[Relevant developments on the erosion of freedoms are regularly added. Scroll down. Last updated on June 20, 2017.]
My updated submission to the British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission
[July 1, 2016 — written in April] Life Support For “One Country, Two Systems” Urgently Needed
[June 28, 2016] The British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission report
My commentaries for the anniversary
[Oct. 17, 2015] What the current political storm spells for Hong Kong’s freedoms (HKFP)
[Oct. 14, 2015] 打壓不會輕易落幕 好戲在後頭 (The struggle to rein in HK’s freedom is not over and more is yet to come) (Ming Pao)
[Oct. 8, 2015] 沒有民主， 香港怎能在「風雨中抱緊自由」(“Without Democracy, How Could Hong Kong Embrace Freedom in the Storms )? (BBC Chinese)
NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang “inspects” HK
Zhang will attend the “One Belt, One Road” top-level forum and “inspect” the Hong Kong SAR. Previous reports carried by the official media normally used “visit” or “fact-finding” visit to describe those trips.… It is yet another worrying sign of the Beijing leadership magnifying the importance of the principle of “one country” while downgrading the special status of Hong Kong. It raises the question of whether the city will become “just another Chinese city” ultimately as pessimists and sceptics have warned… (Word Play In Beijing’s Hong Kong Game Worrying)
Causeway Bay Books’ owners abducted and detained
Bookseller Lam Wing-kee reveals explosive details of his mainland China detention, claims Lee Po told him he was ‘taken away from Hong Kong’ ; The saga of Hong Kong’s abducted booksellers takes a darker turn ; Hong Kong No Longer a Safe Place to Criticize China
The abduction of Lee Bo from HK formally marks the death of the “freedom without democracy” model. Joshua Wong said at a HKU forum on Jan. 12: From now on, we can no longer take for granted of even our personal safety. See more below under “2e. HK book sellers abducted.”
Arthur Li is turning HKU upside down
King Arthur turning HKU into political battlefield. See more below under 2f.
Popular Film “Ten Years” presents the worst scenarios in 2015, disappeared from cinemas
Ten Years: A film that speaks to Hong Kong’s worst fears ; Dark vision of Hong Kong’s future proves surprise box office hit ; Imagining Hong Kong’s Future, Under China’s Tightening Grasp ; A 2047 scenario for Hong Kong and China. Global Times says the film is absurd. Dystopian Hong Kong Movie Disappears From Cinemas. Dystopian HK film Ten Years leads to Chinese media boycott of Hong Kong Film Awards. It won the Best Film award at the HK Film Festival:Ten Years wins ‘best film’ at 2016 HK Film Awards, as news of win is censored in China ; 圖解評審機制 一人一票選出《十年》 評審包括他們
Disappearing freedoms: 5 examples of Hong Kong’s fading liberties under one country, two systems: Threats to creative, academic and press freedoms dominated headlines in 2015, making Hongkongers question their level of autonomy under China’s much-touted ‘one country, two systems’ rule
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China conducted a hearing on “The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong” on Nov. 20: http://www.cecc.gov/events/hearings/the-future-of-democracy-in-hong-kong
The CECC was established by the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization. Martin Lee was instrumental to US support of China’s accession to the WTO. See Lee’s statement and congressional report then. See also “Foreign forces at work in HK?”
Testimony by Victoria Tin-bor Hui, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science; Faculty Fellow, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, University of Notre Dame.
I am very proud of my Hong Kong origin. But today I should speak as an academic expert because I don’t dare claim to speak for protestors who have faced down police force and thug violence. I only wish to highlight the significance of what they have been doing.
The protestors’ demand is best captured by this yellow banner that can be seen everywhere in Hong Kong: “We want genuine universal suffrage (我要真普選).” This refers to the right to nominate candidates as well as the right to vote for the next Chief Executive in 2017.
The Umbrella Movement has witnessed hundreds of thousands of protestors occupying busy streets. At the same time, the media have shown images of counter-protestors roughing up non-violent protesters.
The division among Hong Kong people hinges on one question: Is it possible to preserve freedom without democracy? Hong Kong people, whether they are pro-occupy or anti-occupy, cherish freedom. They want a neutral civil service, an impartial police, an independent judiciary, and a free press. These core values are disappearing without democracy.
Hong Kong has seen three Chief Executives since 1997. They were chosen by a narrowly-based Election Committee beholden to Beijing and have undercut Hong Kong’s core values.[i]
The first Chief Executive, C. H. Tung, under Beijing’s prodding, introduced a draconian national security bill in 2003. He was forced to shelve the bill and then resign after half a million protesters took to the streets. These days, pro-establishment figures are talking about re-tabling the bill to stifle future dissent.
The second Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, introduced political appointments to top civil service positions. Without electoral accountability, this practice created cronyism and eroded the meritocratic civil service.
The third and current Chief Executive, CY Leung, has stepped up the appointments of his loyal supporters to key government positions and advisory committees. This has further corrupted the government. Under his watch, even the Independent Commission Against Corruption has become the target of a corruption investigation. Worse, CY Leung has been accused of receiving payouts of HK$50 million and then $37 million from the Australian firm UGL without publicly reporting them. In addition, the police have come under attack for making arbitrary arrests of protestors and selectively enforcing the law. Media critics of the government have been demoted or fired, with some journalists subjected to physical attacks by thugs.
The rapid erosion of freedom in the past two years has seriously undercut Hong Kong’s promised autonomy. Protestors want genuine universal suffrage because the previous system of “freedom without democracy” is broken.
Some Hong Kong people, many in my generation and older, still believe that Hong Kong can keep its freedom without democracy. But this view goes against world experience.[ii] It is not coincidental that Hong Kong has been the only case of “freedom without democracy” in the world — and this unique case is fast disappearing. All around the world, freedom and democracy are either present together or absent together, strong together or weak together. It is simply impossible to preserve a meritocratic civil service, an impartial police, an independent judiciary, and a free press without democratic accountability.
If protestors are loud and clear about their goal of genuine universal suffrage, it is not easy to get there.
The Umbrella Movement is nearing the end of the second month. As the government has refused to have a meaningful dialogue with protestors, supporters are looking for alternative ways to sustain the movement beyond occupying busy streets.
It may be less daunting, though by no means easy, to put pressure on business elites who are in the position to influence the government. All over the world, business elites are naturally pro-regime. But they may have second thoughts if protestors can impose costs on their continued collusion with the government.
Protestors are circulating a list of businesses for a targeted boycott.[iii] The government plans to turn the 1200-member Election Committee into a nominating committee for the Chief Executive in 2017. Leading members of this committee are Hong Kong’s wealthiest tycoons who dominate most businesses and make money off every ordinary HK person.
Hong Kong’s rich and famous may be convinced that keeping the economy open to the world depends on guarding Hong Kong’s freedom with democracy.[iv] Their long-term interests are better served in a Hong Kong that remains an international city rather than a Hong Kong that becomes just another Chinese city.
Ultimately, it is incumbent on the Hong Kong government to address protestors’ demand. As bailiffs are clearing occupy sites this week, the government may be tempted to think that the problem will simply go away. But the source of the problem is not the occupy movement; it is the government’s erosion of freedom.[v] Protestors will continue the struggle with other forms of civil disobedience. Now that the government has also trained a fearless generation, repression can only backfire and is not an option. The government has no alternative but to reopen the consultation process on electoral arrangements.
HK’s student leaders say that history has chosen them – powerless students have shouldered this burden with courage. History has also chosen powerful adults to make the right choices.
[i] Hong Kong is not unlike other world cases in which political incumbents are responsible for the erosion of freedom and democracy. See Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, eds., Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.
[ii] See Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History, Cambridge University Press, 2009; Edward D. Mansfield, Jack L. Snyder, “Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War,” International Organization, Volume 56, Number 2, Spring 2002, pp. 297-337; Brian D. Taylor, State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism, Cambridge University Press, 2011. According to Taylor, “Relatively clean government and the rule of law have existed without democracy, and democracy can exist without the rule of law and with high corruption. In particular, you can have high state quality in an authoritarian state when state officials have high status and a public service ethic. For the most part, however, democracy is likely to be conducive to building state quality in the contemporary world.” (pp. 309-310)
[iii]The boycott list (《全港不合作運動 – 抵制建制派商戶大行動》抵制商戶名單) is available at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NRermxQ6CzkBbAr9v8taH9F0-8R6P-vmsE2qCZhkXGU/htmlview?sle=true. See posts targeted boycott, the fallacy that nonviolence has not worked, and what could be more effective.
[iv] See Joseph T. Siegle, Michael M. Weinstein, and Morton H. Halperin, “Why Democracies Excel,” Foreign Affairs, Volume 83, No. 5, September/October 2004, pp. 57-71; Joseph T. Siegle, Michael M. Weinstein, and Morton H. Halperin, The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace, New York: Routledge, 2005.
[v] In academic language, the Hong Kong government is responsible for “constructing” the Umbrella Movement. See Jeff Goodwin, No Other Way Out, Cambridge University Press, 2001; Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow, Contentious Politics, Oxford University Press, 2006. See “How HK’s Government Constructed the Umbrella Movement.”
