Lady in Waiting

MN Chan / Getty Images

Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan holds a press conference to announce she would be running for Hong Kong's legislature in coming by-elections, Sept. 11, 2007

Anson Chan isn't anyone's idea of a radical. As the first Chinese to hold the post of Chief Secretary in Hong Kong's colonial government, she was a widely admired example of how a local, through hard work and artfulness, could ascend to the top of the establishment. Since her retirement six years ago, Chan's stature has barely diminished. With a patrician demeanor that can convey both hauteur and charisma, she is the paragon of the city's haute bourgeoisie . The city's working people treat her like a queen. And although she served in Hong Kong's first postcolonial administration...

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