Hong Kong to Implement Article 23 of Basic Law


The Hong Kong government withdrew the extradition bill in order to put an end of the protests caused by the bill but protesters raised more demands that the government cannot satisfy. As a result, the protests and street violence on the contrary intensified.

Since appeasement does not work, the government seems to do the contrary. It will implement Article 23 of the Basic Law to have more legal means to put an end to the protests.

Article 23 provides that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”

Now, the protesters have obvious links with and support from external forces. The law enacted under Article 23 of Hong Kong Basic Law will provide Hong Kong government with powerful weapons to deal with protesters.

When Hong Kong government tried to enact the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill 2003 to implement Article 23, it met the opposition of a massive demonstration of half a million people and was forced to withdraw the bill. However, that demonstration was smaller than the demonstrations now. The protesters have already made maximum efforts to expand their demonstrations for their demands; therefore, the demonstration opposing the implementation of Article 23 could not be bigger. Moreover, the nine months of street protests and violence have made Hong Kong government accustomed to big mass opposition.

SCMP’s report “Citing President Xi Jinping, Beijing’s Hong Kong envoy Luo Huining says lack of national security law allows ‘sabotage’” on January 20 says “Beijing’s new envoy has urged Hong Kong to plug its national security loophole, warning that failure to do so could open the door to ‘infiltration and sabotage’ from outside and risk destroying the ‘one country, two systems’ formula of governing the city.” The national security loophole obviously refers to the failure to implement Article 23.

The question is whether the government will have enough majority in the legislative council to get the law enacted. It seems that the government can get the majority now but it is not sure whether it get the majority later when a new legislative council is elected.

I believe Hong Kong government will enact the law soon.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3046821/citing-president-xi-jinping-beijings-envoy-luo-huining?utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailchimp&utm_campaign=enlz-city_Wrap&utm_content=20200120&MCUID=480db96a00&MCCampaignID=44d4c1455a&MCAccountID=3775521f5f542047246d9c827&tc=8.


Fighting for a future that’s without a job


One of the tragic ironies of the violent anti-government protests is that young Hongkongers are becoming unemployable, especially in well-paid jobs with good career prospects

Alex Lo

Published: 9:25pm, 4 Dec, 2019

Updated: 10:13pm, 4 Dec, 2019

Young people in Hong Kong are becoming unemployable, especially in well-paid jobs with good career prospects, according to a Financial Times report. That has to be one of the tragic ironies of the violent anti-government protests of the past six months. Ostensibly, young rebels are fighting for their future. But they are compromising their immediate employability.

Of course, this problem has been there all along, ever since much more competitive and cooperative mainland graduates started flooding the local job market, particularly in the financial sector.

But the violent protests have only made the already bad reputation of young locals as self-centred snowflakes who require extensive supervision and training even more alarming to bosses. Sadly, this open secret has been kept from young protesters who innocently drink the Kool-Aid served up by their glorifiers, do-gooders and manipulators.

According to the Times, “interviews with senior executives at several financial services companies – including banks, asset managers, accountancies and law firms – suggest the reluctance to hire Hongkongers extends far wider than mainland Chinese banks.

The executives said they fear recruiting anyone who has participated in activities deemed illegal by local authorities during the protests … Managers at three Hong Kong-based global hedge funds said they would implement an unofficial hiring freeze on locals.

One mainland Chinese partner at the Hong Kong office of an international law firm said he would avoid hiring anyone who had taken part in violent protests. ‘I would ask if they have participated in the violence because I wouldn’t want that logic, using violence to achieve your demands, that’s not how the rule of law works,’ said the lawyer.”

Source: SCMP “Fighting for a future that’s without a job”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


HK Unable to Remain World Financial Center, Shanghai Has to Replace It


Reuters report “China will promote globalization of Shanghai’s financial markets: Xi”

yesterday said that Chinese President Xi Jinping told Shanghai to globalize its financial markets. It certainly means that Shanghai has to become international financial center to replace Hong Kong as riots there are making Hong Kong unable to maintain its status as world financial center.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

REUTERS

China will promote globalization of Shanghai’s financial markets: Xi

November 3, 2019 / 8:28 PM / Updated 13 hours ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that the country will promote the globalization of Shanghai’s financial markets through the Belt and Road Initiative, and the city should strive to master the core links of the industry chains.

