(Note: This article was first published by Hong Kong Free Press on April 2, under the title “Patriots only please: How Beijing secured Hong Kong's legislature from any danger of democratic infiltration”) Details are now falling into place on the re-design of Hong Kong’s local law-making body, the Legislative Council. These details follow from the nine-point decision on general principles passed by the National People’s Congress in Beijing, on March 11. ( … Continue reading FOR PATRIOTS ONLY: HONG KONG’S “NEW LOOK” LEGISALTIVE COUNCIL
(Note: This is an updated version of the article published in Hong Kong Free Press on March 13, 2021, under the title: “The dream of genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong is gone for good, but can the democracy movement survive?”) Hong Kong’s current democracy movement began long ago, in the early 1980s, soon after Beijing’s demand for Hong Kong's return became known. The reformers were a mixed lot: some young, … Continue reading GONE FOR GOOD: THE DREAM OF A “GENUINE” UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ELECTION
(Note: This article was originally published by Hong Kong Free Press on Feb. 27, 2021, under the title, “The Knives Are Out for Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam as Her Turbulent First Term Enters Its Final Months”) For most of the past two years, a favorite subject for tea table gossip and speculation has been the political fate of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. She welcomed the return to what she called peace, quiet, and normalcy after the promulgation … Continue reading HONG KONG’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARIRE LAM: Slings And Arrows From Every Direction
(Note: This article was originally published in the Hong Kong Free Press on February 6. 2021, under the title “How Beijing Works to Force Hong Kong’s Compliance with the Party’s Way of Thinking”) Shaping public opinion is a major aim of China's state media enterprise, but its managers are finding Hong Kong a tough nut to crack. This is because a majority of the local population – or at least a majority of those who care enough about politics to vote … Continue reading NEW CRIMES, NEW DEFINITIONS: Learning the Language of National Security Under Party Rule
(This is an updated version of the article initially published in Hong Kong Free Press on Jan. 17, 2021, under the title “How Hong Kong’s National Security Law and Common Law System Collided Head-on") Enforcing Hong Kong's new National Security Law may not be so easy after all. On the face of it, political life here has been turned upside down in just six months. The new … Continue reading TWO WORLDS COLLIDE: Common Law Norms in the Service of a National Security Regime
(Note: This article was originally published by Hong Kong Free Press, on Jan. 2, 2021, under the title: "Covid or covert? How Beijing concocted an election delay to reshape Hong Kong's legislature") When Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the postponement of Hong Kong's 2020 Legislative Council election, she cited the health risks posed by a new upsurge of Covid-19 flu cases. She made the announcement in late July, … Continue reading DEATH AND REBIRTH: WHAT NEXT FOR HONG KONG’S LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL?
(Note: This article was originally posted in Hong Kong Free Press on Dec. 13, 2020, under the title “A WHOLE NEW HONGKONG: How Beijing Put Down a Rebellion in its Unruly Southern Border Region”) The central government in Beijing has improvised an interesting way of trying to manage its unruly southern border region. Attempting to subdue rebellions on the periphery of empire has been a challenge since ancient times, and the lessons have been … Continue reading HOW TO ENSURE COMPREHENSIVE COMPLIANCE WITH A COMPREHENSIVE NEW LAW: Zhang Xiaoming, Luo Huining, and Joshua Wong
(Note: This article was originally posted by Hong Kong Free Press on Nov. 28, 2020, under the title "No Stone Left Unturned: The Basic Law Hong Kongers Thought They Knew Is Being Demolished") “No stone left unturned” should be the code name for Hong Kong's new life under national security rule. It began four months ago, on July First, the anniversary … Continue reading END OF DAYS FOR HONG KONG’S BASIC LAW AS WE KNEW IT
(Note: This article was originally posted by Hong Kong Free Press on Nov. 14, 2020) Expressions of shock and dismay flew through cyberspace after Lee Yee, one of Apple Daily’s favorite columnists, published an opinion piece proclaiming his preference for United States President Donald Trump, then campaigning to renew his mandate for a second term in office. ( a ) Apple Daily’s owner, Jimmy Lai, also declared himself unequivocally for Trump, saying that his dealings with China had been effective and that they … Continue reading CROSS-CURRENTS IN POLITICS AND HISTORY: Hong Kong Democrats’ Support for Donald Trump
(Note: This article was originally published by Hong Kong Free Press, on October 31, 2020, under the title “Henry Litton’s Law: Hong Kong Judges Must Put Common Good Above Individual Rights”) When political controversies become seriously polarized, few people are willing to step across the dividing line. Those who do run the risk of being pilloried and mocked as sell-outs and collaborators, easily coopted and absorbed by the powerful on … Continue reading “HONG KONG’S JUDICIARY MUST REFORM ITSELF!”– But Can Henry Litton Show the Way?