(Wen Wei Po) July 25, 2017.

The Federation For A Democratic China is holding the "2017 China-Hong Kong-Taiwan political evolution and Japan's China policy symposium" in Japan on July 23-26, 2027. Various anti-China leaders and radicals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Canada were invited to participate. The meeting is being held in a resort area in Miura city, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Particpants from Hong Kong included Hong Kong University School of Law associate professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Youngspiration ex-legislators Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Occupy Central core member and hedge fund manager Edward Chin, Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Feminism founder Ho Chi-kwan, Canada-Hong Kong Link persident Gloria Fung, current affairs commentator Ching Cheong, etc. According to information, this anti-China symposium has the largest number of Hong Kong opposition members in history.

On July 23, Benny Tai delivered the keynote speech. On this PPT, he deliberately inserted "and" between "One Country" and "Two Systems" such that One Country refers to Hong Kong which has equal standing with other countries such as China and Japan. He said that in order to study Two Systems, one must know the future of this One Country. He said that since China is going to be fragmented with certainty, "then Hong Kong can only head towards independence irregardless."

Benny Tai said that when China collapses, One Country Two Systems won't exist anymore. When China collapses into fragments, national sovereignty becomes problematic. That is when Hong Kong can become independent. Even after Hong Kong becomes an independent nation, it can still join the Federation of China but as an independent nation.

As for "no change in 50 years" in the Hong Kong Basic Law, Benny Tai said that the collapse of China will occur before 2047. "Hong Kong society should continually educate the public about 'self-rule' through continuous resistance at this time." During the meeting, someone asked Benny Tai whether he is saying that China will not develop positively in the future. Tai said that he personally thinks that there is a low probability of China developing positively, and that is why he has not explored that situation in depth. Tai insists that he does not have a fixed position himself, and he is only bringing up various possibilities for discussion purposes. Nevertheless his various so-called viewpoints all seem to lead to the same conclusion: "China will collapse and Hong Kong will become independent."

On July 24, the Youngspiration duo Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching enumerated a list of persecutions as well as bad conditions in Hong Kong. This seems to contradict Benny Tai's description of Hong Kong as still being relatively free. The audience seemed to find this perplexing. Leung Chung-hang used very bad putonghua to speak, and this caused the audience even more perplexed.

Video:

(Day 1 Benny Tai Yiu-ting) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtaD2436Ozg
(Day 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgwHKOPNBU

(Day 2 morning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xA9UERR7AQ
(Day 2 afternoon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMVQphlYTFI

(Day 3 morning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGrSOUxAndM
(Day 3 afternoon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtxNydBQejE

Internet comments:

- Benny Tai says that China will collapse with certainty. How certain are we about this modern-day oracle? I remember that Benny Tai said that if 10,000 people came out to occupy Central for two days, the government will surrender. That didn't quite work out, did it?

- Given Benny Tai's public statements, what if some student were to yell: "Don't let Benny Tai leave! Kill him! Kill him!"?

- Hong Kong wants to become an independent nation recognized by the United States and then join the Federation of China? My brain is exploding ...

- What does this symposium matter anyhow? This is just a chance to get together to eat some wagyu beef, sashimi and sushi. None of the talks will lead to anything. Afterwards, they will all come back to Hong Kong to begin another round of solicitation for even more donations to pay for the legal fees.

- Look, Benny Tai is merely listing some hypothetical situations and exploring possible consequences. This is protected under freedom of academic research. It is no different from astrophysicists studying the possibility of a comet hitting Earth. If and when it happens, we will grateful that someone has given thought to the matter already.

- Look, it is possible that I will win the next Mark 6 lottery first prize. That is why I spend so much time and erroft on planning how to spend the winnings ...

- (Oriental Daily) July 25, 2017.

With respect to One Country Two Systems, Benny Tai said that you must study China first because Two Systems don't exist without that One Country. He quoted scholars who discussed the future of China. When China collapses, there are many possibilities, including warlords taking over various regions, fragmentization and anarchy. He said that the chances of China heading towards a federation are low.

As for the future of Hong Kong, Benny Tai said that there are five options: (1) One Country Two Systems; (2) One Country over Two Systems; (3) One Country first, Two Systems next; (4) One Country One System; (5) self-termination/independence. If there are no problems with Chinese national sovereignty, Hong Kong is in no position to gain independence. If China heads towards constitutional rule, Hong Kong may accept it and forego independence.

