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,…

HK Concert Cancellation a Flash Point with Beijing

HK Concert Cancellation a Flash Point with BeijingThe announcement that Canto-pop singer and democracy advocate Denise Ho Wan-si is to host a free concert in Hong Kong on June 19 caps an extraordinary two weeks that demonstrate both attempts by Beijing to bully the territory and deep and continuing anger at China that has been boiling for months. The controversy has to…

HK’s Unpopular Chief Exec May Face Competition from Bureaucrats

HK’s Unpopular Chief Exec May Face Competition from BureaucratsHong Kong’s top two bureaucrats are limbering up to present themselves as challengers to the deeply unpopular incumbent Chief Executive C.Y. Leung, 62, whose term ends next year. The two are Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, 59, and long-serving Financial Secretary John Tsang, 64. Both are life-long civil servants. However, it is not clear…

Malaysian Tycoon Dismembers HK Paper for Beijing

Malaysian Tycoon Dismembers HK Paper for BeijingWhy did Sarawak timber tycoon Tiong Hiew King stir up a hornet’s nest in Hong Kong by sacking the executive editor of Ming Pao, the once-respected Chinese language daily newspaper he owns, apparently over the publication of the Panama Papers? The action by Chong Tieng Song, the Malaysian earlier made editor in chief of the…

South China Morning Post Shows its New China Stripes

South China Morning Post Shows its New China StripesAlibaba’s Jack Ma has made an immediate impact on his new acquisition, the South China Morning Post. Concerns are rising that the newspaper, considered one of the most authoritative in Asia on China despite its drawbacks, is going to become a cheerleader for Beijing. The front page on April 5 led with an innocent enough…

Beijing Blows Hot Over Hong Kong’s Nationalist Party

Beijing Blows Hot Over Hong Kong’s Nationalist PartyWill China prevail upon the Hong Kong government to use a sledgehammer against the tiny if vocal minority calling for the territory’s independence? The announcement last week of the formation of the Hong Kong National Party stirred the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Beijing’s representative in this Special Administrative Region into self-righteous wrath, calling…