Glad to see that someone else makes the same argument at the first anniversary:
… the Basic Law has painted Hong Kong into an impossible political and historical corner: it is the only city in history with civic freedoms, but governed without democracy. This is an illogical and unreconcilable situation that can only lead to an authoritarian rule where all dissent must be oppressed (not an attractive environment for financial, innovative or creative international people) or enough democracy to elect its own leaders (unattractive to the ruling elite). Any compromise in between those poles becomes harder to reach each passing year. (A year after Occupy, Hong Kong government struggles to respond)
The “I want genuine universal suffrage” banner was first put up on the Lion Rock but speedily taken down–see post:
Defending freedom: Hong Kong Professionals Get Organized for Democracy Post-Occupy
2. Is the “one country, two systems” model workable in theory and working in practice?
This model creates what scholars of the state call a “composite state”:
It is often overlooked that China is a composite state. Because of Hong Kong’s colonial legacy, Beijing had to promise Hong Kong “a high degree of autonomy” under the “one country, two systems” model when it signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984. The promises made to Hong Kong are functionally equivalent to the rights and privileges granted to city-states in medieval and early modern Europe. At the same time, just as European rulers tried their best to eliminate pockets of autonomy, Beijing is finding Hong Kong’s autonomy intolerable. The one big difference is that this struggle for autonomy is live streamed for the world to see. And the world is nervously watching how this clash between a strong state and strong social forces will play out. (Moller confirms “War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe”)
Deng Xiaoping championed the “one country, two systems” model as historically unprecedented in Chinese history. But there is a historical precedent in the early Han dynasty and the result was not encouraging:
Liu Bang… had to placate the ambitions of allies and relatives who had helped him seize the empire and who commanded their own armies. The result was a “modified form of the multi-state system of the Warring States period,” something akin to the “one country, two systems” model today. While Han Gaozu directly controlled the capital and surrounding area in the Guanzhong region, he grudgingly agreed to the establishment of feudatory principalities in the east. At the founding of the Han Dynasty, these principalities enjoyed independent political authority with large armed forces. The passes between the imperial regions and the eastern states were guarded, and “passports” were required of all travelers. However, over the course of several generations, Han emperors cited rebellions – actual or fabricated – as excuses for eroding the autonomy of the principalities and turning them into prefectures and counties. (Hui, War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 219)
Also, One Country, Two Systems: Lessons from history: The conflicts and compromise between regional autonomy and centralization of power, or “one country, two systems” versus “one country, one system”, have been there since ancient times. The frontier regions are always tamed and put under direct control sooner or later.
[July 3, 2016] A RTHK survey shows that those who believe that the central government has upheld the ‘one country, two systems’ model have declined to 21.%, those who think not have increased to 25%. Meanwhile, 7% of the respondents are supportive of independence, 67% against, 24% undecided (回歸十九年 at 18:10)
The veteran Beijing loyalist, who has been uncharacteristically critical of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying since his brother Tsang Tak-sing was removed from the post of home affairs minister , said he was surprised and disappointed that the central government had not conducted a thorough review of the implementation of “one country, two systems” in the past 18 years, particularly in regard to serious setbacks like the failed electoral reform.
Tsang uses the mix-up of China’s 紫荊 (Cercis chinensis/Chinese redbud) and HK’s indigenous 洋紫荊 (Hong Kong Orchid/Bauhinia blakeana) as an analogy to reflect on the erosion of HK: HK bauhinia symbol will ‘deteriorate’ if environment for growth destroyed ; 如果破壞了她生長的環境和條件，她就會變質、失色、枯萎。
[June 6, 2016] Tsang said that the there were “intrinsic contradictions within one country, two systems” and that the next ten years would be decisive for the structure’s future. (Legco president sees ‘widening gap between mainland and Hong Kong’)
[Oct 6, 2015] 中共早在07年6月已啟動「一國一制」
2009年7月，清華大學法學院副教授程潔在《Hong Kong Journal》發表文章，指外國人出任法官「這個獨特的安排可能是《基本法》的一大錯誤」，下啟法官須是中國人和「愛國者」的爭議。
[Dec. 3, 2015] The grave repercussions of Xi’s extreme leftist line
After they successfully blocked Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun’s appointment as a pro vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, they are now working aggressively to take out Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a law academic with the HKU who first proposed the idea of Occupy Central.
In the meantime, several communist mouthpieces mounted an all-out onslaught against Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Hong Kong, by accusing him of abandoning his country amid the economic downturn in the mainland.
It is very likely that our judiciary will be their next target, and soon Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying could be using his “superior status” to interfere in the nomination procedure of our judges, to get his claws into Hong Kong’s judicial branch, the final stronghold of our freedom.
[Nov. 21, 2015] Mainland security to police Kowloon high-speed rail terminus in Hong Kong, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen says — Confirmation from Rimsky Yuen raises eyebrows over ‘one country, two systems’ rule ;【高鐵一地兩檢】袁國強：中港有共識 必須容許內地人員 香港境內執法; 《解放軍報》承認高鐵是軍事基建 用作快速運兵
[Dec. 3, 2014] Richard Ottaway, the chairman of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Ni Jian, deputy Chinese ambassador to Britain, had conveyed the message that the Joint Declaration “is now void and only covered the period from the signing in 1984 until the handover in 1997″. See also China ‘Voids’ Hong Kong Rights and Does China Think the Sino-British Joint Declaration Is Void?
The constitutional affairs minister … Raymond Tam Chi-yuen gave his interpretation of the key concept in the 1984 Joint Declaration that paved the way for the 1997 handover and underpinned “one country, two systems”… Article 3 of the treaty, which states that certain basic policies of the People’s Republic of China towards Hong Kong, including rights and freedoms for Hongkongers, “will remain unchanged for 50 years”. “That article is a declaration by the PRC, not a joint one with London,” Tam said.
[Dec. 18, 2014] Government changes Basic Law facts:
the Hong Kong Government has revised its own fact sheets on the Basic Law with politically sensitive consequences. In our article of 7-Dec-2014, Moving on from Occupy to the Central Issue, we quoted from the Basic Law fact sheet (August 2013 edition) as it then appeared on the HK Government web site:
“The Basic Law is a constitutional document for the HKSAR. It enshrines within a legal document the important concepts of ‘one country, two systems’, ‘a high degree of autonomy’ and ‘Hong Kong People ruling Hong Kong’.”
… that fact sheet has been replaced with a new fact sheet (the PDF was generated at 18:39 on 16-Dec-2014), which says:
“The Basic Law is a constitutional document for the HKSAR. It enshrines within a legal document the important concepts of ‘one country, two systems’, ‘Hong Kong People administering Hong Kong’ and a high degree of autonomy.
So 17 years after the Handover, they have decided that “ruling” was too strong a word, and our high degree of autonomy should be downgraded to merely coming after “administering”. There is a big difference. The word “ruling” was never taken by Hong Kongers to mean sovereign independence, but it did give us the confidence that, except in the areas of foreign affairs and defence reserved for the Central People’s Government under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, our HK Government would be responsible for formulating all other policy areas, not just “administering” a policy fed to it by Beijing… (http://webb-site.com/articles/lowerautonomy.asp)
[Mar. 4, 2015] Key HK-related terms removed from CPPCC report
China has removed key phrases relating to Hong Kong from a report by its highest political consultative body and replaced them with language that appears to signal a new stance. Gone are “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and “high degree of autonomy”, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday. Also, the document said China will “fully and precisely” implement its governing principle on Hong Kong, replacing the word “unwaveringly” used last year in conjunction with “one country, two systems”.
National security laws have place in Hong Kong, says former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa: Speaking in his third media conference since September, the 77-year-old said it was only a matter of time before the city would draw up its own national security laws, as Article 23 in the Basic Law required it to pass legislation prohibiting acts of “treason, secession, sedition, or subversion”.
Mainland think tank on HK affairs forms group ‘to safeguard national security: The new group, formed under the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, came into being on the same day the city was met with a high-level suggestion to copy and paste the mainland’s tough security laws into the Basic Law.
[May 10-11] Elsie Leung: Under national security law, Hongkongers free to call for an end to ‘Communist Party’s dictatorship‘; but she cannot promise if attending the June 4 candle light vigil would still be legal once the national security law is passed 梁愛詩：不能保證23條立法後 出席六四集會不會犯法:
[Apr 4] In an extensive interview with state news agency Xinhua to mark today’s 25th anniversary of the Basic Law’s promulgation, Zhou Nan questioned whether universal suffrage could guarantee the election of a leader who loved the city and the country, as Deng had insisted. Zhou was Beijing’s top negotiator in Sino-British talks on the city’s future and led Xinhua’s Hong Kong branch, Beijing’s de facto embassy before the handover. (Hong Kong Basic Law turns 25 – and ex-Beijing negotiator hints at some of its implications for today)
James Tien said that CY Leung has represented Beijing rather than HK and has not fought for HK’s interest: 田少金句寸爆CY (at about 1:00:00)
Legislator Kwok Ka Ki : It is so obvious that the Beijing government is in control. Not the people of Hong Kong, and certainly not the Hong Kong SAR government.
In the eyes of a 13-year-old: “I used to think that 一國兩制 meant one country two systems, now I know that the truth really is the one country limiting and containing [HK] (一國兩制，以前我會認為是一個國家兩個制度，現在才知我真相是一個國限制和牽制。“) Note, the character 制 could mean system or limitation/restriction.
Tam Wai Chu tells us what “a high degree autonomy” really means: that HK already has more autonomy than various autonomous regions in China:
Exco member and NPC member Huang Yushan said that the government should intensify the promotion of the Basic Law at schools. When asked if that would include discussions of its implementation, he said that promotion did not mean discussion:
黃 玉 山 在 北 京 接 受 本 台 專 訪 時 表 示 ， 過 去 本 港 宣 傳 《 基 本 法 》 太 強 調 「 兩 制 」 ， 較 少 提 及 「 一 國 」 ， 學 校 可 在 周 會 等 活 動 上 多 講 解 《 基 本 法 》 ， 亦 可 請 嘉 賓 介 紹 。至 於 是 否 可 邀 請 一 些 ， 認 為 「 一 國 兩 制 」 實 施 不 太 順 暢 的 人 士 作 嘉 賓 ， 黃 玉 山 說 要 介 紹 「 一 國 兩 制 」 及 《 基 本 法 》 的 準 確 意 義 及 立 法 原 意 等 ， 社 會 對 實 施 《 基 本 法 》 時 的 不 同 意 見 不 屬 推 廣 範 疇 ， 而 屬 於 討 論 範 疇 ， 與 中 小 學 生 討 論 相 關 問 題 沒 有 太 大 意 義 。(黃 玉 山 稱 希 望 教 師 多 了 解 國 情 的 要 求 合 理)
The dawn of fake democracy and genuine authoritarism 兩制已死 假民主真操控的新常態 將全面操控香港政壇
The preservation of both the letter and the spirit of the Joint Declaration is crucial to Hong Kong’s economic and business success, and the UK has both a legal right and a moral obligation to monitor the implementation of the principles established in the treaty. This is primarily done via the FCO’s six-monthly reports on Hong Kong, which aim to record developments in Hong Kong and to establish the UK position on significant issues of interest or concern. We found the reports bland and repetitive, giving little sense of wider context for events in Hong Kong or the UK Government’s views on important topics. We would like to see the reports restructured to include less ambiguous conclusions, supported by more in-depth analysis of the political, social and economic implications of the developments they describe.