- The Japanese have a market for the Collapse of China. This has been running for more than 30 years. Each year, they bet on China collapse that year. Each year they lose. When they first got started, China's GDP was 1/4 that of Japan. Today, China's GDP is 3 times that of Japan. But they will keep betting on China collapse. It will have at least one brigade of the Second Artillery Corpos armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. This is like betting on odd/even at the roulette table. You keep betting odd and the outcome keeps being even. But you persist, because you believe that sooner or later you will win once and then you can justify yourself.

- If China collapses and becomes fragmentized, Hong Kong will immediately come under martial law imposed by whoever controls the 200,000 PLA soldiers in the Southern Theater Command with headquarters in Guangzhou. Do not imagine for one moment that Hong Kong can slip through to become independent. If Hong Kong want to become independent under the circumstances, it better build a few nuclear warheads beforehand.

- Benny Tai points out that it will be a time of chaos if and when China collapses in 2030. We are dependent on China for so many things (food, water, electricity, etc). So we must be prepared for all the contingencies. For example, we will need desalination plants when the Dongjiang River water is cut off. We will also need a 90-day fuel supply the electricity generation plants when the Daya Nuclear Power Station electricity is cut off. We will need a 30-day food supply before the Seventh Fleet arrive. These are large-scale mega-projects that will require money and space to implement, and the current puppet government will never carry out. So each Hong Kong citizen must contribute his/own share. I for one will go into the neighborhood park tonight and start digging out a basement to store dried noodles. What will you do?

DotDotNews Facebook

Chau Sze Tat (nickname "Invincible Godly Horse") and Civic Passion (nickname "Hot Dogs") continued to bite each other, but this time the victim was the Ming Pao Publishing House. At the Hong Kong Book Fair, Chau sang a song to denigrate Civic Passion in the Ming Pao Publishing House stall at the Hong Kong Book Fair to promote his new book. One verse of the song allegedly denigrate the Chinese people. So the "Hot Dogs" lodged complaints against Chau for inflaming hatred between Hongkongers and mainlanders. The Ming Pao Publishing House defended its author Chau Sze Tat, saying that he is restrained in "conduct, speech and action" and no slur was involved. As a result, the "Hot Dogs" directed their wrath against Ming Pao Publishing House for espousing Hong Kong independence.

The battle among the pro-Hong Kong independence factions has been getting more and more extreme. In the song <Popularity chart of sons-of-bitches>, Chau Sze Tat included lyrics such as: "Passion Times is lying when they falsely claim an audience of more than 10,000", "Wan Chin lead his evil minions to harm people; "Hot Dogs" will not be tolerated by the heavens" and then "Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-na' people." The "Hot Dogs" flooded the Ming Pao Publishing House Facebook and demanded to know whether the Ming Pao Publishing House supports Chau's anti-Chinese stance.

This is quite hilarious since Civic Passion gained fame by fanning hatred of mainlanders, but Chau's words were clearly beyond the pale. The Ming Pao Publishing House administrators responded to the complaints: "Each year, our company hosts events at the Hong Kong Book Fair. The purpose is to provide an environment for different authors to promote their books to readers. We firmly believe that each and every author will act in a restrained manner at our stall, and behave in terms of conduct, speech and acts. There are no issue of any insults.

This drew the ire of the "Hot Dogs" who turned their attention to Ming Pao Publishing House instead. Sam Wrong wrote this complaint: "During the course of the 2017 Hong Kong Book Fair, the Ming Pao Publishing House author Chau Sze Tat used cheap and vulgar methods to use singing and live broadcasts to attack, harass and interfere with other exhibitors in the course of their cultural activities, including sayings that insulted the Chinese. This is extremely immoral, repelling and against business ethics.

Here is the video of Chau Sze Tat singing his song (YouTube).

Internet comments:

- Chau Sze Tat's Facebook

That bitch Chan Sau-wai is the one who insulted the Chinese people. I have nothing to do with it. If my saying "Chee-ma" is twisted into "Chee-na", we have to avoid saying "Sesame Street", "sesame oil", "sesame soup", "sesame oil" etc in the future, because Civic Passion and the bitch Chan Sau-wai will say that you said "Chee-na." I clarify here that I did not any song that insulted the Chinese. That song was clearly intended to make fun of Civic Passion and that bitch Chan Sau-wai. Instead, it is clear that the bitch Chan Sau-wai wanted to insult the Chinese by turning "Chee-ma" into "Chee-na". She was also trying to suppress freedom of publication and kill off dissidence. She will not be tolerated by Heaven and Earth.

