Tien has been a member of LegCo since 1983, and was the Chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, an influential business organization in Hong Kong. He became the Chairman of the LP after the resignation of its former and founding Chairman, Allen Lee Peng-fei, in November 1998.
Tien currently serves as a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and general committee member of both the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Hong Kong Industries.
Tien joined the Executive Council, the cabinet of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, in July 2002 as the Chairman of LP, following the reorganization of the Council under the new accountability system of the Chief Executive. However, barely after 1 year, Tien announced his resignation from the Executive Council on July 6 2003, after his calls to delay the controversial legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law was rejected. His resignation caused the eventual withdrawal of the legislation and break-up of the "ruling alliance" of the Chief Executive, while his popularity and that of LP surged.
See Also: Politics of Hong Kong