Recent debates over electoral reform have exposed deep divisions in Hong Kong and a wide divergence of expectations for its political future. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, promises that the people of Hong Kong will eventually be able to elect their Chief Executive and Legislative Council by universal suffrage. On 31 August 2014, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress issued a decision stating that universal suffrage could be introduced in 2017, but with severe restrictions on the candidate nomination process. As evidenced by the Occupy Central campaign that at its peak brought much of Hong Kong to a standstill, the SCNPC’s decision does not go far enough in meeting the aspirations of Hong Kong’s people. We agree with the UK Government that the specific details of constitutional reform are for the governments of China and Hong Kong to decide together with the people of Hong Kong, but we do not share its view that the current electoral proposals for 2017 offer “genuine choice” to the people of Hong Kong. We also judge that the UK can and should take a clearer position on the overall pace and degree of democratic reform.
John Major says that China has not lived up to the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration 英前首相：對8.31決定失望
Pan-democrats criticize Beijing for manipulating the Basic Law 泛民批中央扭曲基本法 聯署承諾否決政改
The draft bill, published online yesterday, makes it clear that Hong Kong must do its part. Article 11 of the draft states: “China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. Safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, including people in Hong Kong and Macau as well as Taiwan.” Article 36 goes on to say: “The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the Special Administrative Region of Macau must fulfil their responsibility to safeguard national security.”
Disappearance of trust without democracy 信任消失的未民主社會
Many pro-establishment lawmakers either approached the central government’s liaison office to explain their mistakes, or told reporters they had received praise from the office for having voted, Lau [Lau Siu-kai, the former head of the official think tank, the Central Policy Unit] noted. Lau said this suggested these lawmakers worried more about how Beijing saw them, rather than the local government.
[July 5] Ching Cheong: Beijing’s sweeping Security Law effectively amends the Basic Law 程翔：國安法實質上修改了基本法
[July 6] The PLA held a live fire drill in HK for the first time : Battle of Castle Peak a shot across Hong Kong’s bow by the PLA
[Aug 25, 2015] Hong Kong’s disrupted narrative: Hong Kong is testing the limits of a hybrid system tailored to the needs of Mainland China
[Oct 8, 2015] Is China killing Hong Kong in its womb?
[Oct. 15, 2015] Beijing’s authoritarian control is rearing its ugly head
[Oct. 14, 2015] Hong Kong is being ruled by a ‘foreign regime’, says Joseph Lian
[Oct 21, 2015] Hong Kong’s distinct advantage is freedom, but for how long?
Beijing scholar Qiang Shigong questions the “two systems” model (「白皮書」撰寫人強世功 稱兩制阻礙港發展 斥港教育未去殖化)
Once upon a time, HK was promised that the process of democratization would be completely within the realm of its autonomy:
Art works depicting undue constraints on HK https://thestandnews.com/art/五星紅手-被消失-知專學生指基本法展覽設審查/
Graffiti depicting execution of democracy, the rule of law and freedom: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152442524650870&set=p.10152442524650870&type=1&theater
Cartoon on the erosion of “one country, two systems”:
Sentiments that HK is dying…
HK’s public holidays shed colonial ones and add Chinese ones 97後廢重光紀念日 香港假期漸跟足大陸
Taiwanese students see the HK model as a negative example: Taiwan student activists who stormed parliament last summer to protest a trade agreement with China said “today’s Hong Kong can be tomorrow’s Taiwan”.
Patten: A Chinese dinner for two, and a lesson from Hong Kong : … the Taiwanese cannot be very reassured by what they see happening today in Hong Kong, which was promised the same thing before its return to China in 1997. Taiwan’s system is democratic; China’s is not. What the example of Hong Kong suggests is that China would have to force Taiwan to give up democracy and the rule of law – or embrace both itself – before it could welcome its “renegade province” back into the fold.
The Xi-Ma meeting in Singapore made no mention of the “one country, two systems” model: forget Beijing’s long-standing offer of a route to get there—the “One Country, Two Systems” formula that it used to recover Hong Kong, under which the British colony kept its independent judiciary, feisty media and other freedoms while China took over matters of defense and foreign policy. For the Taiwanese, it is unthinkable that they would allow soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army to be stationed on the island, as they now are in downtown Hong Kong. (The End of ‘One China’) (Also「習馬會」不提「一國兩制」 香港利用價值所餘無幾)
Eric Chu of the KMT: The main purpose I think [China] uses Hong Kong as a model for the “one country, two systems” idea is actually aimed at Taiwan. But Taiwan is totally different than Hong Kong’s situation. China can control Hong Kong very easily. Cut off the pipeline of water, electricity, and Hong Kong is dead. But Taiwan is very independent from the mainland because it’s an island. They try to use Hong Kong to tell the world that if [China’s strategy of] “one country, two systems” works in Hong Kong, it will work for Taiwan. They try to create this kind of nationalism. They already got Hong Kong back, they got Macau back, now [they] want to get Taiwan. That’s why maybe Xi Jinping’s people tried to press Hong Kong more. But that showed the world it’s not a real “one country, two systems,” it’s a we-still-want-to-win system. (Ahead of Taiwan elections, presidential candidate defends outreach to China)
Hong Kong people look at Macau as a negative example while Beijing officials praise the compliant Macau as the model for Hong Kong: China hails Macau’s adherence to Basic Law in subtle warning against democracy movements, 愛國愛澳」深入人心 大陸官員稱讚澳門「一國兩制」榜樣; Macau people wonder about their future
2.1. The erosion of HK’s freedoms starts with the CE, the civil service and the quasi-official advisory system:
[May 31, 2016] Chief Secretary says that the lead water scandal rests with the system rather than individual officials — probably the clearest admission that the system has broken: Tainted Water Muddles Accountability ; Lead in water scandal a ‘classic case of buck-passing’, says inquiry
[Sep 12, 2015] Zhang Xiaoming of the Liaison Office says that the Chief Executive has “overriding authority” over other branches of government:
This is because Beijing controls HK through the CE 張曉明… 說：「中央對香港特別行政區實行管治的主要途徑和抓手，就是行政長官。」「抓手」是大陸近年的新詞彙，是指領導工作的「重要途徑、突破口、切入點」。(香港司法獨立保衞戰)
The political appointment system (originally the “accountability system”) was first introduced by CH Tung in 2002, expanded by Donald Tsang in 2007 and further intensified by CY Leung. The result is that the Chief Executive can count on ministers and top advisors to toe the party line whether or not that serves HK’s interest. (See Joseph W. P. WONG, “Expanding and Destroying the Accountability System,” in Joseph Y. S. CHENG, ed., The Second Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR: Evaluating the Tsang Years 2005–2012, City University of HK Press, 2013, pp. 31-58.)
Why is the civil service important?
“By state equality, I mean whether the state and its officials serve the interests of the population in a fair manner that promotes the general welfare. In ideal-typical high-quality states, bureaucrats see themselves as ‘public servants,’ bound by the rule of law and resistant to the temptations of corruption.” (p. 17) “officials in a patrimonial [corrupt] bureaucracy can use their position in the state to extract rents… being part of the president’s team means access not just to political power, but also to economic wealth.” (p. 27) “In such circumstances, corruption and the ‘unrule of law’ are pervasive.” (p. 32) (Brian D. Taylor, State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism, Cambridge University Press, 2011)
many AOs, after becoming senior government officials, appear to have change their priorities. It seems that it is no longer the public interest that they want to serve but their boss, Beijing, that they want to please. Such an attitude could ultimately erode their reputation and credibility, and the old colonial system of civil service could give way to a new one to meet the political reality that Hong Kong is under Chinese rule.
[Oct. 6, 2015] The charging of Donald Tsang is aimed to suppress the staunchly professional and independent-minded civil service nurtured by the former British government: 潘小濤：曾蔭權案是敲山震虎:
A source familiar with the shake-up said Beijing officials blamed Tsang [Tak-shing] for his “inadequate” work among Hong Kong’s youth that helped fuel last year’s Occupy protests. Tang was described as “too laid back” as head of the government workforce to ensure a harmonious relationship between the administration and civil servants’ unions… Leung executed his biggest cabinet reshuffle just a week after his specially arranged meeting in Beijing with central government officials, including National People’s Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang , who has the final say on the appointment of Hong Kong’s ministers… In a move that has raised eyebrows, Tsang will be replaced by undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs Lau Kong-wah, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. Lau, 58, joined the government in 2012 after losing the Legco seat he held for 15 years.
cf. [Dec. 21, 2012] Lau Kong-wah, a Beijing-friendly heavyweight and the most prominent loser in the Legislative Council election in September, was appointed as undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs yesterday to oversee the upcoming political reform
Why Leung’s own allies are having buyer’s remorse: The sacking of the younger Tsang and his replacement by a mediocre but trusted ally is an attempt by Leung to consolidate his forces, hoping to present a stronger government to his direct boss, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, who oversees Hong Kong affairs.