- Chau Sze Tat's defense is that he did not sing:

"Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-na' people (支那人)."

Instead he sang:

"Once you make enough money, you ignore the 'Chee-ma' people (芝麻人)."

But what the hell is a 'Chee-ma' person? Literally, it means a "Sesame Person". What is that? It would be a stretch to say that he meant "Sesame Street character" or "sesame farmers.'

- Chau Sze Tat clearly meant to say 'Chee-na' according to the context of the song. However, this would cause problems with the general public. So he changed the tone a little bit by saying 'Chee-ma' in order to have deniability. If the shit hits the fan, he will issue a non-apology: "I am sorry for you if you misheard and thus misunderstood what I sang."

- Chan Ka-ho's Facebook

There is even a YouTube video for the song <Popularity chart of sons-of-bitches>, with the subtitle saying "Chee-na" ...

- (YouTube) (YouTube) Another battle took place when Chau Sze Tat showed up at the Passion Times stall munching a hot dog as Chan Sau-wai (Mrs. Wong Yeung-tat) came up to curse him out.

- Blue Phoenix's Facebook

Partial transcript:

Chan: Chau Sze Tat is going to get what is coming. I am not you, so you shouldn't worry. I am not afraid of you. I am telling you. I am cursing you to your face right now. I am not like you peole..

Chau: I am only curse you to your face. What are you afraid of?

Chan: I won't use obscene language. Must you use obscene language every other sentence. What have you said other than obscene language?

Chau: Take a look at yourself going berserk, Sister Sau.

Chan: Not the case. I am telling you. What you said is inaccurate. You are smearing.

Chau: It is all about comeuppance. Are you talking about comeuppance? Nobody is around.

Chan: I am telling you. You are here. Is that what you want? You are not having fun. Do you know our numbers? Fools who don't understand will never understand. A Chinese major who doesn't know IT wants to talk IT with people.

Chau: So I am completely wrong, Sister Sau.

Chan: I am telling you! Right now I am cursing you to your face. I am not just coming over to wag my finger! I am telling you! I have the guts to curse you out to your face! If you have the courage, you would have walked over right there! You are filming over here! You are wasting your time! Why don't you go back to Ming Pao? What don't you publish your books using 'red' capital?

Chau: What don't you go back to dig up more dirt to target people!

Chan: Everybody is saying bad things about you. It is a waste of time!

Chau: ... Alright, let us eat hot dogs ...

- As expected, both sides claimed total victories over the other side on their respective Facebooks as reinforced by their respective followers.

- Here is a photo of Chau Sze Tat promoting his new books at the Ming Pao Publishing House stall:

On June 28th, Chau Sze Tat wrote about Xi Jinping's visit to Hong Kong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover: "There are banners saying 'warmly celebrate' in white letters on red background everywhere. This is vulgar and disgusting just like the black letters on yellow background of Civic Passion." The fact is that Chau Sze Tat's own book has black letters on  yellow background, and the Ming Pao Publishing House stall has white letters on red background. But is this vulgar and disgusting?

- How to protest against Civic Passion:

Ronald Leung's Facebook


I recommend a standard action for all those who go to the Hong Kong Book Fair: Eat a hot dog outside the Passion Times stall!

How Wong Yeung-tat stopped the protest with a counter protest: Show your support for Passion Times by eating a hot dog outside their stall!

- After reading all this, may I quote Yau Wai-ching as my thought?

- Of course, you should care! This is the state of the current Hong Kong independence/self-determination movement. Instead of fighting to destroy the Chinese Communist Party/People's Liberation Army, the Valiant Warriors of the Hong Kong Republic are turning on each other. We need to unify under a charismatic leader (such as Yau Wai-ching) to lead us in the coming battle between Good and Evil.

(SCMP) July 21, 2017.

Hong Kong is expected to lease space inside the future high-speed rail terminus at West Kowloon to mainland Chinese authorities to implement a plan for a joint immigration checkpoint, under a deal to be announced as early as next week. The proposal will likely see mainland laws enforced on Hong Kong soil within the leased area, where mainland border control facilities will be installed, according to two lawmakers familiar with the arrangement.

