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Encyclopedia > Anson Chan
Anson Chan
Anson Chan

Anson Chan (Fang On Sang) GBM GCMG CBE JP (Chinese: 陳方安生) (born January 17, 1940) was head of Hong Kong's civil service before and after the territory's handover to the People's Republic of China from British colonial rule. She is the first woman and the first Chinese to hold the second-highest governmental position in Hong Kong. A Chinese would not hold the highest governmental position until Hong Kong's handover to China. She is seen to be a pro-democracy politician by some people since November 2005. Anson Chan, the first Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong File links The following pages link to this file: Anson Chan ... Anson Chan, the first Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong File links The following pages link to this file: Anson Chan ... The modern Hong Kong honours system was created by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government after the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a puisne judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... The Hong Kong civil service is managed by 11 policy bureaux in the Government Secretariat, and 67 departments and agencies, mostly staffed by civil servants. ...


Early life

Born in Shanghai, China, Anson Chan was educated at Hong Kong's Sacred Heart Canossian College (formerly known as Italian Convent School and Sacred Heart School) and the University of Hong Kong. She was further educated at the Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The University of Hong Kong (HKU ; Chinese: 香港大學; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 daai6 hok6; Mandarin Pinyin: ), is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong, China. ... Tufts redirects here. ...

Chan's father, who was a textile manufacturer, moved the family to Hong Kong in 1948. Her mother Fang Zhaoling is a well-known painter. Her grandfather, Fang Zhenwu, was a Kuomintang general who fought against the Japanese occupation. Her uncle, Sir Harry Fang, is a well-known doctor in Hong Kong. The Nationalist Party of China (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chung1-kuo2 Kuo2-min2-tang3), commonly known as the Kuomintang (KMT), is a centre-right political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan, and is currently the largest political party in terms of sitting...

In 1950, Chan's father died, leaving her mother with eight young children. With the support of Chan's grandmother, her mother not only shouldered the responsibility of raising her children, but also tried to pursue her career as an artist. She took two of her sons to study in England, leaving Chan and her five other siblings in Hong Kong with their grandmother and uncle. Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ...

Under her grandmother's strict discipline and high expectations, Chan learned that she had a duty towards the family and the community and was expected to be upright, diligent and righteous.

In 1959, Chan entered the University of Hong Kong to study English literature. She earned her pocket money by working as a private tutor. She at first decided to pursue a career as a social worker upon graduation, but later changed her mind and joined the Civil Service

Government career

British Administration

Chan joined the civil service as an administrative service cadet in 1962. She became a senior administrative officer in 1970. During this period she helped set up the Association of Female Senior Government Officers to fight for better rights for women civil servants.

During Chan's tenure as Director of Social Welfare in the 1980's, she was severely criticized by media for her handling of a child custody case in 1986. The incident is popularly known as the Daughter of Kwok-A Incident. The Daughter of Kwok-A Incident (Traditional Chinese: 郭亞女事件) is the popular term for a controversial Social Welfare case in Hong Kong during 1986. ...

From 1987 to 1993, she was Secretary for Economic Services, becoming the 30th and the last Chief Secretary in 1993. She mainly oversaw the localisation of the civil service during her time in this position. The Chief Secretary for Administration (政務司司長), commonly known as Chief Secretary and abbreviated as CS, is the second highest position of Hong Kong Government. ...

Chan was often described during this era as an "Iron Lady", with "an iron fist in a velvet glove". Chan was lauded as the most powerful woman in Asia for her role as the deputy of British Governor Chris Patten, and later Tung Chee-hwa. Lord Patten of Barnes The Right Honourable Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC (born 12 May 1944) is a prominent British Conservative politician. ... Tung Chee-hwa (Traditional Chinese: 董建華 Simplified Chinese: 董建华 Pinyin: Dǒng Jiànhuá) (born July 7, 1937, or the 29th day of the fifth month in the Chinese calendar) is the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People...

After Handover

After Hong Kong's handover to China on July 1, 1997, Chan stayed on as head of the civil service, continuing to serve the Hong Kong government under then Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Other Hong Kong topics Culture - Economy Education - Geography - History Hong Kong Portal The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Traditional Chinese: , Simplified Chinese: , pinyin: Xiānggǎng Tèbié Xíngzhèngqū Xíngzhèng Zhǎngguān; Cantonese Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 dak6 bit6 hang4 zing3 keoi1...

"Hong Kong's Conscience"

Chan's public utterances on certain matters have sometimes placed her at odds with Tung, but this also earned her the reputation of being "Hong Kong's Conscience" (Chinese: 香港良心).

In contrast to the more conservative Tung, Chan is credited by some to have been more forthcoming with supporting democracy and freedom, and to the call for faster pace of democratisation.

After pro-government figures in Hong Kong attacked the RTHK for being too critical of the Hong Kong and Chinese government Chan flew to its defence. [citation needed] Television Programs RTHK produces public affairs television programs which are broadcast by Hong Kongs three commercial television channels, TVB, ATV and Cable TV. These programmes include Hong Kong Connection (鏗鏘集), A Week in Politics (議事論事), Media Watch (傳媒春秋) and Police Magazine...

In 2001, Chan criticised a senior mainland Chinese official for expressing his view against Hong Kong media reports on Taiwan.