[Dec. 24, 2014] CY appoints loyal supporters to key positions: 林新強出任消委會委員 周融續任公職
[Mar. 2, 2015] CY Leung appoints technology adviser after IT bureau blocked by Legco filibuster:
Yang’s three-in-one appointment angered pan-democrats, whose filibuster successfully killed the government’s plan for the bureau in the Legislative Council. They criticised Leung for creating “a political sanctuary” for a potential minister without lawmakers’ support. (SCMP)
What lies behind Leung’s appointment of new tech advisor?… What has caught the attention of political watchers is that Leung has decided to reorganize the existing steering committee on Innovation and Technology, which is currently led by Tsang, and turn it into an advisory committee to be chaired by Yang. In fact, the establishment of the new technology bureau and the advisory committee duplicates the current functions of several government bodies under the financial secretary.
The assistant Sandra Leung is also a CY fan: Links to pro-gov’t groups ‘omitted’ from new IT Bureau political assistant’s official bio ; 用人唯才？創科局新政助梁淑寶 任職公司負責開發「梁粉」網站《港人講地》
Liaison Office gives lectures to civil servants: 中聯辦前副主任王鳳超於去年10月的公務員國情班上，以「香港政制發展歷程」為題，向本港公務員授課。《香港01》獲得該堂的講義，根據內容，王介紹由1843年英國政府委任首任港督開始，到1997年香港回歸中國，以及回歸後的政制發展。
Among political appointees, here is one model of impartiality –Anna Wu, an Executive Councillor, who refused to sign anti-occupy petitions:
Civil servants in support of genuine universal suffrage: https://www.facebook.com/nonstandardcivilservant
[July 15, 2016] CY Leung’s abuse of his appointment power has created mistrust of the medical council reform: What’s the real agenda behind the medical council reform bill? ; Medical Council reform serves the purposes of those in power
See HKU Council below.
2.2. Campaign to erode freedoms in post-occupy:
[Dec. 15] Chen Zuoer, the former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said that “Hong Kong people should be prepared for a possibly long-term struggle with the force that brings calamity to Hong Kong … in aspects such as the law court, Legco, mass media, universities or even secondary schools”. (Now Hong Kong must face the big questions in wake of Occupy) / 港澳辦前副主任、全國港澳研究會會長陳佐洱預料，佔領運動後就奪取「香港管治權」較量日後將持續，可能由「街頭轉到了法庭，轉到了立法會，轉到了政府內部，轉到了中學大學等」(陳佐洱料港管治權爭奪戰延法庭中學大學)
[Jan. 23, 2015] Vice-President Li Yuanchao said that the central government’s struggles against the pro- democracy movement were not over and “the really interesting part of the show is yet to come”. (李源潮：反佔中鬥爭未完「好戲在後頭」)
Strangling Free Hong Kong: Beijing and its local proxies corrupt the courts, the press and law enforcement
[Oct. 20, 2015] 專制操控 愈演愈烈
Let’s catalogue this campaign.
a. The independent judiciary and the rule of law:
[April 12, 2016] Mainland legal scholars argue that the Basic Law is a continental document but HK courts’ common-law approach to interpretation has gone far beyond the framework of the Basic Law: 林來梵／黎沛文：反思香港基本法的「普通法化」現象
How to preserve judicial independence when the DoJ answers to the CE?
Kwok’s fauxpology (along with summary of article advocating doxing judges): https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/02/25/former-corruption-watchdog-deputy-apologises-after-urging-netizens-to-find-evidence-against-riot-case-judge/
Kwok’s SCMP op-ed doubling down on “political watchdogs” for judges: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1919592/hong-kong-should-welcome-trend-citizen-led-court-watchdogs
JORC Ordinance: http://www.hklii.hk/eng/hk/legis/ord/92/cur.html
William Waung’s op-ed (which refers, among other things, to the role of the JORC): https://thestandnews.com/politics/judicial-independence-in-hong-kong/
[Jan 27, 2016] DoJ drops criminal charges against former ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming. See Statement of Department of Justice in relation to ICAC’s Investigation against Mr Tong Hin-ming Timothy; former ICAC chief Timothy Tong will not be prosecuted, Dept. of Justice announces. In the public perception, Tong’s appointment as a CCPPC member in 2013 is related to his lavish wining and dining of mainland officials and liaison office representatives during his tenure at the ICAC. Rimsky Yuen denies that the decision has anything to do with the involvement of mainland officials 袁國強否認，案件涉及中聯辦官員、內地官員而不起訴。
[Sep. 12-, 2015] The talk that the CE has overriding power over other branches of government is really targeted at the judiciary, the last bulwark of freedom:
Hong Kong’s leader has “overriding power” over executive, legislature and judiciary ; Hong Kong’s leader has special ‘overriding power’ over executive, legislature and judiciary – top official; ‘Hong Kong leader is above the executive branch, legislature and courts’, says Beijing’s liaison chief
[Oct 4, 2015] An analysis of how the rule of law is being challenged 天秤上的法治
Hong Kong’s second-highest official reportedly signed off on an order allowing prosecutors not to disclose documents relating to police operations in court. The gag order, imposed during a case against three protesters during a 2013 protest, fuelled concerns that the protesters’ right to a fair trial was affected.
Tuen Mun deputy magistrate Michael Chan convicted Ng Lai-ying, 30, of assaulting chief inspector Chan Ka-po by hitting him with her breasts during a chaotic protest against parallel traders in Yuen Long in March… It turns out that Chan is the chairman of the executive committee of Hong Kong Student Aid Society, whose patron is Regina Leung, the wife of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
… the court’s decision seems vexing to say the least. It is obviously improbable that anyone who intends to assault another person would choose to do so with her breasts. On the contrary, in most criminal cases involving physical contact between a hand and a breast, it is the person who touches the breast that is convicted of indecent assault.
Yuen’s comments came after questions were raised by Rao Geping , a Peking University law professor who serves on the Basic Law Committee advising the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Rao said some foreign judges did not understand the Basic Law and the requirement that non-local judges be appointed to the top court, which he called a transitional practice, could be changed in 2047 when the “one country, two systems” format expires.
Among the three branches of government in Hong Kong — executive, legislative and judicial — the judiciary has been getting the most flak from the central government in Beijing and its establishment allies. That’s because the judiciary is the only remaining branch of government over which Beijing has no control. By contrast, the central government has a say in almost all positions in the executive branch. And the current election system guarantees that a considerable number of seats end up in the pro-establishment camp…
Since Beijing can’t shake our judiciary from within, it is trying to weaken it from without, hence the recent relentless sniping at our courts and judges. The most sinister of these attacks are being leveled by pro-establishment lawmakers and organizations at the courts’ decision to acquit pro-democracy protesters.
[July 29] Among 955 arrested, 100 have to “face legal consequences” 955名佔領被捕者 至今100人需「承擔法律後果」 40人無罪獲釋
[Apr. 10] Nearly half of the 52 cases taken to court have been withdrawn or returned with the not guilty verdict【佔領檢控統計】已判決案件52宗 近半撤控或無罪
Hong Kong magistrate slams police officer over wrongful allegation that student punched him — Magistrate urges case over wrongful charge be taken to complaints body ; Hong Kong couple’s quest for justice for wrongly accused teenage Occupy protester ; Video casts doubt on cop’s claim student hit him during protest ; 學生佔領區襲警案 辯方證人供影片：怕他年紀小易「畀人屈」 裁判官：看不到被告襲警
[Dec. 3, 2015] Hong Kong’s legal system ‘misused’ and ‘drowning in irrelevance’, says former top judge: Ex-Court of Final Appeal judge Henry Litton accused Hong Kong’s judiciary of “sleepwalking” towards 2047 and said discussions on the future need to start soon
[April 2016] CY Leung’s bag-gate: HK leader under pressure over airport luggage claim ; CY denies wrongdoing as leaked doc reveals how daughter ‘bypassed airport security rules’ ; CY’s wife told airport staff to bring over daughter’s bag ; Pilot’s petition for probe into Bag-gate gets 29,000 signatures ;【我爸係梁特】空勤工會再發公開信 倘周二前無交代或機場靜坐 ; 【蘋民直擊】【我爸係梁特】獨家相證現身機場 讀者：梁太同職員嘈; 【特事特辦】普天之下 莫非梁土 ; 【我爸係梁特】網民洗版斥「當自己皇帝」
b. The police:
The police are seen to be “losing their professionalism as they take their cues from the unpopular head of the government.” (Graffiti girl — police killing a chick to scare the monkeys http://www.ejinsight.com/20150102-graffiti-girl-police-killing-a-chick-to-scare-monkeys/)
[Sep. 23] [一年 ‧ 警亂作供】檢控佔領者 警員證供屢被法官指不可信、矛盾、不符影片
[Mar. 28] The police charged under 10% of the arrested 1726 people for lack of evidence 警去年遊行集會拘1726人 不足一成被起訴
[Oct. 23, 2015] The Independent Police Complaints Council is criticized for having been harmonized: Complaint against ‘bear hug’ cop can’t be pursued
c. The ICAC still independent?
The ICAC’s Acting Head of Operations, Rebecca Li, was replaced by the Commissioner Simon Peh
[July 8, 2016] Hong Kong’s ICAC at risk of losing its independence: the top investigator is one of the three pillars of the commission’s independence… Li’s credentials cannot help explain it. She has spent almost three decades bringing corrupters to justice, cracking major cases and winning the ICAC medal for distinguished service in 2007.
[July 12, 2016] Is ICAC losing its independence? : Appointees for the commissioner post need to be approved by the central government in Beijing, a move that doesn’t help the credibility of the person occupying the top post. Being a loyalist of Beijing doesn’t mean that a person can’t provide effective leadership to the ICAC. However, the reality is that the person will be wary about pursuing politically sensitive cases, fearing trouble from the north.
[July 18, 2016] Another bastion of Hong Kong’s way of life is under attack
[July 13, 2016] ICAC Chief, Leung Raise More Questions In Shake-Up: By allowing doubts about the removal of Li and the probe into the UGL case to linger and, worse, to breed more suspicion, both Leung and Pei have inflicted damages to the independence of ICAC, at least in perception. With its image of independence tarnished, its handling of cases involved officials and political figures will become even more politicised and controversial.
