They're calling it a second spring. The new romance of divorced Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing has been one of the most juicy items of gossip in the Chinese-language press in the past month. But it's not the only change for Mr Tsang. Five months into his Legco presidency, the veteran Beijing loyalist seems to have entered a new phase in his political life. Speaking at Shue Yan University about a fortnight ago, Mr Tsang raised some eyebrows when he said the central government's suppression of the protests in Tiananmen Square 20 years ago was wrong. He told his student audience it was not his place to say how this mistake should be put right, but went on to say: 'China is moving towards an open and democratic society. A democratic and civilised society will do final justice to June 4 ... I may not be able to witness it within my lifetime, but I firmly believe you will be able to do so.' He added a caveat: 'The truth of what happened in Tiananmen Square is still unclear.' Still, Mr Tsang's unambiguous verdict on the rights and wrongs of the June 4, 1989, crackdown is markedly different from the stance of the pro-Beijing camp. It is not the only issue on which Mr Tsang has deviated from the political line of the pro-Beijing camp. In December, Mr Tsang said in an interview that the knotty dispute over universal suffrage could be untied if Beijing was willing to face up to the possibility of the election of political figures and parties not currently acceptable to the central government. His comments led to speculation that the main pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, had adopted a more liberal position on universal suffrage. DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung was quick to clarify that Mr Tsang was only expressing a personal view. His remarks on the June 4 crackdown prompted a columnist writing in the pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao to give Mr Tsang a gentle reminder to 'think thrice' before wading into politically sensitive issues. That way, he would avoid giving the public the impression that his personal views carried added political significance, the columnist wrote. That the DAB chairman and pro-Beijing media sought to play down the significance of Mr Tsang's comments says something about how far his political position has shifted. Since his resignation as chairman of one of the DAB's precursors, the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, after its setback in the 2003 district council elections, Mr Tsang has moved towards the centre of the political spectrum on issues such as universal suffrage. He has cast serious doubt on the idea of retaining functional constituencies in a modified form under universal suffrage and the use of a screening mechanism for candidates seeking election as chief executive under universal suffrage. In his manifesto for the election to choose the Legco president, Mr Tsang promised to arrange for all his fellow legislators to visit the mainland. Last month he said he hoped to have one or two Legco panels visit Guangdong to familiarise themselves with developments in spheres including the environment, planning, commerce and transport. Such trips would not only help foster understanding between Hong Kong legislators and the authorities in Guangdong, but would be a small step towards improving relations between pan-democrats and the mainland which have been strained since the killings in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Given the sensitivity about what happened on that day, Mr Tsang has apparently set for himself the modest goal of healing the wounds in relations between the democrats and Beijing. Having survived a tough baptism as Legco president, Mr Tsang has made his mark and found his own voice as he strives to play a new political role.