Eric Chan

Eric Chan Kwok-ki SBS IDSM JP (Chinese: 陳國基; born 5 April 1959) is a Hong Kong politician who is the incumbent Chief Secretary for Administration since 1 July 2022. He was also the secretary-general of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security (2020–2022).[2] Previously, he served as Director of the Chief Executive's Office (2017–2022) and Director of Immigration (2011–2016).[3][4]

Eric Chan Kwok-ki
SBS IDSM JP
陳國基
9th Chief Secretary for Administration
Assumed office
1 July 2022
Chief ExecutiveJohn Lee Ka-chiu
Preceded byJohn Lee Ka-chiu
Director of the Chief Executive's Office
In office
1 July 2017  30 June 2022
Chief ExecutiveCarrie Lam
Preceded byEdward Yau
Succeeded byCarol Yip man-kuen
Secretary-General of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security
In office
2 July 2020  30 June 2022
ChairpersonCarrie Lam
Director of Immigration
In office
28 March 2011  4 April 2016
Chief ExecutiveDonald Tsang
Leung Chun-ying
Preceded bySimon Peh
Succeeded byErick Tsang
Personal details
Born (1959-04-05) 5 April 1959
Hong Kong
SpouseKristy Lai Chin-har[1]
Residence(s)Shatin, Hong Kong
Alma materShue Yan College (HonDip)
Tsinghua University (LLB)
OccupationCivil servant
Eric Chan Kwok-ki
Traditional Chinese陳國基
Simplified Chinese陈国基

Early life

Chan studied in CCC Heep Woh College from 1972 to 1976. In 1982, he graduated from Hong Kong Shue Yan College (Now Hong Kong Shue Yan University). During the year of his services, he completed a bachelor of Laws degree at Tsinghua University in 2001.

Career

Chan joined the Immigration Department of Hong Kong as an Assistant Immigration Officer in 1982. In 1989, he was promoted to Immigration Officer, then Senior Immigration Officer in 1995, and Chief Immigration Officer in 2000. By 2003, he was Assistant Principal Immigration Officer, and promoted to Principal Immigration Officer the following year. In 2007, Chan was appointed as Assistant Director of Immigration, then Deputy Director of Immigration in 2010. He was appointed as Director of Immigration in March 2011 succeeding Simon Peh.[3]

Chan was involved in the import restriction imposed on Japanese goods to Hong Kong in aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[5][6]

In May 2017, Chan was appointed Director of Chief Executive-elect's Office under Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam.[7] He was appointed Director of Chief Executive's Office when Lam took office in July 2017.[8]

In July 2020, Chan was appointed Secretary General of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.[9]

U.S. sanctions

In August 2020, Chan and ten other officials were sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury under Executive Order 13936 by President Trump for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy.[10][11][12] His home at Royal Ascot in Sha Tin was bought for HKD 8.69 million in 2009 and the mortgage was fully paid off,[13] negating any issues that could arise from sanctions against his bank.

On October 14, 2020, the United States Department of State released a report on ten individuals who materially contributed to the failure of China to fulfill its obligations under the Sino–British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong's Basic Law. Chan was included on the list.[14]

Strive and Rise Program

In August 2022, Chan announced the "Strive and Rise Program" to give 2,000 students a HK$10,000 subsidy and mentorship;[15] the program was quickly criticized as "poorly conceived".[16]

Taiwan

In August 2022, Chan criticized Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, claiming it "seriously undermined China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and constituted a gross interference in the country's internal affairs".[17] Chan and other government officials were criticized by Lew Mon-hung for "crossing the line" with his statements on Taiwan, as the Basic Law stipulates that diplomatic affairs of Hong Kong are to be handled by mainland China's Foreign Ministry.[18][19]

COVID-19

On 10 October 2022, Chan defended the "0+3" measure for inbound travelers to Hong Kong despite calls to remove all restrictions, and said it was "the most appropriate arrangement" and was "an important step made after thorough thinking, involving detailed discussion inside the government, consultation with experts and analysis of various statistics."[20]

On 5 October 2022, legislative council member Doreen Kong criticized the government and Lo Chung-mau for invalidating 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine exemption passes, stating that he had no legal authority to do so, with Koon asking "Who is destroying the rule of law now?"[21][22] Chan defended the government and said it was "sensible and reasonable" in its decision, and that the use of the passes would risk people's health and cause "unnecessary pressure" on hospitals.[23] On 11 October 2022, the High Court temporary stopped Lo's invalidation of the vaccine exemption passes.[24]

Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit

On 29 October 2022, after members of the US Congress asked US-based financial executives to reconsider going to the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit, Chan said "This shows the US and other Western countries are using all extreme means to suppress China, including Hong Kong."[25]

Talents Service Unit

In December 2022, Chan said "We are confident that we can attract at least 35,000 talented professionals every year for the next three years."[26]

