Date
17 December 2017
James Tien hopes to form the alliance with John Tsang and Jasper Tsang by year-end to be able to help young centrists planning to enter politics. Photo: HKEJ
James Tien hopes to form the alliance with John Tsang and Jasper Tsang by year-end to be able to help young centrists planning to enter politics. Photo: HKEJ

James Tien eyes 3JT alliance to help young centrists

James Tien Pei-chun, Liberal Party’s honorary chairman, said he has been working to form a new alliance to support young people with centrist views in their bid to enter politics.

The former lawmaker told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview that he has always wanted to see more young blood entering the Legislative Council because Hong Kong has long been short of political talent.

As such, he plans to launch, together with former financial secretary and defeated chief executive candidate John Tsang Chun-wah and former LegCo chairman Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, an alliance that will serve as a platform for young people to join the legislative body.

The alliance, which Tien has proposed, will be called “3JT” in reference to the common initials of the three founding members.

Tien said the alliance will target young people who shun violence, subservience and the idea of moving abroad, and those who do not belong to either the pro-establishment camp or the pan-democratic bloc but favor centrism, regardless of their political background.

He said he is convinced there is always a market for centrism, although the percentage of votes obtained by centrist candidates in past elections did not reflect society’s actual orientation.

Tien stressed that 3JT does not intend to name its own candidates in future elections but will only offer assistance to young candidates.

There have been several young people, including University of Hong Kong alumni who graduated just four or five years ago, expressing their will to enter LegCo and hoping to get help, he said.

Asked if it’s true, as some media reported, that Jasper Tsang has refused to initiate the alliance, Tien said it was pure rumor, although he admitted that Jasper Tsang might find himself in an awkward position because he was once the chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Tien said a lot of things have yet to be done before 3JT is launched, but it is expected to be functioning by the end of the year to be able to help young candidates in the Legco by-election.

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TL/JC/CG

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