It’s a rare day when a Hong Kong official –- much less one who’s set to run for chief executive –- discusses his love life in public. So jaws dropped Tuesday when Hong Kong Chief Executive hopeful Henry Tang admitted “flaws” in his marital life. This could all add uncertainty in an otherwise clear race between two pro-Beijing cronies for the city’s top job in an election next March.
This revelation came on the heels of an exclusive interview in Chinese-language East Magazine published Tuesday with Mr. Tang and his wife of 27 years, in which she obliquely acknowledged reports of his extramarital affairs. Reports about Mr. Tang’s love life and marriage have become more pronounced in recent days following his resignation as chief secretary in a highly expected move as he considers running for chief executive.
“I have had flaws in my personal life and I feel deeply remorseful of that,” the father of four said in a cryptic joint statement with his wife of 27 years. “I am very grateful for my wife’s understanding and forgiveness.” He affirmed her role as his “partner for life,” but didn’t elaborate on the flaws.
His wife, Lisa Tang, said in the statement that there were “difficult times” in their marriage, but said she admires her husband’s strengths more than his weaknesses. She noted she has long put such personal issues behind her.
Though Mr. Tang, 59 years old, has yet to formally announce his candidacy for chief executive, the latest news may dent his image as a loving father and devoted family man. His confession early on in the race could be seen as a pre-emptive move to avoid the scandal breaking at the height of his campaign.
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