The constant criticism of Mainland officials and policies was perceived by many to be one of the main reasons for Beijing to view Chan as a malefactor in Hong Kong politics. In what the Hong Kong media saw as a dressing down for Chan, PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen told her at a function in Beijing to support the unpopular Tung. Qian's call came after pro-Beijing figures leveled massive criticism of Chan for months, with some floating a conspiracy theory which placed Chan as a figure of the "Dump Tung" campaigns, which was gathering pace at the time.[citation needed] Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: Běijīng; IPA: ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Qian Qichen Qian Qichen (钱其琛) (born January 5, 1928) is a Chinese diplomat and communist political figure. ...

The call by Qian was viewed by some to be the catalyst of Chan's comments in 2001 that she would be ready to quit if she was asked to accept policies that clashed with her principles,.

Criticism, Retirement

Throughout Chan's time in the post-handover government, Chan has received criticism for other matters from non-Beijing supporters.

In 1998, Chan was somewhat criticised for her role in the monitoring of the new Hong Kong International Airport construction at Chek Lap Kok. The airport faced incredible chaos after it opened, and some blame Chan for her lack of supervision. Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) (Chinese: 香港國際機場; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 gwok3 zai3 gei1 coeng4; Mandarin Pinyin: ) is the principal airport in Hong Kong. ... Chek Lap Kok (Chinese: 赤鱲角; Jyutping: cek3 laap6 gok3; Cantonese IPA: ; Pinyin: Chìliè Jiǎo; Red Perch Cape) is an island in the western waters of Hong Kong. ...

After the airport fiasco, Chan agreed in 1999 to delay her retirement until June 2002. However, Chan announced her resignation in January 2001 and, after using up her accumulated holiday time, officially stepped down in April of the same year.


In recognition of her 34 years of public service to the British Crown, Chan was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to be an honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George in 2002. Such award is usually given only to Governors of Hong Kong before the return of sovereignty. Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... The Governor of Hong Kong was a British official who ruled Hong Kong during the colonial period between 1841 and 1997 and was ex officio Commander-in-Chief and Vice-Admiral of Hong Kong. ...

After Retirement

Chan kept a somewhat lower profile after retirement, although many believe Chan harbours political ambitions. Such assertions were said by some to have been proved by her participation of the 4 December protest against Donald Tsang's constitutional reform package [1]. The poster of the protest for democracy in Hong Kong Protesters passing Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay. ...

Shortly after the protest, Chan openly called on Donald Tsang to ask for greater democracy from Beijing in the media. Donald Tsang Yam Kuen, GBM, KBE, JP, (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: , born October 7, 1944) has been the Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2005. ... Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: Běijīng; IPA: ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ...

Mrs Anson Chan and Her Core Group

In July 2006 Chan announced she will be starting a Core Group (Mrs Anson Chan and Her Core Group) to push for taking forward the debate on Hong Kong’s constitutional reforms. The Core Group includes the following members: Mrs Anson Chan and Her Core Group is a group that is taking forward the debate on Hong Kong’s constitutional reform. ...

  • former Liberal Party chairman Mr Allen Lee Peng-fei
  • Convenor of the Civic Exchange think-tank Ms Christine Loh Kung-wai
  • Mrs Elizabeth Bosher
  • Professor Johannes Chan
  • Mr Chandran Nair
  • Mrs Lily Yam

Liberal Party (自由黨) is a liberal conservative political party in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Allen Lee Peng Fei CBE, JP (李鵬飛) (born April 24, 1940 in Yantai, Shandong) is a Hong Kong politician. ... Christine Loh attends the CWMC 2006 Christine Loh Kung-wai (陸恭蕙) is a former Hong Kong Legislator and founder of the Citizens Party. ...


  • Chan has a twin sister.
  • On September 23, 2006, in a news conference, Chan proclaimed that she will not run CE in 2007.

September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Anson Chan
  • Mrs Anson Chan and her Core Group
  • Anson Chan to start group to map out democracy path
  • Anson Chan to attend 1 July democracy march
  • Anson in steps to democracy
Preceded by
Piers Jacobs
Secretary for Economic Services
1987 - 1993
Succeeded by
Gordon Siu
Preceded by
Edward Barrie Wiggham
Secretary for the Civil Service
Succeeded by
Michael Sze
Preceded by
David Robert Ford
Chief Secretary
1993 - 1997
Succeeded by
Title renamed to Chief Secretary for Administration
Preceded by
Title renamed from Chief Secretary
Chief Secretary for Administration
1997 - 2001
Succeeded by
Donald Tsang

  Results from FactBites:
Anson Chan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (888 words)
Born in 1940 in Shanghai, China, Chan was educated at Hong Kong's Sacred Heart Canossian College (formerly known as Italian Convent School and Sacred Heart School) and the University of Hong Kong.
After the handover, Chan was criticised for her role in the monitoring of the completion of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong International Airport, after the chaos of its opening in 1998.
Chan flew to the defence of a government radio station in 1999 after pro-Beijing figures attacked it for being too critical of the central authorities and Tung's government.
2.4 (1332 words)
Anson Chan had a profound effect on the civil service culture post 1997 for she conceptualized and put together a coherent theory for the political neutrality of a civil servant to stand apart from the Chief Executive in any important decision.
Anson Chan was not only able to shape the so-called neutrality concept; she had become the only source of power within the civil service, long before C.H. Tung assumed the position of Chief Executive.
Anson Chan, who started her career at the bottom of the colonial ladder, had thirty years to perfect the art of being obedient and in the right light at the right time.
  More results at FactBites »



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