Jimmy Lai

In December 2022, the NPCSC ruled that the Chief Executive could block foreign lawyers from representing defendants in national security cases, after Jimmy Lai attempted to hire UK lawyer Tim Owen.[27] In January 2023, Ming Pao newspaper published a comic that said the NPCSC "only confirmed that the chief executive and the committee could do whatever they want."[27]

In reaction, Chan said the government "deeply regretted" the comic, which made "biased, misleading, and false accusations" to the "constitutional responsibility of the chief executive to safeguard national security."[27] Chan also said "It is completely wrong and misleading for the comic to depict the NPCSC interpretation as allowing the chief executive to do 'whatever he wants'," and also said "The interpretation abided by the principle of the rule of law, and did not harm the court's independent judiciary power or basic human rights such as the right to a fair trial."[27]

Awards

In 2001, Chan was awarded the Hong Kong Immigration Service Long Service Medal. In 2009, he received the Hong Kong Immigration Service Medal for Distinguished Service (IDSM).

Personal life

Chan's wife tested positive for COVID-19, and Chan was sent to compulsory quarantine on 21 June 2022; Chan later tested positive for it.[28]

Chan and his family own 3 properties.[29]

Chan is a voting member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.[30]

References

  1. 妻任校長 屢派下屬到校撐場. Apple Daily (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Hong Kong. 2017-05-05. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  2. "Establishment of Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR (with photos)". www.info.gov.hk. Hong Kong Government. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  3. "Mr Eric Chan Kwok-ki, IDSM, Director of Immigration". Government of Hong Kong. March 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  4. "Appointment of Director of Immigration". Government of Hong Kong. April 5, 2016.
  5. Deng, Andrea (22 March 2011). "Govt to push ahead nuclear power despite Japan incident". China Daily. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  6. "Second blast lifts fallout fears". The Standard. 15 March 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  7. "Appointment of Director of Chief Executive-elect's Office". Government of Hong Kong. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  8. "New team of Principal Officials appointed". Government of Hong Kong. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  9. "Appointment of Secretary General of Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR (with photos)". www.info.gov.hk. Hong Kong Government. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  10. "US sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, police chief and 9 other top officials for 'undermining autonomy'". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  11. Macias, Amanda (7 August 2020). "U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam for carrying out Chinese 'policies of suppression'". CNBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  12. "Treasury Sanctions Individuals for Undermining Hong Kong's Autonomy". United States Department of the Treasury. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  13. "Teresa Cheng's mortgage under scrutiny as US sanctions cut bank ties". South China Morning Post. 2020-08-21. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  14. U.S. Department of State. "Identification of Foreign Persons Involved in the Erosion of the Obligations of China Under the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law". Archived from the original on 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  15. Li, Almond (2022-08-22). "Politics to play no part in programme helping underprivileged students, Hong Kong chief secretary says". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  16. Standard, The. "Mentors scheme 'poorly conceived'". The Standard. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  17. Leung, Hillary (2022-08-03). "'Gross interference': Hong Kong top officials, gov't departments, lawmakers condemn Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  18. Standard, The. "HK shouldn't 'snatch' but attract overseas talents: Lew Mon-hung". The Standard. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  19. "Poor communication is costing Hong Kong government public trust". South China Morning Post. 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  20. Lee, Peter (2022-10-10). "Covid-19: Hong Kong gov't asked to approve Omicron vaccine; expert urges public not to wait to get 4th jab". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  21. Standard, The. "Lawmaker questions govts legal basis to invalidate suspected fraudulent jab exemptions". The Standard. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  22. Ho, Kelly (2022-10-05). "Hong Kong lawmaker questions legal basis of invalidating Covid-19 jab exemptions from arrested doctors". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  23. Ho, Kelly (2022-10-11). "Hong Kong court to hear challenge against annulling Covid-19 jab exemptions from arrested doctors". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  24. Li, Almond (2022-10-11). "Hong Kong court blocks gov't from invalidating Covid-19 jab exemptions issued by arrested doctors". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  25. "Top Hong Kong official slams US politicians over banker summit threats". South China Morning Post. 2022-10-29. Retrieved 2022-10-29.
  26. "Hong Kong to cast 'far wider net than that of Singapore' in talent push". South China Morning Post. 2022-12-23. Retrieved 2022-12-26.
  27. Chau, Candice (2023-01-06). "Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao criticised by No. 2 official over comic strip about Beijing ruling on security law". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  28. "2 top Hong Kong officials contract Covid, raising concerns over state leader visit". South China Morning Post. 2022-06-23. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  29. Standard, The. "Financial Services Secretary tops the interests declaration with seven properties". The Standard. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  30. Standard, The. "Crunch looms in rare race to join the club". The Standard. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
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