The financial hub should courageously jump into the ocean of the world’s economy and fight the storms to build strong tendons and strengthen the bones, Xi said on a tour in Shanghai ahead of an import fair next week.

The newly expanded free trade zone (FTZ) in the city will serve as a hub to develop the onshore and offshore businesses in a coordinated way and a springboard for corporate overseas ambitions, Xi said.

Reporting by Stella Qiu, Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; editing by Jason Neely


South Asians and Africans are no longer Hong Kong’s ‘ethnic other’ – now it’s the mainland Chinese


30 October 2019 17:18 Gordon Mathews

An extraordinary event happened in Chungking Mansions last Saturday. Well over a thousand Hong Kong Chinese people came to the building and participated in free tours conducted by ethnic minority social workers; most also stayed for dinner, causing long good-natured lines of prospective diners to form, waiting for their turn to sample Chungking Mansions’ ethnic cuisines. South Asian shopkeepers in the building who recently had been lamenting their declining business marvelled at the massive influx of young Hongkongers. “I have never seen anything like this in my entire life!” one exclaimed to me.

This event came about because Jimmy Sham, the convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front – who are the major organiser of the recent protests – was beaten up on October 16 by several men identified as South Asian. Concerns over a backlash against South Asians arose, particularly in Chungking Mansions. To forestall ethnic resentment, Jeffrey Andrews, a prominent social worker at the Chungking Mansions-based NGO Christian Action Centre for Refugees, organised various ethnic minority members to hand out water and food to protesters on October 20. (Ironically that day, it was the Hong Kong police, shooting their water cannon at the Kowloon Mosque, who alienated many among Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities, leading to a public apology by Chief Executive Carrie Lam.)

Following this, Andrews, together with Jonnet Kudera of the Christian Action Centre for Refugees, organised the October 25 event. Young Hong Kong participants admired the elaborate Indian Diwali celebration displays in Chungking Mansions, sampled Indian sweets, marvelled at the cultural diversity they beheld, and also occasionally broke into chants: “five demands, not one less!”

This was an amazing happening. Chungking Mansions – long seen as a place to be feared by many in Hong Kong as the home of “ethnic otherness” – was celebrated and cherished by young Hongkongers on this day, as had never before occurred. I myself was at this event, and was overwhelmed with joy. And yet, I am concerned that this event does not fully depict a diminishment of Hong Kong racism, but rather a shift. A shift in Hong Kong’s “ethnic other.”

South Asians and Africans are no longer that “ethnic other”; instead it is the mainland Chinese.

I have taught a weekly class of refugees in Chungking Mansions for the past thirteen years. My African and South Asian students in years past would regularly recount the racism they experienced in their daily lives in Hong Kong, with, for example, Hongkongers refusing to sit next to them on public transport, and occasionally cursing at them. In recent years, however, the situation has been changing. As one African refugee said, “Hong Kong students used to ask, ‘Why do you people come here?’ in an unfriendly way. Now, over the past few years, they really want to talk with you!”

As another African refugee told me, “It used to be, a few years ago, when I stepped onto a basketball court in Hong Kong, all the [Hong Kong Chinese] people would leave. Now they all want to play basketball with me, and even invite me to dinner.”

This change in attitude was reflected in a remarkable incident last year. Several Hong Kong localists were attending the class. A South Asian refugee asked a localist, “Can I be a Hongkonger?” He was told, “of course you can be a Hongkonger! We need people like you here!” An African refugee asked, “Can I be a Hongkonger?” and was told, “of course you can be a Hongkonger! We need people like you here!” Then a mainland Chinese student, also attending the class, asked, “Can I be a Hongkonger?” and was told, “Well…” The answer was apparently no.

The government of Hong Kong has of course been continuously emphasising Hong Kong’s Chineseness. In opposition to this, the attitude of these localists was that of Hong Kong as “anything but Chinese.” This attitude is that in order to preserve Hong Kong’s distinctiveness as against mainland China, it must be international- unlike mainland China – and it must maintain its complete distinctiveness from mainland China.

