Tang Hsiang-chien, an outstanding Hong Kong industrialist who came to be known as “The Textile King”, died at 10 a.m. on Saturday. He was 95.
A representative of Tang’s family said in a statement he “died peacefully”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Learning about his father’s death, Henry Tang Ying-yen, who is a member of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body, rushed back to Hong Kong late Saturday night from Beijing, where he was attending the annual session of CPPCC.
The former chief secretary said through a public relations representative that although his father died without any suffering, all members of the family were extremely saddened, adding that he felt deeply sorry about not being able to see his father one last time because of his schedule.
According to Henry Tang, he will return to Beijing on Tuesday night and continue to join the CPPCC meeting on Wednesday.
Born in 1923 to a textile family from Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Tang Hsiang-chien had studied in the United Kingdom and the United States before starting the family business in Hong Kong in the 1950s.
He had since built a textile empire that currently encompasses not only China but many other Asian countries as well.
According to the 2018 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List, Tang Hsiang-chien’s estimated net worth was US$1.6 billion, making him the 44th richest person in Hong Kong.
Besides being a successful businessman, Tang was also a member of the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which implemented the handover of the city’s sovereignty, and sat on the Selection Committee that was responsible for electing the HKSAR’s first chief executive and the Provisional Legislative Council after the handover.
He was a CPPCC national committee member as well.
Tang Hsiang-chien was last seen in public in 2012 when he showed up at the campaign event held for his son Henry, who was then running in the chief executive election. Leung Chun-ying won the race.
In a statement on Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed sadness over Tang’s death and paid condolences to his family.
Lam said Tang was actively involved in the work for Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and contributed greatly to the HKSAR’s establishment.
“As a successful businessman, he contributed to the development of the motherland and supported the reform and opening up of the country,” she said. “I am saddened by his passing and extend my deepest condolences to his family.”
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