Mainland officers would man the facilities and Hong Kong law enforcers would only venture into the area in the case of an emergency such as an accident or fire.

The Executive Council, an advisory body to Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, is scheduled to be briefed on the details on Monday, and the arrangement will be announced as early as the following day after the formal approval of the council is given at its regular meeting.

A bill on setting up a mainland port area inside the rail station is expected to be tabled to Hong Kongs legislature in October, with the aim of having it passed by early next year.

The bill will provide for the application of mainland laws to the designated area, as well as specify the arrangements that will allow mainland customs and immigration facilities to be co-located with those for Hong Kong at the terminal.

It will be administered as a restricted area according to mainland laws, as is the case at other land border control points between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Article 18 of the Basic Law Hong Kongs mini-constitution states that national laws shall not be applied in Hong Kong except for those outside the limits of the autonomy of [Hong Kong]. Article 22 states that offices set up by mainland authorities in Hong Kong and the personnel of these offices shall abide by Hong Kong laws.

The West Kowloon station arrangement will be similar to that for the existing Shenzhen Bay port. Hong Kong and Shenzhen struck a deal in 2007 to implement a joint checkpoint arrangement there the first of its kind.

Internet comments:

- The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

Article 18

The laws in force in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be this Law, the laws previously in force in Hong Kong as provided for in Article 8 of this Law, and the laws enacted by the legislature of the Region. National laws shall not be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region except for those listed in Annex III to this Law. The laws listed therein shall be applied locally by way of promulgation or legislation by the Region.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress may add to or delete from the list of laws in Annex III after consulting its Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the government of the Region. Laws listed in Annex III to this Law shall be confined to those relating to defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region as specified by this Law.

In the event that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decides to declare a state of war or, by reason of turmoil within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which endangers national unity or security and is beyond the control of the government of the Region, decides that the Region is in a state of emergency, the Central People's Government may issue an order applying the relevant national laws in the Region.

Article 22 
No department of the Central People's Government and no province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law. 

If there is a need for departments of the Central Government, or for provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government to set up offices in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, they must obtain the consent of the government of the Region and the approval of the Central People's Government.

All offices set up in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by departments of the Central Government, or by provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the personnel of these offices shall abide by the laws of the Region.

- Other examples of customs/immigration controls:

- Shenzhen Bay Control Point

Shenzhen Bay Control Point (Chinese: 深圳灣管制站) is a Hong Kong immigration control point on its border with mainland China. It is housed in the same building with its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Shenzhen Bay Port.

Located geographically in Dongjiaotou, Shekou on the southwestern corner of the city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province of mainland China, the Shenzhen Bay Control Point is the only border control point where co-location clearance is practised. The Hong Kong portion of the building and its adjacent open area, together with the northern third of the Western Corridor Bridge, are leased to Hong Kong and made within Hong Kong's jurisdiction for an initial period until 30 June 2047. As such, Hong Kong laws apply, instead of PRC laws.

The co-location of immigration and customs facilities with the mainland counterpart, the Shenzhen Bay Port, allows passengers and vehicles for departure and arrival clearance to take place within a short distance.

The control point is surrounded by mainland China and the closed area without being contiguously attached to another part of Hong Kong, except the bridge. Because it is a leased territory, it is legally part of Guangdong Province and thus not an exclave of Hong Kong. However, it is administered as a part of Hong Kong SAR and the Hong Kong Government exercises full jurisdiction within the area.

- How to take the Eurostar train from Paris to London:

Train service: Eurostar
Departure: Gare du Nord station, Paris, France
Arrival: St Pancras station, London, England

Check-in for the Eurostar is through a special level of Gare du Nord separate from the rest of the station. All Eurostar travelers must pass through both French and British passport control before boarding the train. Then you will need to pass a security screening where your bags are scanned and  you walk through a metal detector. Finally you'll arrive in the Eurostar waiting lounge.

After arrival, youll make your way towards the atrium area with its gigantic clock on the center of the wall. Youll descend down a moving walkway towards the customs area where you will pass British customs officers randomly screening passengers.

- Toronto Pearson International Airport Departure Guide

For the majority of U.S. flights, passengers leaving Toronto will go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Toronto. This means you arrive in the United States as a domestic passenger.