[July 13, 2016] Rebecca Li saga: Why does this smell so fishy? : Li was head of a task force investigating Leung’s dealings with Australian engineering company UGL when she was removed as acting head of operations last week … Leung wields enormous influence over the anti-graft agency as the sole appointing authority and Li was serving as operations chief in a temporary capacity.
[July 14, 2016] ICAC reschedules dinner after over 75% of staff refuse to attend
[Jan 27, 2016] DoJ drops criminal charges against former ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming over lavish spending on food and gifts. Statement of Department of Justice in relation to ICAC’s Investigation against Mr Tong Hin-ming Timothy
[Jan. 13, 2016] Lew Mon-hung: CY Leung directed my arrest by ICAC
[Oct. 5, 2015] At long last, Donald Tsang is charged with misconduct but not corruption. Many people hail this as the triumph of the rule of law. I am less sure if this is evidence for the rule of law in HK’s tradition, rather than the so-called rule of law with Chinese characteristics. Charging Zhou Yongkang is not evidence for the rule of law in China. Are we witnessing the spillover of political purges from China? Why the different decisions over Tong vs. Tsang?
Is CY Leung using Donald Tsang case as a political tool? From the perspective of pro-Beijing politicians, it was a shame that a former civil servant trained by the British was elevated to become the city’s chief executive.
Donald Tsang, patriotism and HKU – it’s all about politics: Prosecution a move toward “de-Britishization”
Why Sir Donald was thrown to the wolves: CY has a deep distrust of the British-era senior civil servants he inherited in his administration
Tsang is set up as an example to control the civil service 潘小濤：曾蔭權案是敲山震虎: 北京對公務員系統一直都不滿，從陳方安生時期架空董建華，到近年暗中與梁振英對着幹等。北京要全面接收香港，公務員系統及商界都是重要的力量，他們配合還好，陽奉陰違的話，北京的行動必定是事倍功半。
What about CY Leung himself and his appointees who likewise have failed to declare conflict of interest? One year on, CY Leung dodges LegCo questions over secret payments ; Why a probe into CY will also help HK after the Tsang case; A good way to get rid of Leung Chun-ying ; 梁特收款 同涉無申報利益; the UGL letter is here.
[Oct. 7, 2015] 政府新聞網承認，錯將「former Chief Executive Donald Tsang（前特首曾蔭權）」誤稱為「former Chief Executive CY Leung（前特首梁振英）」。
Troubled leaders: CHINA’s record of picking leaders in Hong Kong has hardly been glorious
Former legislator Mandy Tam Heung-man, who lodged a complaint against Chan in 2013 for the official’s alleged failure to disclose farmland property interests in an area earmarked for a new town development project, said she is baffled by the decision to drop the probe. She said she cannot understand why the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has dropped the case after two years of investigation, despite evidence against Chan of serious conflict of interest.
Erosion of the Independent Commission against Corruption http://podcast.rthk.hk/podcast/item_epi.php?pid=280&lang=en-US&id=39882
HK corruption ranking slips to lowest since 1997
HK’s Transparency International ranking slips from 15th to 17th, scoring 74 out of 100, down one point from 2013.
Transparency International rankings and scores:
2008: 12 / 8.1
2009: 12 / 8.2
2010: 13 / 8.4
2011: 12 / 8.4
2012: 14 / 7.7
2013: 15 / 7.5
2014: 17 / 7.4
d. The Legislative Council
[Oct. 15, 2015] Pro-establishment legislators dominate committee chairs
Pro-Beijing lawmakers ‘take orders from CY’ in electing LegCo committee chairs, James Tien says: Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun has said that pro-Beijing camp lawmakers must seek Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s approval before electing the chair and the deputy chair of the legislature’s house committees… “[they] take orders from CY, we do not agree with that!”
In a question-and-answer session that followed, Leung was asked to elaborate on how the government would handle the pan-democrat lawmakers’ “non-cooperation movement” in protest against Beijing’s stringent framework for the 2017 chief executive poll.
e. Erosion of the free press–and violence against journalists:
[April 6, 2016] “It is not like Hong Kong’s press freedom is going to disappear overnight, but each day does feel different from the previous one,” said Zhang Jieping, Initium’s executive editor-in-chief. (Initium’s Ambition: A Digital Magazine for All Chinese)
[January 1, 2016-] HK book sellers abducted
[Jan 15, 2016] Chinese official expresses concern over missing Hong Kong bookseller: Wang Zhenmin, the recently appointed legal affairs chief of Beijing’s office in Hong Kong, said that no Chinese law enforcers could take action in the city under the “one country, two systems” formula that govern Hong Kong’s relations with Beijing.
[Feb. 5, 2016] Mainland public security says 3 missing booksellers detained
[Jan 4, 2016] Mystery Of Missing Booksellers Sours Xi’s Autonomy Pledge; After mysterious disappearance, Hong Kong publisher claims he is in China ‘cooperating with authorities’: Pro-democracy lawmakers said, however, that it appeared likely that Chinese police had kidnapped Lee. If confirmed, the lawmakers said, Lee’s abduction would be a serious violation of the “one country, two systems” principle and the Basic Law framework that have defined Beijing’s relations with Hong Kong since the 1997 handover from British rule… In a viral video, activist Agnes Chow issued an “urgent cry from Hong Kong.” … “Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore…”
[Jan 20, 2016] Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers
The disappearing line in one country two systems 消失的界線
[Nov. 2015] Book sellers of Chinese banned books in troubles: Four Hong Kong publishers known for books critical of Chinese regime missing; Hong Kong bookstore disappearances shock publishing industry ; 出版銷售「禁書」銅鑼灣書店東主職員失蹤多天
The book about Xi’s love life is published Hong Kong’s missing booksellers and ‘banned’ Xi Jinping book ; 习近平与他的情人们
[April 20, 2016] Ming Pao fires executive editor-in-chief Keung Kwok-yuen who has been at odds with the Chief Editor Chong Tien Siong on sensitive issues — and on the same day that Ming Pao releases its investigative reports on the Panama papers as pertinent to HK : Timing of Editor’s Firing Has Hong Kong Worried About Press Freedom; Ming Pao newspaper union ‘extremely angered’ by sudden firing of executive chief editor ; Independent Journalism, At What Price? ; 《明報》軌跡：香港肅清報人 內地擴張生意 (with a detailed analysis of ownership structure); 《明報》炒執行總編姜國元 知情者稱主編怕得罪中共港府 不滿安裕處理敏感新聞手法 ; 【明報炒姜國元】安裕臨別讚頭條 報章多處隱含「不明不白」
The renewal of the Commercial Radio’s license was much delayed, but finally happened: Why we must pay more attention to Commercial Radio license issue ; 商台牌照剩半年 陳志雲﹕仍未續不尋常 學者﹕到期前一年應拍板 拖太久惹揣測 ; Why we must pay more attention to Commercial Radio license issue; Greg So rejects politics at play in Commercial Radio license delay
RTHK dismisses pro-umbrella radio hosts
港台節目大調動 《晨光》換血《思潮作動》取消 主持邵家臻：撐傘運主持多數無得留低 : 主持之一邵家臻向《立場新聞》透露，以往曾被特別提醒要中立，又表示大部分支持雨傘運動的主持均「冇得留低」。
How press freedom in HK is being destroyed http://www.ejinsight.com/20150112-how-press-freedom-in-hk-is-being-destroyed/
[April 20, 2016] Reporters without borders says press freedom in decline, warns of ‘new era of propaganda’
International Federation of Journalists’ China Press Freedom Report: Press freedom in China, Hong Kong and Macau deteriorated further in 2015: Press freedom in China, Hong Kong and Macau deteriorated further in 2015, as the Communist Party of China used every means at its disposal to control the media. Its ultimate target, as always, was to preserve its power in the mainland, extend its influence over Hong Kong and Macau, and tightly manage perceptions of its relationship with Taiwan. The law, the administration, the bureaucracy and the government-owned media were its weapons. Propaganda, censorship, surveillance, intimidation, detention without trial, sabotage of the internet, brutality in the field, and televised “confessions” were its ammunition. The result was that 1.3 billion people – close to 20 per cent of the world’s population – were denied their full rights to information, free expression and a free press. The outlook for 2016 is even worse, as the Communist Party prepares to pass more oppressive laws in the mainland. As Hong Kong goes to elections next year the party is also using its considerable wealth to consolidate its influence over the region.
Freedom House: Watchdog cites missing bookseller case and SCMP aquisition in annual press freedom report ; Hong Kong Press Freedom At Decade Low: Since 2004, Hong Kong has declined 9 points on Freedom House’s press freedom index; Hong Kong suffered restrictions on press freedom and freedom of assembly surrounding protests against a Chinese government decision to limit candidate nominations for future executive elections. Freedom House: Five-year decline in press freedom
PEN America: “Threatened Harbor: Encroachments on Press Freedom in Hong Kong” http://pen.org/hong-kong-press#sthash.T1UcRyp7.dpuf
Joseph Chan of Chinese University Journalism discusses the erosion of the free press 中大新聞與傳播學院講座教授陳韜文
An earlier program by RTHK: http://podcast.rthk.hk/podcast/item_epi.php?pid=280&lang=en-US&id=39678
Further erosion of the free press after the occupy movement 網媒指佔領後新聞自由收窄
HK Journalist Association: Journalists Caught Between Two Fires/Journalists faced unprecedented attacks in past year; Against the Storms – The Opening Speech by the Chairperson of HKJA at the 47th Annual Gala Dinner ; Press Freedom Deteriorates in Hong Kong (also in 2014 Darkest year ‘in decades’ for Hong Kong press: Journalists Association)
Only 3 out of 13 cases of violence against journalists in 19 years have been solved 19年13宗針對傳媒罪案 成功拉人僅3宗
[Mar 25] A man received a 4-week sentence for beating up a RTHK reporter at an umbrella protest 打港台記者男子囚四星期 (with video).