While the refugees I know, as well as other members of minority ethnicities in Hong Kong, generally report a far higher degree of acceptance and welcoming among Hong Kong young people than among their elders, many of the mainland Chinese students I know report a very different situation. Some of the mainland students have been terrified to leave the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) campus; several have reported being harassed when they speak Putonghua on the street in Hong Kong. The destruction by protesters of mainland-linked stores in Hong Kong furthers these students’ sense of fear and alienation from Hong Kong: “Hong Kong hates people like me!” a mainland student exclaimed, in a comment repeated in various ways by a number of the mainland students I know and teach in Hong Kong.

Protesters I know say, “we don’t hate Chinese people, we hate the Chinese government and the Communist Party.” This is no doubt true; but of course since it is the government that educates mainland Chinese people such as my students, it can seem difficult to separate government and people. As chair of the Department of Anthropology at CUHK, I have been trying to arrange dialogues between mainland students and Hong Kong students, with some initial success thus far. But it is a hard process because attitudes towards the Hong Kong protests can be so different among members of the two groups, and mutual understanding can be extremely difficult to arrive at. Still, it seems essential to try.

The October 25 event in Chungking Mansions was an amazing event, but it did not mark an end to Hong Kong “racism.” Hong Kong racism can only end when everybody – regardless of ethnic or national background – is welcomed. This may be difficult given the current conflict, and the vast differences in interpretation among people of different backgrounds (and I must add, I am in complete agreement with the protesters’ aim of preserving Hong Kong’s freedoms, although I abhor violence). But Hong Kong “racism” will truly end only when everyone, regardless of background or nationality, can be welcomed and respectfully argued with, rather than disdained. I am cautiously optimistic, in this time of dark turmoil and police brutality, that this day will eventually come in Hong Kong. But it hasn’t come yet.

Source: hongkongfp.com “South Asians and Africans are no longer Hong Kong’s ‘ethnic other’ – now it’s the mainland Chinese”

Note: This is hongkongfp.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China denies that it demanded firing of Houston Rockets GM Morey


October 18, 2019 / 3:35 PM / Updated 17 hours ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese foreign ministry on Friday rebutted National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that Beijing asked that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey be fired for his tweet supporting Hong Kong’s protesters.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing that China never posed such a requirement.

Silver, speaking at an event in New York, said the league told the Chinese authorities that Morey would not be disciplined or fired.

Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Catherine Evans

Source: Reuters “China denies that it demanded firing of Houston Rockets GM Morey”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Tracking Foreign Interference In Hong Kong


By Pepe Escobar, Asiatimes.com

October 12, 2019

Above Photo: Protesters wave US flags as they march to the US consulate in Hong Kong on September 8, 2019. Photo: Vivek Prakash / AFP

Lawyer Lawrence Ma claims the US has been supporting the protests via groups such as the NED

Lawrence YK Ma is the executive council chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation and director of the China Law Society, the Chinese Judicial Studies Association and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation. He also finds time to teach law at Nankai University in Tianjin.

Ma is the go-to expert in what is arguably the most sensitive subject in Hong Kong: He meticulously tracks perceived foreign interference in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

In the West, in similar circumstances, he would be a media star. With a smirk, he told me that local journalists, whether working in English or Chinese, rarely visit him – not to mention foreigners.

Ma received me at his office in Wanchai this past Saturday morning after a “dark day” of rampage, as described by the SAR government. He wasted no time before calling my attention to a petition requesting a “United Nations investigation into the United States’ involvement in Hong Kong riots.”

He let me see a copy of the document, which lists the People’s Republic of China as petitioner, the United States of America as respondent nation and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation as ex parte petitioner. This was submitted on Aug. 16 to the UN Security Council in Geneva, directed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In the document, Issue II deals with “funded, sponsored and provided supplies to any organizations, groups, companies, political parties or individuals” and “trained and frontline protesters, students and dissidents.”

Predictably, the US National Endowment for Democracy is listed in the documentation: its largest 2018 grants were directed to China, slightly ahead of Russia.

The NED was founded in 1983 after serial covert CIA ops across the Global South had been exposed.

