Tung Chee-hwa, 1937–, Hong Kong business and political leader, b. Shanghai. The son of C. Y. Tung, a businessman who left China as the Communists were coming to power, Tung entered the family shipping business in the 1960s. When his father died he inherited control of a debt-ridden firm, but rescued it with restructuring and a bailout loan. Active on Hong Kong government advisory committees from the 1980s, Tung aligned politically with the Chinese government (and against the prodemocracy movement) as the end of British rule approached, concerned to protect Hong Kong's commercial environment. Tung resigned from the family business in 1996 and secured appointment in 1997 as Hong Kong's first chief executive under Chinese rule. His second term was cut short in 2005 when he resigned, ostensibly for health reasons, but many believed China, concerned over antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, had forced him out.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.