[May 4] HK Journalist Association issued a letter to the new Commissioner of Police to express deep concerns that the police decided not to charge cases of violence against journalists:
Ming Pao editor-in-chief unilaterally changed a front page story from the Tiananmen massacre to Alibaba founder Jack Ma : Ming Pao staff question chief over Tiananmen story call
Ming Pao staff association expresses deep worries 大家想生活在什麼樣的香港？
[April 13, 2016] Why does Jack Ma want to own a newspaper?
[Dec 3, 2015] 馬雲收購《南早》背後的大氣候
[May 20] SCMP ditches veteran columnists Bowring, Rafferty and Vines [and Frank Ching]
The South China Morning Post, one of the region’s most influential newspapers, appears to be axing its star columnists… Philip Bowring, Steve Vines, Kevin Rafferty and Frank Ching – all respected commentators… Who wanted the columnists gone? The ghostly nature of this weeding-out of columnists, makes some analysts suspect it is an edict from the Liaison Office
Albert Cheng bristles at police remark to sales staff at his radio station D100:
Albert Cheng, founder of internet radio D100, said the policemen came to the shop in the Sheung Wan MTR station on Tuesday. One of the officers told a staffer: “So you people are members of the yellow ribbons”, Cheng was quoted as saying by Metro Daily Wednesday… Cheng said the officers might have engaged in political harassment which is a violation of their supposed neutrality.
[July 24] RTHK under attack ‘Pro-Occupy’ broadcaster RTHK ‘hurts the feelings of Hong Kongers’, claim pro-police protesters
HKTV was denied a free-to-air license in 2013: Hear the Citizens’ Voices at the Hong Kong TV Protest. Compared with ATV — Is Hong Kong dying like ATV after mainland intervention: Mission Accomplished? Update on April 24: Hong Kong court orders Exco to reconsider HKTV licence denial; 【告別港視 1】前言：有發生過的電視革命
TVB controlling stakeholder brings in mainland media veteran Li Ruigang as partner: This marks the first time a major mainland player has access to a controlling stake in Hong Kong’s dominant free-to-air broadcaster.
The gov’t granted to TVB free-to-air spectrums for 12 years, without public consultation and without subjecting free TV service to market competition 政府問都冇問過公眾，就將12年免費頻譜批比CCTVB
Control over bookstores
Hong Kong book giant in censorship row after returning titles to ‘pro-democracy’ publisher: A small independent publishing firm, with a pro-democracy background, has accused the biggest publishing conglomerate in the city of “indirectly murdering the whole publishing industry” by returning hundreds of books after the Occupy protests. Up Publications had hundreds of books returned by Beijing-friendly Sino United Publishing through its subsidiaries Joint Publishing, Chung Hwa Book and Commercial Press, which operate 51 stores across the city. “Twenty books – even new publications – which amount to hundreds of copies have been returned by Sino United over the past few months,” Up Publications’ editor-in-chief, Carmen Kwong Wing-suen, told the Post.
Fears For Hong Kong’s Independent Publishers After China Book Chain Takeover : The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, which formally represents Beijing in the semiautonomous city, recently acquired control of Sino United Publishing Limited, … which wholly owns three major bookstore chains in the city, Joint Publishing HK, Chung Hwa Book Co. and the Commercial Press. The liaison office already owns a number of Chinese-language media, including the Wen Wei Po, Ta Kung Pao and Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspapers, as well as the online Orange News. The move has given Beijing control of more than 80 percent of the publishing industry in Hong Kong.
A pro-umbrella artist has been deprived of work since last Sep.: 黃耀明談被封殺 「建制機器懲罰講真話的人」
A new newspaper to promote the government line has pro-establishment backing 辦報撐袋住先 周融幕後老細曝光
Initium Media has ties to Xi Jinping 【端傳媒起底】大股東蔡華 與習近平千絲萬縷
Meanwhile, Hong Kong to get new crowdfunded independent newspaper Hong Kong Free Press (fundraising site). And a crowd-funded independent news agency Factwire (fundraising site).
Another online platform Voice of Hong Kong
New pro-establishment media: Passion Media
Erosion of the free press under C Y Leung’s watch:
As mainstream media are censored or self-censored, citizens are urged to become citizen journalists:
[April 7, 2016] Why money still flows to HK’s sunset media industry
Macau bans Selma 【23條禁止抗命？】疑UA突然抽起 全澳門都冇得睇《馬丁路德金》
f. Attacks on academic freedom:
[Feb 22, 2016] Patten: The Closing of the Academic Mind
[Jan. 26, 2016] Arthur Li assumed chairmanship of the HKU council. As he and other council members left, they were surrounded by student protestors. See HKU students besiege Council meeting, demand talks with new chairman Arthur Li. In a highly controversial move, Li called the police to the campus to disperse students. The Vice Chancellor Peter Mathieson denounced the student protest as “mob rule” — coincidentally, Arthur Li said earlier that he accepted the appointment of HKU council chairman to avoid ‘mob rule’ in Hong Kong. In another controversial move that will break any trust between the VC and students and potentially further undermine HKU’s autonomy, the VC also vowed to pass on videos of the protest to the police for criminal investigation. The serious crime unit promptly promised to charge those responsible. See HKU Student Union’s statement (推動變革踏絕路 敢為我校作前驅) and a point-by-point reaction from the Alum concern group. Why did the VC become hostile to students? See King Arthur’s quest of the holy grail just got that much closer. Why is it so controversial to bring the police to the HKU campus? During Li Keqiang’s visit in August 2011, the then VC Tsui Lap-chee “finds the Police measures against student protest on campus unacceptable” and reiterated that “students’ right to express their opinions will not be interfered with.” When asked if it was appropriate to call the police, Arthur LI answered: if a burglar breaks into a house, can you not let the police in? (李國章撐警介入：有賊入屋可唔可以唔畀警察來？)
[Jan 27, 2016] Arthur Li says “irrational students acted as if ‘on drugs’, Student Union president a ‘liar’.” Arthur Li seems to echo Ta Kung Pao’s editorial that the students were instigated by democrats — the list includes the Civic Party, Occupy Central’s Benny Tai, Johannes Chan. The pro-Beijing paper also urges the university to expell protest leaders 大公社評：開除帶頭鬧事學生 追究刑毀責任. King Arthur turning HKU into political battlefield: “It’s now a matter of gaining control of this prestigious university and its proud heritage to secure legitimacy and moral high ground in the post-handover era. So that makes King Arthur not only the chairman of the HKU governing council but also the head of the university’s struggle committee.” A sinister plan: The installation of a much hated chairman for the University of Hong Kong’s governing council has predictably stirred protests.” HKU Council members, lawmakers oppose new chairman’s accusations of students. Margaret Ng believes that Arthur Li is taking on the role of party secretary to supervise HKU for the authorities (李國章如黨委書記 大學制度面臨大陸化危機 全港要堅決制止).
Meanwhile, it is leaked that Li appointed two allies to serve on the nominating committee for future appointments to the council.
[Dec 30, 2015] Arthur Li formally appointed to be the chair of the HKU council; King Arthur hits back: Li says he accepted University of Hong Kong post ‘to avert anarchy and mob rule’
[Dec 29, 2015] CY to businesses: don’t donate to local universities
[Oct. 4, 2015] Cyber attacks on Hong Kong universities increasing as state-backed hackers target city in the wake of Occupy Central—Noticeable rise in cyberattacks on Hong Kong institutions bear hallmarks of state-sponsored strikes
[Sep. 29-, 2015] HKU Council rejected the appointment of Johannes Chan. In an exemplary act of civil disobedience, the student union representative at the Council disclosed the reasons cited by those who vetoed the appointment
Johannes Chan appointment to HKU key position rejected, 12 votes to 8; University of Hong Kong’s council (stacked with pro-govt members) votes 12-8 to reject Johannes Chan’s appointment as pro-vice-chancellor:
HKU Student Union’s statement: 捍衛自主無可退 香港大學學生會回應校務委員會否決任命副校長（人力資源）之聲明
video in Cantonese
HKU Council Chairman Dr Leong Che-hung responds to media enquiries about Council Member Mr Billy Fung’s disclosing discussions at meeting
Billy Fung is criticized by the pro-regime camp for violating the confidentiality rule. Video: ‘Accusations have been overwhelming’ says Billy Fung in HKU whistleblower film
Billy Fung says that the Council has no authority to dismiss him because his mandate comes from fellow students 馮敬恩：校委會無權將他辭退
Leaked tapes of the HKU council meeting: Leaked tape emerges of HKU Council meeting at centre of academic freedom controversy ; Media unions hit back as HKU gagging order may allow for republishing of leaked Council tapes ; Leaked HKU Council tapes reappear on local porn website; Scope of HKU injunction narrowed to only cover contents of Council meetings starting from June; the transcript and recording of Rosanna Wong Yik-ming was uploaded on a Taiwan site and Mathieson’s rebuttal to Wong ; 疑似港大校委錄音再流出 盧寵茂質疑陳文敏學術成就 不滿受傷未獲慰問 馬斐森多次反駁
HKU Law faculty are thankful for Chan’s prior leadership: HKU faculty of law praises leadership of former dean ; More than a ‘nice guy’: HKU law faculty hits back in rare statement on Johannes Chan fallout ; 我們曾有幸得他掌舵 — 港大法律學院 就否決陳文敏副校任命發表聲明
[Oct. 28, 2015] Legal scholar Johannes Chan and pollster Robert Chung are believed to be contesting university council’s decisions on their conduct but Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai ‘loves’ his employer the University of Hong Kong too much to challenge it in court
[Sep. 29] Hong Kong university faces pressure from pro-Beijing opponents of liberal scholar: Peter Mathieson, the president of the HKU, told Reuters he believed pressure on him and others who back Chan’s appointment was being “orchestrated”. He said his personal emails had been hacked and some had been published in pro-Beijing media, and added that he could not rule out the possibility Beijing was behind the episode.The vice chancellor Peter Mathieson himself is now under attack for supporting Chan 馬斐森是港大校長麼？; 馬斐森遭左報圍攻 被轟無資格任校長
Arthur Li, a CY Leung supporter, is tipped to take over the Council’s chair 李國章料接替梁智鴻 11月任港大校委主席. But 90% of HKU students, teachers distrust council, oppose Arthur Li . Alumni campaign against his appointment 港大校友關注組：李國章不適合擔任校委會主席的三大理由; 教協指74%大專會員認為李國章非港大校委會主席合適人選
Johannes Chan is “politically biased”–but what about the appointment of pro-CY Leung councillors 總之陳文敏有政治立場
Professor says that pro-Beijing academics are promoted ahead of others 港大教員揭露：親政權的教授升職快；工程系正教授唔多識工程
Call for a campaign to defend HKU’s academic freedom : Core Values of Centennial Establishment in Jeopardy, Rise to Defend HKU’s Autonomy ; HKU students, alumni and teachers protest over academic freedom as anger mounts ; 堅守港大百年基業 HKU Last Line of Defence ;打壓歪風吹倒院校自主 全民聲援港大保衛自由
Hong Kong’s century-old ‘zombie’ laws are to blame for HKU’s problems: how leaving the Hong Kong University Ordinance from 1911 intact has led to problems in 2015.
