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. …

Hong Kong’s Democrats Chafe Against Beijing

Hong Kong’s Democrats Chafe Against BeijingHong Kong politics are becoming ever more convoluted as March 2017 legislative elections approach, with a growing list of candidates to replace widely disliked Chief Executive CY Leung, and with obstreperous localists – vainly advocating home rule for the city of 7 million – elected earlier in 2016 willing to disrupt the legislative process.  But the…

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung’s Days Numbered?

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung’s Days Numbered?The wheels seem to be falling off the administration of Hong Kong Chief executive Leung Chun-ying, who faces re-election early next year. With the end of the summer vacation and the new Legislative Council due to meet for the first time next week, pressure on Leung not to stand again is building up. It would…

Former HKU Law Dean Charges Chief Executive with Political Interference

Former HKU Law Dean Charges Chief Executive with Political InterferenceJohannes Chan, the former dean of the Hong Kong University law faculty who was denied appointment as a vice chancellor a year ago, has taken aim at Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for academic interference in university affairs. Chan has co-authored a new paper with Douglas Kerr for Journal of Academic Freedom, the scholarly publication…

Hong Kong Says No to Beijing

Hong Kong Says No to BeijingHong Kong has delivered its own version of populist politics, sending to the Legislative Council six young advocates of autonomy, if not downright independence. In the process voters rejected several established politicians from both the pro-democracy and pro-government camps. The result cannot have improved the humor of President Xi Jinping, then presiding over the G20…

Beijing Rivalry Plays Itself Out in Hong Kong

Beijing Rivalry Plays Itself Out in Hong KongThe vicious internecine party vendettas of the mainland are coming to Hong Kong. No one is surprised if high-profile Beijing critics in Hong Kong get arrested on the mainland with trumped up charges ranging from theft of state secrets to fraud, business malpractice, etc. But in an indication of a deep split among the party…

China’s ‘Thought Police’ Tighten Screws on Hong Kong

China’s ‘Thought Police’ Tighten Screws on Hong KongHong Kong’s four-yearly elections for its Legislative Council are just two weeks away, but instead of looking to a future of a more democratic system, citizens are witnessing strong-arm tactics to limit participation. Worse still, freedom of speech, long a cherished bedrock feature of Hong Kong, is under threat from Communist Party-generated authoritarianism dressed up…

Proxy War Between China Leaders Enmeshes Hong Kong Publishers

Proxy War Between China Leaders Enmeshes Hong Kong PublishersDespite the 1997 promise that China would leave Hong Kong alone for 50 years, Beijing in recent months has extended a harsh crackdown on freedom of speech in the supposedly autonomous region, now handing down convictions and prison sentences to the editor and publisher respectively of two Hong Kong magazines as well as an editorial…

Hong Kong Anti-Graft Watchdog Under Threat

Hong Kong Anti-Graft Watchdog Under ThreatThe march of Beijing into the core institutions that make Hong Kong a separate place continues. Last week saw the sudden dismissal of the head of investigations at the renowned Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). This is arguably the ICAC’s single most important position, being held by a long serving investigator while the top job,…