Hong Kong's leader Tung Chee-hwa has announced his resignation. Here are excerpts from his speech.
Tung Chee-hwa said his health was deteriorating and he tired easily
After careful and deliberate consideration I have tendered my resignation as chief executive, and I hope that the central government will understand my own circumstances and overall situation and approve my request.
Fellow citizens, I believe Hong Kong today is in a pretty good position. I now have even higher hopes for Hong Kong's future than ever before. After eight years of challenges and restructuring, Hong Kong is now better equipped to sail in to the future. One country, two systems will prevail.
I am privileged to have served the people of Hong Kong... I am therefore grateful for the opportunity given to me by the people of Hong Kong and the trust placed upon me by the central government.
[After being asked if he had been forced to resign...]
That is not the case at all.
Age does creep up, and I'll be 68-years-old in three months' time. My health has been deteriorating. I've felt this since the beginning of the third quarter last year. I get tired very easily, problems, sickness crop up everywhere. My doctor told me, if you keep on doing this it will not be good for you. You must change the way you work.
The work of the chief executive is very heavy. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility. I think it's better to step aside and to have another person to carry these things through. I think it's the responsible thing to do for me.