Checking in for a U.S.-bound Flight

Terminal 1 and Terminal 3

  1. Check in online or use an airport kiosk. [Proceed to the airline check-in counter if you have to check a bag or require additional assistance.]
  2. Proceed to the automated bag drop for checked and oversized baggage.  
  3. Proceed to the pre-board security screening area.  
  4. Proceed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection hall
  5. Head to your gate

- The reason why Hong Kong can lease land for its Shenzhen Bay Control Point in mainland China is that there is no equivalent of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 22 in the People's Republic of China constitution. Since Hong Kong has a Basic Law Article 22, there cannot be a co-located mainland checkpoint in Hong Kong.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France do not have the equivalent of the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 22 in their respective constitutions either. And that is why they can have co-located customs/immigration control points.

Therefore, in order to defend the Hong Kong Basic Law, we must have separate checkpoints in Hong Kong and mainland China. The future of Freedom, Democracy and A High Degree of Autonomy depends on it.

- (United States Customs and Border Protection)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air Preclearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Through Preclearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports.

Today, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 air Preclearance locations in 6 countries: Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada. CBP also staffs a Pre-inspection facility for passenger/vehicle ferry traffic to the U.S. in Victoria, Canada.

In Fiscal Year 2016, CBP personnel stationed abroad precleared 18 million travelers, representing over 15 percent of all commercial air travelers to the United States.

- If there is a proposal for United States Customs and Border Protection preclearance in Hong Kong, what would the non-establishment camp say? Will they argue that police brutality in the United States is an urban legend? Or that only a few Okinawan women had been murdered and/or raped by American soldiers?

- (Bastille Post) July 21, 2017.

When the government disclosed that the proposal for joint immigration checkpoint in West Kowloon, the non-establishment camp was ecstatic. Recently, they were upset by the case of the DQ4 but they could not vent their ire by filibustering too much on livelihood issues. So here is a good opportunity.

For most citizens, the key question is convenience of travel. For the non-establishment legislators, the focus is on legal concepts. This is especially true for the Civic Party. Civic Party chairman Alan Leong said on radio that the joint immigration checkpoint will imperil the people of Hong Kong. Civic Party head Alvin Yeung said that mainland China is leading Hong Kong land to establish a beachhead in the manner of the 1898 lease of New Territories to the United Kingdom. Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said that the joint immigration checkpiont is not consistent with Basic Law Article 22, and that if the National People's Congress Standing Committee forces the plan through a State Council order, it would be the same as Hong Kong ceding land to the mainland.

- Roy Tam's Facebook

One way or the other, joint immigration checkpoint will be a violation of the Basic Law.

Whether the land is ceded or leased, it is against Basic Law Article 18 to have mainland laws on Hong Kong land.

Over the years, I have said that the High Speed Rail won't work because the joint immigration checkpoint can't work. The people of Hong Kong have put in $100 billion already, to attract more individual travelers from mainland. The main public security will now even be in the city center (West Kowloon). They won't have to smuggle themselves in anymore ...

There will be more problems such as those listed below:

(1) On the Express Rail inside Hong Kong, a baby is born. Is this a Hongkonger or mainlander?
(2) I yell "Vindicate June 4th" and "End one-party rule" inside a train within Hong Kong border, will I be arrested? (I am on Hong Kong soil)
(3) Hongkongers get into fights with mainlanders on the train on Hong Kong soil. Then what?

Anyway, there are lots of problems with the Express Rail Link.

- Duh, here are the answers:

(1) Plenty of babies are delivered on airplanes. What is the nationality of the baby?

(Telegraph)

There are several different factors to take into account when a child is born on a flight, says Vaibhav Tanwar, a senior immigration caseworker at Visa and Migration, an immigration and nationality law specialists.

Firstly, if the flight is from a country signed to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness agreement, then the child will be a national of where the airplane is registered.

If the country is not part of the agreement, then the location of the airplane within international airspace will be the childs nationality. For example, if a child is born with USA airspace they would become an American national. However, if that country doesnt allow the child born in the country to become a citizen, it will then adopt the nationality of either the mother or father.

The same rules apply to babies born on cruise ships. Births tend to be more common at sea, due to the duration of journey.

The issue is broadly split between two principles - jus sanguinis and jus soli, right of blood and right of soil, respectively. The former means citizenship is determined not by place of birth but by the nationality of the parents, while the latter is the reverse.