[Oct. 2015] C. Y. Leung moves on to exert tighter control over other university councils
Students mobilize to call for amendments of university bylaws so that the Chief Executive would not automatically become the Chancellor 【大專修例公投】
CUHK: Norman Leung Nai-pang, who was appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as a member of CUHK Council in June, is set to be chair of the Council. Former TVB chief who denied being ‘pro-chief-executive’ appointed as new CUHK Council chairman ; member appointed by CY set to be chair.
Lingnan: ‘Wake up Lingnan University!’: Students stage sit-in protest as new Council meets ; Chief Executive appoints pro-beijing figures as Lingnan University Council members; 再委梁粉做校董 嶺大校董會逾半席位由CY控制 ; 嶺南淪陷 五個「梁粉」做校董 ; 堂堂大學校董會 淪為政治酬勞 ; Lingnan University’s new council member snaps back at student leader
LingnanU president warns localist prof to ‘mind your words or suffer the consequences’: Dr Chin Wan-kan, commonly known as his pen name Wan Chin, is an assistant professor in Chinese at Lingnan. Chin authored the book Hong Kong as a City-State and runs a popular Facebook account advocating Hong Kong’s establishment as an autonomous city-state in confederation with China and other East Asian countries. Also ‘First academic casualty after Occupy’: Lingnan Uni refuses to renew contract of radical professor
[April 7, 2016] CY Leung ally said to be urging localist PolyU academic’s ouster
[Oct. 1, 2015] What happened to CCP’s promises of academic autonomy in history 【十一回望】 那些年的黨，說大學自主
[Jan. 1, 2015] Wenwei Po attacks Johannes Chan, the former dean of HKU law school 本報獨家報道：陳文敏貽害 港大法學院慘輸中大 http://paper.wenweipo.com/2015/01/26/HK1501260001.htm; HKU law faculty falls short in research field; 文匯批陳文敏自編自導：扮成受打壓悲情樣
Did the CE office release confidential information to Wenwei Po to facilitate the attack on Chan? 有否放料攻擊陳文敏？ 特首辦、張志剛未回應
[July 27] The liaison office was involved 【港大副校風波】劉進圖：中間人游說陳文敏獲任命後請辭 據說中聯辦特區高層參與箍票
HKU law professors hit back against pro-Beijing press ‘political interference’ attacks: Nine academics unite to denounce pro-Beijing media’s accusations against possible candidate for top position as CY denies interference
A source familiar with the situation told the Post the council wanted a more specific report. “Some council members wanted the audit committee to name who is to blame [for not following guidelines],” the source said. At least one of those members is a Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member.
The donations were revealed in October when emails were leaked to the media – later shown to have been hacked from HKU staff computers.
According to the emails, four donations totalling HK$1.45 million were passed on to Tai. He, in turn, passed the money to HKU’s public opinion programme, the law faculty and the school of humanities as anonymous donations. Among the sums, Tai used HK$150,000 to hire research assistant Shirry Heung, who was working in the school of humanities, asking her to work for the public opinion programme.
CY Leung attacks HKU student magazine “Undergrad”: Hong Kong Leader Singles Out College Magazine For Helping Cause ‘Anarchy’ and Former editor of HKU student magazine hits back at CY Leung
Leung was grilled by the media on a Ming Pao report, which, quoting sources in Polytechnic University’s council, said Leung had told the council at a recent luncheon that he, as the HKU chancellor, had crossed out some names recommended by the its honorary degrees committee.
Arthur Li, a CY Leung supporter, is appointed to the HKU governing council 李國章任港大校務委員會成員, and echoes pro-Beijing newspapers’ line that some HKU academics neglect their proper duties by spending time talking to the media 大學排名跌 李國章：部分教授不務正業:
[July 30] The battle over HKU is the first attempt to “liberate” HK 練乙錚：港大副校風波 乃京港當權派「解放香港」頭炮;
[Aug 13] Who’s behind the storm 港大事件背後的黑手
[Sep 11, 2015] Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao have published at least 120 articles against Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun over the past three months. (Going all out to defend freedom and the rule of law in HK)
HKU ‘mainland experience’ policy sends ripples across campus: Undergraduates will have to spend time over the border and overseas as part of their degree under new policy to be phased in by 2022
In China, Officials are trying to stifle independent voices in universities; A Chronicle of China’s Campaign to Rectify Political Ideology at Universities: 2014 – 2015 ; Peking University replaces controversial president with… another controversial president…
g. Campaign to remold young minds
See also why teenagers are protesting
[Oct. 23, 2015] “Stories untold – What happened in schools during the Occupy Movement 2014?”: The survey aims to better understand what happened at secondary schools during the protest.
Mainland universities to exempt the Chinese university entrance exam for HK students 內地部分高校免試招收香港學生計劃指南
[Oct. 25, 2015] CY tries to win over boy scouts 梁振英童軍裝現身會操 籲制服團體培養國家歸屬感
Students cry foul over election reform video: The students said the Federation of Hong Kong Guangxi Community Organizations had promised that the interviews would not be posted… However, on Friday, the clips surfaced on Facebook under the headline “Occupy does not represent me”.
Secretary for Education says he will urge school headmasters to support the government proposal 吳克儉：會要求校長撐政改
Tsang Yok-sing: It was the government’s forced promotion of national education that gave rise to the sentiments for HK nationalism 曾鈺成：政府錯在強推國教 港獨思潮一手促成
Exco member wants HK teachers to receive patriotic education: Teachers ‘facing interference’ to instil patriotism in Hong Kong pupils; 中學校長會總幹事 斥有人把政治矛盾歸咎老師青年 對課程指指點點; 羅范倡教師要赴內地上完國情課才可入職
Does CY Leung’s 2015 Policy Address seek to erase the next generation of youth with 1) the open criticism of HKU’s student publication “Undergrad”, 2) a new Chinese history curriculum, and 3) diversion of education resources to exchange programs with mainland schools?【施政報告系列】有實無名國民教育，消滅新一代青少年
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in his annual policy address that the government would change the current high-school curriculum, with an aim to “reinforce students’ interest in and understanding of Chinese history and culture.” Mr. Leung said the government will also subsidize students to participate in exchange programs with schools on the mainland. (Hong Kong Civics Class Puts Beijing on Edge)
Pages from a primary school textbook:
Beijing’s Liaison Office in HK is trying to make the HK Federation of Students more Beijing-friendly by influencing member student unions. A City U student disclosed that the Liaison Office was trying to bribe and threaten students running for elections to the student union: CityU student exposes threats and deals made and offered by leftists in order to infiltrate HKFS / 城大學生爆左派威逼利誘 滲透學聯
A mysterious uniformed group that aims to make Hong Kong’s youngsters “aware of their responsibilities and obligations as Chinese citizens” was inaugurated yesterday, with the city’s first lady said to be the group’s “commander-in-chief”.
But the newly formed Hong Kong Army Cadets Association has already come under criticism for its secretive handling of the inauguration ceremony. Only a few media outlets – including pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po and state broadcaster China Central Television – were allowed to cover the event.
Lesson from South Africa? The Bantu Education Act “produced in the 1970s the angriest, most rebellious generation of black youth the country had ever seen.” (Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, p. 170)
h. Surface-to-air missile for what purpose?
2.3. How does the erosion of civil and political freedoms affect economic freedom?
Without democracy, “economics is politics by other means.” (Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge University Press 2009, p. 72)
[July 22, 1017] Red capital has bought up HK: “李生撤資，董生賣盤，肥佬賣壹仔，聰明的你，應該明白香港快溶了。蘋果日報和壹傳媒隨著23條立法而被賣盤，不聽話的議員要被清盤，強國有13億人民税收，共產黨要買起整個香港有甚麼難？” [政治「低氣壓」依舊 香港還有希望？]
[June 30, 2017] How Hong Kong’s Banks Turned Chinese
[June 7, 2017] Chinese Giants Are Taking Over Hong Kong
[May 2016] Hong Kong’s Short Squeeze: … a tribunal recently upheld a $1.4 million fine imposed on credit-rating agency Moody’s for the crime of publishing a research report with some inaccuracies. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), newly empowered to regulate rating agencies, punished Moody’s for due-diligence lapses in a 2011 report raising “red flags” about mainland Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong—even though the report was overwhelmingly accurate. Investor-rights activist David Webb notes that regulators found only 12 mathematical or other errors among Moody’s nearly 1,000 assessments of accounting and governance variables across dozens of firms. That’s an error rate around 1%. Of the top six red-flagged firms, four have since defaulted on their debts and two have dramatically underperformed markets. No flagged firm is known to have sued for libel, as might be justified if Moody’s really flouted minimum professional standards. Moody’s true mistake was to offer critical opinions in a market where regulators prefer to hear only good news. As Mr. Webb asks: “If Moody’s (or anyone) had published a ‘Green flags report’ singling out those companies (positive outliers) which it thinks have exceptionally good accounting and governance, causing their share and bond prices to go up, would the SFC have clobbered them for minor errors in the flags?”
