Man in the Middle

The office Donald Tsang uses at his election-campaign HQ is small and austere—no ornaments, just a desk, a computer and chairs. The atmosphere is distinctly no-nonsense, and that was precisely Tsang's mood when he met TIME's Zoher Abdoolcarim and Austin Ramzy last Friday for a brisk conversation about democracy, his relationship with Beijing, and Hong Kong's competition. Excerpts:

TIME: Your re-election is a foregone conclusion. Why campaign at all?
TSANG: My objective is not only to win the votes of the 800 people who are the delegates in the Election Committee. My campaign is to...

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