(2) I yell "Vindicate June 4th" and "End one-party rule" inside a MTR train on the Hong Kong Island line. Will I be arrested? Yes, if the train was crowded and if the other passengers are upset by your primal screams, you can be arrested for disturbing the peace.

In the case of Roy Tam, he can yell "I want genuine universal suffrage" inside his Hong Kong home and nobody will mind. But if he "occupies" Admiralty and stop all vehicular traffic for 79 days so that he can yell "I want genuine universal suffrage", he will be charged with creating a public nuisance with a maximum sentence of 7 years in jail (or something).

(3) Hongkongers get into fights with mainlanders on the train on Hong Kong soil? They already do plenty of fighting on airplanes:

(ChinaSMACK) December 17, 2014.

At 9am, on Air China Flight CA433 from Chongqing to Hong Kong, a dispute occurred between passengers on-board. The cause involved two female passengers in one row being upset with a child behind them being too noisy, with the passenger in the row behind blaming the front passengers seat for affecting them. These several passengers got into a physical fight on the plane over this, with the plane nearly turning back as a result. After arriving in Hong Kong, Hong Kong police immediately intervened to handle the dispute.

Fighting in public is handled by the police at the next stop. If the train was heading to China, the crew will radio ahead and the Chinese public security bureau will be waiting at the next stop. Vice versa if the train was heading to Hong Kong. You would be facing a full-scale riot by all passengers if you insist that the train be turned back to the origin.

- (Bastille Post) July 21, 2017.

I read some newspaper headlines this morning that High Speed Rail will be using a "mobile border" so that mainland law applies as soon as you board the train. This seems quite scary.

First of all, what do we do now if we want to go to Shanghai by train? We take the MTR to Luohu, pass through the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints located in the Luohu Customs Building and take the High Speed Rail train to our destination.

The proposal for the High Speed Rail is to have the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints co-located in West Kowloon, and the High Speed Rail train will head directly to the destination. At the destination as well as intermediate stops, passengers can disembark and enter the city immediately with no further customs/immigration checks.

In either case, we as passengers choose to go to mainland China by leaving through the Hong Kong immigration checkpoint and entering a mainland Chinese immigration checkpoint. If you are scared of going to mainland China, you should not be going at all. Just stay in Hong Kong, and mainland laws cannot take away your freedom and democracy.

A traveler to mainland China is going to have to go through Hong Kong and mainland Chinese immigration checkpoints. The only difference is whether the checkpoints are located in West Kowloon or Shenzhen. As soon as you arrive in mainland China, mainland laws apply.

Conversely, if you don't co-locate the immigration checkpoints, the traveler will clear Hong Kong immigration control in West Kowloon, get on the train and travel to Shenzhen, disembark with all luggage to go through the mainland immigration/customs checkpoint and re-board the train.

For the traveler, the West Kowloon mainland immigration checkpoint won't take away your freedom. If there are restrictions on your freedom, you should know about them before you set off to mainland China.

At this time, many non-establishment legislators are localists and radical pan-democrats. They and even the large traditional pan-democratic parties are saying that co-location is unacceptable and they will filibuster the relevant legislation.

How about letting the people of Hong Kong decide. Do they want ...?

(1) Have co-located Hong Kong/mainland checkpoints in West Kowloon without further inspection after crossing the border

or

(2) Have only a Hong Kong immigration checkpoint at West Kowloon and then all passengers will be forced to disembark with their luggage to be inspected in Shenzhen first before re-embarking on the journey

This is a simple choice, and I believe that most Hongkongers will choose (1) but the pan-democratic legislators will oppose (1).

Politicians like to turn nothing into something, because this is how they derive existential meaning.

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

The direct London-Paris train has a joint immigration checkpoint in London. I have taken the train before. So the French were enforcing French laws on British soil. This has been the case for many years without any problems. Now Hong Kong is a part of China. So why can this be so wrong? The non-establishment camp is looking for make something out of nothing. What do they hope to achieve? Another interpretation of the Basic Law from the National People's Congress Standing Committee? Or make a bundle of money from the legal fees for judicial reviews?

- Ko Chi-sum's Facebook

At this time, it is obvious that some people think that having a joint immigration checkpoint is most convenient for their travels, but other people are afraid that they might lose their freedom and democracy.

So let me propose a solution that will please both sides.