[April 25, 2016] For foreign firms, the challenge is the mainland, not Hong Kong
[April 21, 2016] Charles Li: China does not need another Shanghai but Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s stock exchange chief says “one country, two systems” is critical to the sustainable development of the financial market.
[Mar 7, 2016] Who is to blame for politicizing HK economic issues?
[Feb 9, 2016] Hong Kong’s business community is ‘freaked out’ over China’s crackdown: A crisis of confidence has hit foreign and local-owned companies in Hong Kong following the abduction of five booksellers by Chinese agents… Of even greater concern than the booksellers case is the apparent erosion of the rule of law in Hong Kong. “The Hong Kong government appears to now have considerably diminished autonomy and the [central government] liaison office seems to be strengthening its position.
[Feb. 15, 2016] HSBC keeps HQ in London, rejecting move to Hong Kong
Li Ka-shing is under attack
[Oct 3, 2015] Tycoons not the boss anymore as Beijing calls the shots: “Mainlanders now tend to see Li Ka-shing as a ‘profit comes first’ businessman, rather than ‘a role model who loves the country and Hong Kong’.” … Thanks to the two-week long media bashing of the “superman” on the mainland, every tycoon in town should by now know who the boss is and how to behave. Beijing is, however, not allowing them much time to turn “patriotic”. It is not taking any chances, grooming its own crop of patriotic tycoons in Hong Kong.
[Sep 29-30, 2015] Li’s empire strikes back: Hong Kong’s richest man slams mainland Chinese media for ‘totally unfounded’ reports he is divesting from country: Tycoon rejects accusations he is abandoning the mainland, saying such ‘Cultural Revolution-style’ attacks by media do not reflect Beijing’s views; Home is where the heart is for Li Ka-shing and Hongkongers ; 李嘉誠回應官媒批鬥撤資：令人不寒而慄，深感遺憾; 李嘉誠揮手辭親故
[Oct. 23, 2015] Xinhua acknowledges Li Ka-shing’s contributions to China
[Sep 24] 官媒轟李嘉誠撤資 林行止：乃李嘉誠不撐梁振英種下禍根
Is Li Ka-shing moving out of HK? ‘China’s Warren Buffett’ Selling Off His China Assets ; Asian Tycoons Take Note of Li Ka-shing’s Property Move; 李嘉誠的終極抉擇
Robert Kwok is also leaving China and HK
”Special Report: The mainland’s colonization of the Hong Kong economy” (Reuters):
While it was predictable business ties would expand after the 1997 handover, Beijing has made it clear that economic integration is central to reinforcing its sovereignty over Hong Kong, which is ruled under the one country, two systems model that affords the city’s 7.2 million residents broad personal freedoms.
Mainland businesses have flooded into HK under CY Leung’s watch:
See corruption above. See why boycott.
Hong Kong Declines, but Remains the World’s Freest Economy, 2015 Index of Economic Freedom Shows
Mainlandization of the HK stock exchange 金融市場進一步赤化 — 內地與香港基金互認安排
Chair of HKTV Vicky Wong asks: Why are we Hong Kong people so impoverished to be left with only money?
在港英時代，自由、法治、人權就像陽光空氣一樣，毋須爭取就自然得到… 九七主權轉移後，多數香港人不知道恩賜的自由法治已變了味。他們仍以「搵食」為核心… 很平常的一句話，發哥說出來後…：「『咪搵少啲囉』該是雨傘運動其中一個重要的核心價值。」應該說，這不是香港人過去的價值，而是雨傘運動帶來的與過去相反的價值。
Integration with the mainland has benefited only tycoons:
2.4. White elephant projects, urban design, town planning, environmental preservation and freedom:
[Mar 11, 2016] The funding request was forcibly approved by a show of hands of pro-establishment candidates: Chaotic scenes at LegCo as additional funds for Express Rail Link approved in sudden vote ; Tyrants like Chan Kam-lam breed ultra-radicalism in Hong Kong
[Mar. 8, 2016] A central official says that there is no need to worry about customs inspection for the high speed rail, since “we are all one country.”「以後都不用檢了，都是一個國家了。」
[Feb. 1, 2016] MTR retail investors speak the truth about the rail link
The HK-Macau-Zhuhai bridge is seriously delayed, involves serious costs overruns and may take 50 years to recoup costs, uses substandard materials, and damages the environment and may lead to the extinction of Chinese dolphins:【港珠澳大橋】「斬件式」申請撥款 總成本逾千億 ;【港珠澳大橋】水質污染707次超警戒線 白海豚絕迹 ; 港珠澳橋車流量過分樂觀 「可能要50年才回到本」;
Last chance to say no to white-elephant high-speed rail project: The controversial Guangdong-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail project has come to a critical moment. The government is planning to apply for additional funding of HK$19.42 billion (US$2.5 billion) from the Legislative Council for the white-elephant project.
Pro-democracy legislator “Long Hair” says it is pro-establishment legislators who have hurt HK’s economy by supporting “white elephant projects” 長毛：建制派令香港損失5,687億！
[July 1] If the high speed rail link had been rejected as pro-democracy legislators and street protestors demanded… MTR, Hong Kong government on collision course as cost of Guangzhou rail link soars to HK$85.3 billion
The CY Leung government created yet another big storm by bypassing the Legco in having only the Executive Council approve the construction of a super expensive 3rd runway at HK$141.5 billion.
Passengers to pay construction fees for new Hong Kong runway under funding plan: The construction funding of a multibillion-dollar third airport runway is set to bypass legislative scrutiny under a financing plan that includes levying surcharges on passengers and airlines. Adopting a “user pays” principle, the plan circumvents the need for vetting on the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee, raising concerns from lawmakers about the risks of reduced accountability… The latest budget is set at HK$141.5 billion – but taxpayers are to be spared any expense as funds are to be drawn internally from the authority’s surpluses, user charges and external financing via bank loans and bonds. But the “self-financing” plan will entail the authority’s denial of annual dividends to the government – its sole shareholder – and lead to lost public revenues of about HK$50 billion in the next 10 years based on 2014 figures.
A mainland scholar suggests that the Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Macau airports are in intense competition with the HK airport and there is little prospect that Shenzhen would give HK the necessary airspace for the third runway 內地民航學者：珠三角機場近惡性競爭促合作
A poll shows that 68% of the respondents are against the project Public opinion turns against third runway, poll shows ; 68％市民反對機三跑 團體促擱置
[Dec. 7, 2015] The HK govt has become incompetent in even tree protection (HK Connection)
Rocco Yim… is the lead architect of Rocco Design Architects Ltd, the Hong Kong firm that originally designed the government complex, including the area that stretches from Tamar Park to a elevated walkway that links the Legislative Council with a nearby office building…
Mr. Yim says that when designing the government complex in 2005, he wanted to create a sense of openness in the famously dense city… “We wanted it to be a door, not a barrier,” Mr. Yim says of the ultimate design. “We believed that, urbanistically, we should allow for an opening between the city and the waterfront: a door always open,” he said…
Mr. Yim said he was disappointed in the sight of fences going up around government buildings, including a protest site known as Civic Square, which appeared over the summer. Mr. Yim described the fences as a “sign of deteriorating trust on all sides.”… “If a fence goes up, it can come down, too.”
Consultancy suggests cancelling tram route from Central to Admiralty. Fortunately, the proposal was rejected 城規會否決取消中環段申請
Urban renewal has become another channel for collusion between the government and developers?
Outgoing managing director Iris Tam tells of ‘fundamental differences’ with chairman Victor So over authority’s finances and ‘social mission’: Tam said it was unacceptable for the authority to act as a developer or an agent providing land to developers.
Town planning and environmental preservation
Although the Town Planning Board received more than 50,000 public submissions on the North East New Territories New Development Program, an overwhelming majority of which were against it, the TPB gave the highly controversial project the green light in April. It didn’t even bother to make the slightest changes to the government’s initial proposal, suggesting that the TPB has degenerated into nothing more than a rubber stamp that’s totally at the government’s service. (Since when has ‘one country, one system’ taken over?)
The controversy over the planned facelift of the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade shows once again how our political dysfunction sabotages even necessary projects
Government proposal to build houses in China’s country parks 打郊野公園主意的人們，你們太沒有水平了
See protests against government-developer collusion in NE new territories 東北告急，無你點得 ?
See also grievances.
2.5 Religious freedom
Rev. Philip Woo Siu-hok said he was summoned to Shenzhen by officials of the Religious Affairs Bureau of that city’s Futian district on July 1, the day China’s new National Security Law was passed.
Woo, of Hong Kong’s Christian Church of Chinese Ministry, said the officials demanded that he sign to acknowledge a “notice of a rectification order” concerning an event his church held in Hong Kong last year to train Christian clergy.
2.6 Artistic freedom
See Umbrella movement and artists
What will HK look like ten years from now? or in 2047?
Here is one prognosis: ‘Ten Years’: Dark vision of Hong Kong’s future proves surprise box office hit
An extended interview with RFA after the hearing, in Cantonese: http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/features/focusonhk/feature-CECC-11272014104108.html
Speaking to RTHK Backchat on the US holding a hearing on HK affairs: http://programme.rthk.hk/channel/radio/programme.php?name=radio3/backchat&d=2014-11-24&p=514&e=&m=episode (the last 10 min.)
Interview at Texas Tech University https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBTAt_z3QQ8&feature=youtu.be
CECC resources on the Umbrella movement: http://www.cecc.gov/resources/ongoing-demonstrations-in-hong-kong-cecc-resources