In 1986, NED President Carl Gershman told the New York Times: “It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued.” As the Times article explained about the NED:

In some respects, the program resembles the aid given by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s to bolster pro-American political groups. But that aid was clandestine and, subsequent Congressional investigations found, often used planted newspaper articles and other forms of intentionally misleading information. The current financing is largely public – despite some recipients’ wish to keep some activities secret – and appears to be given with the objective of shoring up political pluralism, broader than the CIA’s goals of fostering pro-Americanism.

Soft power at work

So it’s no secret, all across the Global South, that under the cover of a benign umbrella promoting democracy and human rights, the NED works as a soft-power mechanism actively interfering in politics and society. Recent examples include Ukraine, Venezuela and Nicaragua. In many cases, that is conducive to regime change.

The NED’s board of directors includes Elliott Abrams, who was instrumental in financing and weaponizing the Contras in Nicaragua, and Victoria Nuland, who supervised the financing and weaponizing of militias in Ukraine that some but not all experts have described as neo-fascist.

The NED offers grants via various branches. One of them is the National Democratic Institute, which has been active in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. These are some of the grants offered by the NED in Hong Kong in 2018.

At least one Hong Kong-based publication took the trouble of studying the NED’s local connections, publishing a chart of the anti-extradition protest organizational structure. But it claimed no discovery of a smoking gun. The most the publication could say was, “If we analyze the historical involvement of NED in Occupy Central and the sequence of events that took place from March in 2019, it is highly possible that the Americans may be potentially involved in the current civil unrest via NED – albeit not conclusive.”

Analyzing earlier Hong Kong protests, a former Reagan administration official-turned-Hudson Institute think tanker, Michael Pillsbury, said in 2014 that a Chinese state-run newspaper’s claim of US help for protesters in Hong Kong that year had some truth to it.

Pillsbury told Fox News that the US held some influence over political matters in the region. “We have a large consulate there that’s in charge of taking care of the Hong Kong Policy Act passed by Congress to insure democracy in Hong Kong, and we have also funded millions of dollars of programs through the National Endowment for Democracy … so in that sense the Chinese accusation is not totally false,” said Pillsbury (who was back in the news on Wednesday with comments on the involvement in China of former US Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden).

Coordination

Issue III of the petition sent to the UN deals with “coordinated, directed and covertly commanded on-ground operations; connived with favorable and compatible local and American media so as to present biased new coverage.”

On “coordination,” the main political operative is identified as Julie Eadeh, based at the US Consulate after a previous Middle East stint. Eadeh became a viral sensation in China when she was caught on camera, on the same day, meeting with Anson Chan and Martin Lee, close allies of Jimmy Lai, founder of pro-protest Apple Daily, and protest leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Law in the lobby of the Marriott.

The US State Department responded by calling the Chinese government “thuggish” for releasing photographs and personal information about Eadeh.

The NED and Eadeh are also the subjects of further accusations in the petition’s Issue IV (“Investigation of various institutions”).

All in the Basic Law

Ma is the author of an exhaustive, extensively annotated book, Hong Kong Basic Law: Principles and Controversies, published by the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation.

Maria Tam, a member both of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee and of China’s National People’s Congress, praises the book’s analysis of the ultra-sensitive interpretation of the Basic Law, saying “the common law system has remained unaffected, its judicial independence remaining the best in Asia”, with Hong Kong firmly placed – so far at least – as “the third most preferred avenue for international arbitration.”

In the book, Ma extensively analyzes the finer points of the China containment policy. But he also adds culture to the mix, for instance examining the work of Liang Shuming (1893-1988) on the philosophical compatibility of traditional Chinese Confucianism with the technology of the West. Liang argued that China’s choice, in stark terms, was between wholesale Westernization or complete rejection of the West.

But Ma really hits a nerve when he examines Hong Kong’s unique role – and positioning – as a vector of the China containment policy, facilitated by a prevailing anti-communist sentiment and the absence of a national security law.

This is something that cannot be understood without examining the successive waves of emigration to Hong Kong. The first took place during the Communist-Nationalist civil war (1927-1950) and the Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945); the second, during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1977).

Ma significantly quotes a 1982 poll claiming that 95% of respondents were in favor of maintaining British rule. Everyone who followed the 1997 Hong Kong handover remembers the widespread fear of Chinese tanks rolling into Kowloon at midnight.

