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Anson Chan

Former Hong Kong chief secretary Anson Chan to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration

She hopes the Trump administration will support democracy in Hong Kong; Martin Lee Chu-ming not on list while Tung Chee-hwa tight-lipped

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 11:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 11:27pm

Hong Kong’s former No 2 official Anson Chan Fang On-sang has accepted an invitation to attend US president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on January 20 in Washington.

The former chief secretary, an outspoken pro-democracy figure, yesterday issued a statement saying she was delighted to be invited, and called on the new United States administration to support the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

But another democracy icon of the city, Martin Lee Chu-ming, was not invited, while Hong Kong’s first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, a key figure in helping China improve ties with the US, was tight-lipped about whether he had received an invitation.

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In November, Trump upset Beijing by accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen after his election win. The act broke more than three decades of the protocol Washington had been following since it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Days later, Trump further irked Beijing by questioning whether Washington should be bound by the one-China policy.

It remains unclear if Chan was invited by Trump’s incoming team or the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Chan will clarify who issued the invitation to her at a press conference on Tuesday and fly to Washington Monday next week.

Ross Feingold of consultant firm DC International Advisory said it would be “premature” to view Chan’s attendance as a signal that the Trump administration would take a more vocal approach to electoral reform in Hong Kong.

Martin Lee, founding chairman of the Democratic Party, confirmed he was not invited while a spokesman for the Office of Former Chief Executives said Tung Chee-hwa would “not comment on the matter”.