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…

Three Scenarios for Hong Kong’s New Chief Executive

Three Scenarios for Hong Kong’s New Chief ExecutiveCarrie Lam is the Chief-Executive-elect of Hong Kong as a result of the territory’s hermaphroditic electoral system, in which she won 777 votes from the 1,194-member election committee, a collection of tycoons and pro-Beijing special interests. "She is a Hong Kong lady. Ruthlessly pragmatic, mercilessly efficient," says an intimate observer of politics in Hong Kong.…

Beijing Sends Hong Kong an Ominous Message

Beijing Sends Hong Kong an Ominous MessageIt might be possible to feel sympathy for Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor. On Sunday, Beijing’s bludgeoning of the business and professional elite had assured her of an overwhelming victory (67 percent of 1,163 valid votes) in the unequal contest to become Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive, easily defeating former Financial Secretary John Tsang. She promised to…

Beijing Serves Up Yet another Chief Executive for Hong Kong

Beijing Serves Up Yet another Chief Executive for Hong KongThe election charade for Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive has entered its final week with the two candidates destined to be defeated still pretending that this is a real fight.  In practice, the two are simply trying to maintain and enhance their images with the public rather than expecting they can seriously challenge Beijing’s dictate…

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…

How Carrie Lam Beggars Belief

How Carrie Lam Beggars BeliefShe may be Beijing’s openly preferred candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong, but lifetime bureaucrat Carrie Lam has a lot to learn about politics. Indeed she seems to have a lot to learn about how 99% of people in the territory live. Since declaring her candidacy for the top job earlier this month, Lam…

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…

Asia in 2016: Hong Kong

Asia in 2016: Hong KongJust as the aftershocks of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement demonstrations of 2014 had calmed down, the Year of the Monkey began in Hong Kong with a violent surprise. In February, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department cracked down on popular but unlicensed street food vendors in Kowloon’s gritty Mong Kok neighborhood, prompting an angry response…

Beijing Loses Patience with Hong Kong’s Leung

Beijing Loses Patience with Hong Kong’s LeungNew Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key surprisingly quit last week while he was ahead. Hong Kong’s Chief executive CY Leung has surprisingly quit as well, but he was hardly a success. His Beijing bosses evidently decided that he was too much of a liability and the political cost of pushing to win a second term…

Danger to Democracy Increases in Hong Kong

Danger to Democracy Increases in Hong KongThe Hong Kong government is making an all-out effort to decimate the ranks of pro-democracy legislators. Having already succeeded through the courts in ousting two on grounds that they made a mockery of the oath taking at the start of the first session of the new legislature they are now gunning for four more. These…
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