In sum, Ma argues that, for Washington, what matters is to “make China’s island of Hong Kong as difficult to govern for Beijing as possible.”

Integrate or perish

Anyone who takes time to carefully study the complexities of the Basic Law can see how Hong Kong is an indivisible part of China. Hundreds of millions of Mainland Chinese now have seen what the black bloc brand of “democracy” – vandalizing public and private property – has done to ruin Hong Kong.

Arguably, in the long run, and after an inevitable cleanup operation, the whole drama may only strengthen Hong Kong’s integration with China. Add to it that China, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan have separately asked Hong Kong authorities for a detailed list of black bloc rioters.

In my conversations these past few days with informed Hong Kongers – mature businessmen and businesswomen who understand the Basic Law and relations with China – two themes have been recurrent.

One is the weakness of Carrie Lam’s government, with suggestions that the outside non-well-wishers knew her understaffed and overstretched police force would not be up to the task of maintaining security across town. At the same time, many remarked how the response from Washington and London to the Emergency Regulations approval of the anti-mask law was – surprisingly – restrained.

The other theme is decolonization. My interlocutors argued that China did not “control” Hong Kong; if it did, riots would never have happened. Add to it that Lam may have been instructed to do nothing, lest she would mess up an incandescent situation even more.

Now it’s a completely new ball game. Beijing, even discreetly, will insist on a purge of anyone in the civil service who would be identified as anti-China. If Lam just continues to insist on her beloved “dialogue,” she may be replaced by a hands-on CEO such as CY Leung or Regina Ip.

Amid so much gloom, there may be a silver lining. And that concerns the Greater Bay Area project. My interlocutors tend to believe that after the storm ends and after carefully studying the situation for some months, Beijing will soon come up with a new plan to tighten Hong Kong’s integration to the mainland’s economy even more.

The first step was to tell Hong Kong’s tycoons to get their act together and be more socially responsible. The second will be to convince Hong Kong’s businesses to reinvent themselves for good and profit as part of the Greater Bay Area and the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative.

Hong Kong will thrive only if plugged, not unplugged. That may be the ultimate – profitable – argument against any form of foreign sabotage.

Source: popularresistance.org “Tracking Foreign Interference In Hong Kong”

Note: This is popularresistanc.org’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Global Companies, Brands Dare Not Support HK Protests


In its report “Factbox: Global firms take action after China criticism over Hong Kong protests” today Reuters gives a list of major global companies and brands that have taken actions to avoid hurting Chinese Mainlanders’ feelings over Hong Kong protests, including Apple, Nike, Vans, Tiffany, Activision Blizzard Inc. and Givenchy.

US Secretary of State Pompeo says in an interview ““I think American businesses are waking up to the risks inherent in compliance with the Chinese government’s rules”

However, the fact is that it has nothing to do with Chinese government’s rules. It concerns Chinese Mainlanders’ attitude towards Hong Kong protesters’ xenophobia against Chinese Mainlanders. Mainlanders in Hong Kong have been beaten up by the protesters indiscriminatedly simply because they have spoken Mandarin.

Protesters’ hatred of Mainlanders have grown now to the extent of smashing Mainland banks and companies including private ones.

Mainland Chinese media have not shown on TV what Hongkong people have seen on TV screen of protesters beating up Mainlanders and smashing Mainland firms. I think that Mainland government is good in avoiding doing so to upset Mainland Chinese people. Otherwise you may probably see Mainlanders smashing the firms whether Chinese or foreign ones that support Hong Kong protesters.

Hong Kong protesters’ hatred may have been provoked by some people who want to sow discord between Hongkongers and Mainlanders. That is not a big issue as Hong Kong is but small compared with the vast size and huge population of Mainland China. Pompeo, however, has obviously been trying to sow discord between Chinese and American peoples in distorting the Hong Kong issue and putting groundless accusation on Chinese government. He probably forgets that Chinese and American are the two largest and most powerful peoples in the world. Enmity between them may give rise to lots of trouble and even wars between them.

What does he want? Does he want to turn the peoples of the two countries into dead enemies?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests-factbox/factbox-global-firms-take-action-after-china-criticism-over-hong-kong-protests-idUSKBN1WP2EW.