BEIJING: Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, among the most vocal supporters of Beijing's moves to tighten control over the territory, did not rule out a return to his former post in an interview on Wednesday (Mar 3).
"I'd do anything to serve Hong Kong well and to serve the country," said Leung, who was chief executive from 2012-2017 and is vice chairman of China's top political advisory body the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), when asked if he ruled out the possibility of returning to the post.
"I've not been exactly sitting on my hands in the past three years," he said.
READ: Hong Kong to spend US$15.4 billion to stabilise virus-ravaged economy
Asked if he is open to running for - or being selected as - Hong Kong's next chief executive, Leung listed the position's requirements: A Chinese citizen at least 40 years old who has lived in Hong Kong for more then 20 years.
"So, I am among millions of Hong Kong people who are eligible," Leung said during a video interview in Beijing, where the CPPCC gathers for its annual meeting starting on Thursday, alongside the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress (NPC), or parliament.
Leung, 66, has long been tipped in Hong Kong political and business circles as a potential successor to current leader Carrie Lam, given his continued high profile and the surprise of his announcement in late 2016, when he said he would not stand for a second term, citing family reasons.
Lam's five-year term expires in March 2022.