama, a study by the City University of Hong Kong has found.

The study, released on Monday, also found that among Hong Kong personalities, a key figure in the missing booksellers saga – Lee Po – was the second most important newsmaker behind Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

Lee’s bookstore partner, Lam Wing-kee, and independence activist Edward Leung Tin-kei also made it to the top 10, coming seventh and sixth respectively.

The 2016 Hong Kong media personality roster, compiled by the university’s department of linguistics and translation, counts how many times a person has been mentioned in the press in the year.

It is part of a study that also covers media reports in Beijing and Taiwan. The figures are compiled in the three places from a bi-weekly tally that runs throughout the year.

Overall, Xi was the most reported personality in the three places, followed by Trump and Obama, who took the second and third places respectively.

Professor Benjamin Tsou Ka-yin, emeritus professor of the department of linguistics and translation, said: “The results reflected the prevailing dominance by China and the US in world politics.”

The Hong Kong list, which was derived by taking out the non-Hong Kong personalities, saw Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying taking the number one place, as he has done since his election in 2012.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, who is widely tipped to run in the coming chief executive election, came third. His possible rival in the race, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, came fifth, following Canto-pop singer James Ng Yip-kwan.

Also making it to the top 10 of the Hong Kong list were late singer Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing in eighth place, Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen (ninth), and Executive Councillor and University of Hong Kong council chairman Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung (10th).

Researcher Tsoi Wing-fu said: “This year, we took out the non-locals so that the roster of the respective places could reflect more accurately the degree of concern of local events by the people there.”

For the Beijing list, the top three were President Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Top of the list in Taiwan was President Tsai Ying-wen, followed by Premier Lin Chuan and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je.

The annual study was first launched in 2000 as the Chinese News Media Celebrity Roster. The results are based on a database developed by City University in 1995 to analyse Chinese characters in media texts in major Chinese-speaking communities.