| Leung Chun-ying, newly-elected Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), speaks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Hong Kong, south China, March 30, 2012. The HKSAR held the election for the fourth-term chief executive on March 25. In the first round of the voting, Leung garnered 689 votes, a majority of the 1,132 votes cast by members of the 1,200- member Election Committee. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
by Zhang Tianguo, Xia Ziyi
HONG KONG, April 11 (Xinhua) -- There is a tiny place on the planet with abundant inspiring stories that ladder up an international city of more than 7 million people and an economy that reached 243 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.
This is Hong Kong, home to Leung Chun-ying (known as CY Leung), the elected fourth-term Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Leung officially announced his candidacy for the post in October 2011, focusing on housing, poverty reduction, medical services, education and other social issues, since he developed his political career mainly around the well-being of the Hong Kong people.
For Leung, family means a lot. Eighty years ago, his penniless parents came to Hong Kong from Shandong Province. Little Leung, born on Aug. 12, 1954, and his two sisters lived in their father's cramped police dormitory with one communal washroom shared by a dozen households for years until they could afford their own apartment.
"My mom is a bound-feet woman. When I was in primary school, I accompanied my mom to work on an assembly line making plastic flowers," he choked up in a stump speech.
"I still remember the last time we delivered plastic flowers. My mom kept the last wrapping bag in a box, saying it was to be passed down to her grandson."
Till now, Leung's right shoulder is still sturdier than the left as the only boy of the family had to do such heavy labor as carrying raw materials and bags of plastic flowers after school. But it was recalled as the first lesson in life for him: Earn your own living no matter how bad the times may be.
With a five-year scholarship from the Police Force, Leung went on to the King's College, one of Hong Kong's oldest government secondary schools before he was admitted to study Surveying at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Between 1974 and 1977, he studied Estate Management at Bristol Polytechnic, UK. To cover expenses, he worked 20 hours a week at a Chinese takeaway shop, sometimes back to the residence in the wee hours. Everyday he walked 55 minutes each way to college just to save the bus fare. On weekends, he and other Hong Kong students taught Chinese to the children of Hong Kong immigrants.
The difficult life in his youth not only taught Leung the importance of determination and perseverance which has been integrated into his personality, but also gave him a basic understanding of Hong Kong society, as well as the needs and expectations of the general public.