Hong Kong and Venality in High Places

Hong Kong and Venality in High PlacesThe trial for corruption of the former number two official in the Hong Kong government is telling voters in vivid detail what they have long suspected: the unhealthily close relationship between officials and the clique of mega rich men who dominate the local property market. The proceedings against Rafael Hui Si-yan and the top executives…

Hong Kong’s Bureaucrats Rewrite History

Hong Kong’s Bureaucrats Rewrite HistoryThe rewriting of Hong Kong’s history has started early. Its government, for a mix of bureaucratic interests and political assumptions, is simply obliterating significant chunks of it from the public record. The long term result will be that for future historians of China its existence will be much diminished rating along with Weihai (under British…

Hong Kong: China’s Obstreperous Adoptee

Hong Kong: China’s Obstreperous AdopteeTwo of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy citizens, Anson Chan, former chief secretary under Chris Patten, and Martin Lee, one of the city’s most prominent democracy advocates, have spent the past week in the United States holding a series of panel discussions on the territory’s future in the face of what critics call the increasing…

When Chaos Trumps Security

When Chaos Trumps SecurityIt doesn’t take much for unfolding events to break down security, especially if security forces aren’t well trained to handle unexpected situations. The continuing standoff between the Taiwan government and protesters over the lack of transparency during the negotiations of a cross-Strait services trade pact between Taipei and Beijing, has stolen global headlines and illustrates…

Hong Kong’s Autonomy Erodes Further

Hong Kong’s Autonomy Erodes FurtherThe rate of erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy is speeding up. Beijing is now making little attempt to hide its interference in issues which properly belong to the territory under the One Country Two Systems concept on which its autonomy is based, and the Basic Law which enshrines it separate status. The central government’s Liaison…

Press Freedom Being Eroded in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Press Freedom Being Eroded in Hong Kong and TaiwanThe press in Hong Kong and Taiwan is under unrelenting pressure from local and Chinese governments, oligarchic owners and thugs employed to beat up reporters and editors, according to an exhaustive 4,500-word report released today by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The picture the report paints is one of slow but relentless erosion…

China Leans on Hong Kong’s Press

China Leans on Hong Kong’s PressHong Kong has one of the world’s highest newspaper readership densities. Its freewheeling press has six free newspapers, five communist dailies, three general dailies, two financial papers, two religious journals, one robustly pro-democracy icon plus two English language papers and three global ones. Hong Kong citizens enjoy the full spectrum of the good, bad, trusted…

Opinion: HK Activists’ Ludicrous Demands on China

Opinion: HK Activists’ Ludicrous Demands on ChinaWhen I read about the Boxing Day arrest of four British flag-waving activists who broke into the PLA Central Barracks in downtown Hong Kong, I was reminded of a certain Facebook petition. The petition was seeking signatures to ask the Queen of England to retake Hong Kong. Like the well-intentioned activists, three things characterize the…

Another Blow to Hong Kong’s Independent Media

Another Blow to Hong Kong’s Independent MediaThe gradual suffocation of free and diverse media in Hong Kong has gained momentum in recent weeks. The latest blow came on January 6 when the editor of Ming Pao, the respected Chinese-language daily, was fired. Kevin Lau Chun-to is to be replaced by a Malaysian who is unlikely to know much about Hong Kong…

China Tries to Head off Hong Kong Democracy

China Tries to Head off Hong Kong DemocracyTwenty years after stalling universal suffrage for Hong Kong to elect its chief executive and legislators – promised in the territory’s mini constitution called the Basic Law, Beijing is now bent on hijacking the process of chief executive selection for 2017. Patriotism – equated as it is with allegiance to Communist Party dictatorship, has been…