The Singaporization of Hong Kong’s Judiciary

The Singaporization of Hong Kong’s JudiciaryHow independent of its government is the judicial system of Hong Kong? The question has been brought into stark relief by two decisions last week by its Court of Appeal handing out serious jail terms to young activists and student leaders who had earlier been sentenced to (and served) community service for those roles in…

China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard University

China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard UniversityThe level and sources of funding from China-linked tycoons and institutions for Harvard University is opaque and prodigious, and calls into question just how the dons at the US’s most prestigious educational institution handle the influence and remain unfettered academically and intellectually. Harvard is not unique in being a soft but influential voice on China…

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration Facility

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration FacilityThe Hong Kong government is railroading through a plan to give up legal rights to a piece of its own territory in favor of Beijing. A chunk of the high-speed rail terminus being constructed in the middle of Kowloon, where immigration and customs formalities will be performed, is to come under the formal jurisdiction of…

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK Tycoon

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK TycoonThe continuing tightening of the noose around democratic practices in Hong Kong now appears to be playing itself out in the New York-based Asia Society, the prestigious nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Asians and the United States, and its billionaire Hong Kong chairman. There have long been worries about Chan’s influence.…

An Ageing, Worried Hong Kong Marks 20 Years Out of UK’s Clutches

An Ageing, Worried Hong Kong Marks 20 Years Out of UK’s ClutchesTwenty years on from the end of British colonial rule of Hong Kong, it would be hard to argue that the territory’s relative position in the world has improved. Indeed, the optimism felt at the time of the handover that the city could be beacon of freedom, prosperity and democracy in the region and the…

Coming Soon: One Country, One System

Coming Soon: One Country, One SystemDespite strong official backing by Beijing, Hong Kong’s future Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor, promised to heal the divisions in society. Yet in the runup to her installation on July 1, it appears increasingly that the healing of divisions is going to be accomplished by silencing one half of that divide. Actions and words in…

Two Cases Spell Out Demise of Law in Hong Kong

Two Cases Spell Out Demise of Law in Hong KongThe rule of law in Hong Kong, and the notion of its being an international city, appear in danger of fraying at the seams over two well-publicized legal cases. On Feb. 17, a judge convicted seven policemen, including a Chief Inspector and a Senior Inspector, of the vicious kicking and beating of a protestor during…

Beijing Anoints Yet Another Hong Kong Chief Executive

Beijing Anoints Yet Another Hong Kong Chief ExecutiveThe contest for next Chief Executive for Hong Kong may be almost over before it has begun. Four candidates are at present in the frame but Beijing has now made it abundantly clear whom it favors – outgoing Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam. The others thus may simply be decoration.  The efforts that Lam…

Hong Kong’s Pro-Democrats Make a Mess of Things

Hong Kong’s Pro-Democrats Make a Mess of ThingsHong Kong’s pro-democracy camp is in deep trouble, a political situation that the world is watching as a precarious experiment in democracy on China’s southern flank – and one of the most important free economies – comes under increasing pressure from its giant neighbor from the north. Political game-playing and posturing on the parts of…

Judicial Independence Under Rising Threat in Hong Kong

Judicial Independence Under Rising Threat in Hong KongBeijing has just delivered the biggest blow to Hong Kong’s judicial independence since the 1997 handover. It has intervened to pre-empt a judgment by Hong Kong’s courts on interpretation of local legislation by claiming the issue falls directly under the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, for which the final interpreter is the National People’s Congress. …
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