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…

Hong Kong Debaters Win on Points

Hong Kong Debaters Win on PointsWhen Team England—a variegated group of articulate high school students – won a stirring victory against 54 competitors at the World Schools Debating Championship in Stuttgart, Germany two weeks ago, defeating Canada in the final, Hong Kong played a surprising role in the win. Both of the past two Team Englands have had one or…

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…

China’s Taxman May Axe HK Economy

China’s Taxman May Axe HK EconomyHong Kong’s economy, already looking a little wobbly, could suffer a major blow if China is serious about cutting down on tax-dodging. With capital flowing out and debt problems mounting, Beijing has both economic and political reasons to clamp down on the use of the territory for re-invoicing of trade transactions. This not only is…

Can Food Trucks Replace Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dongs?

Can Food Trucks Replace Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dongs?With Hong Kong’s dai pai dongs – open-air food stalls – all but driven from the city by inheritance restrictions, the government is trying to replace them with food trucks, the brainchild of Financial Secretary John Tsang. Over the weekend, in an effort to jumpstart the phenomenon, the Food Truck Hong Kong Festival took to…

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…

Hong Kong Now Wants Silence from Business Critics

Hong Kong Now Wants Silence from Business CriticsOn March 31, the Appeals Tribunal of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission fined Moody’s Investor Services HK$11 million for what the tribunal claimed were inaccuracies in a 2011 report entitled “Red Flags for Emerging-Market Companies: A Focus on China.” The assault on Moody’s is the latest indication that freedoms in Hong Kong are…