At the West Kowloon Station, there will be two entrances.

Entrance A is for those who prefer to have a joint immigration checkpoint. They will go through the Hong Kong and mainland immigration checkpoints, clear customs and board pre-designated cars on the train (say, front of the train).

Entrance B is for those who prefer to have separate immigration checkpoints. They will go through the Hong Kong immigration checkpoints and board other pre-designated cars on the train (say, back of the train).

The train will make a brief 2-minute stop at Futian station in Shenzhen.

All those in the front of the train will stay on and travel to their respective destinations on the same train.

All those in the back of the train will disembark with their luggage. They will walk to the mainland immigration checkpoint, clear customs and then they head to the waiting room to wait for the next trains that goes to their ultimate destinations.

What happens if a person taking Entrance B forgets to disembark at Futian? When the person arrives at the destination (say, Beijing), he/she will be detained by the public security bureau. Since there is no immigration checkpoint there, he/she will be sent back to Futian for immigration clearance. He/she will pay for his/her own one-way train fare, plus the round-trip fare for the two public security officers who escort him/her.

Thus, the people of Hong Kong will be offered total freedom of choice. If they want freedom and democracy, they can take Entrance B. If they want totalitarianism and Communism, they can take Entrance A.

Of course, they can choose not to go to mainland China altogether, and take their vacations in Taiwan/Japan/South Korea/Thailand.

After one year of testing, the numbers will tell us what the people really want. The body is more honest than the mouth.

- (Ta Kung Pao) July 25, 2017.

Yesterday Apple Daily posted a situation in which they say that a person may be arrested in the carriage of a High Speed Rail train while still in Hong Kong for seditious speech such as commemorating somebody or the other.

This is lousy film script. The carriage of a High Speed Rail train is a public area. It is not a funeral parlor hall in which people can raise banners, carry coffins, pay respects, burn joss sticks, etc. If you see someone doing that in a train, you should be upset and you should be calling the police (whether the mainland public security or the Hong Kong Police).

More importantly, why do you have to do this in a High Speed Rail train of all places. There are plenty of places for you to do so. For example, people hold candlelight vigils for the thousands of students who were murdered by the People's Liberation Army on June 4th 1989. Have the Hong Kong Police ever arrested anyone for doing so?

The reason why you want to hold a commemorative service in a High Speed Rail train carriage is that you want to provoke the mainland security bureau. If you provoke them, you deserve what is coming to you.

The fact is that co-location of immigration checkpoints is inevitable. If you obey mainland laws in those areas where mainland laws (immigration, customs, security) are in effect, nobody will bother you. You have nothing to worry about. Each day, two hundred thousand Hongkongers travel back and forth to mainland China, by airplane, train, bus and boat. How many of them are arrested for no reason?

- (SpeakoutHK @YouTube)

Claudia Mo: This is ceding land. This is practically ceding land.

Ma Yan-kwok: Hong Kong is not a sovereign nation, so it does not have its own territory. The sovereignty and ownership of the land of Hong Kong belong to the People's Republic of China. So Hong Kong cannot be ceding West Kowloon station to mainland China. This is completely wrong. Claudia Mo is speaking as if Hong Kong is an independent nation. Perhaps she wants to advance Hong Kong independence.

Kwok Ka-ki: A joint immigration checkpoint will be a blow to One Country Two Systems.

Ma Yan-kwok: If China wants to take back One Country Two Systems and go with One Country One System, a simple decision by the National People's Congress to get rid of the Basic Law will do it. But China hopes to and has promised to carry out One Country Two Systems. For twenty years after the handover, China has not gotten rid of One Country Two Systems. Instead she is even more determined to do so. There is no worry that Kowloon or Mong Kok will become a place under mainland Chinese rule. This has to do with the High Speed Rail.

Dennis Kwok: Letting mainland officials come to enforce mainland law is setting the precedent for destroying One Country Two Systems.

Ma Yan-kwok: The opposition is best at using the name of democracy to fight against the Chinese Communists. They will resist anything coming from mainland China. Whether it is good or bad. Whether a solution exists or not. They will use various reasons, such as legal arguments, or people's fears to fight the Chinese Communists. West Kowloon is an area where resources are expensive. A lot of time and work has been done there. If you end up an ineffective transportation service, you will have wasted a lot of taxpayers money and let the people of Hong Kong down. I wish the non-establishment camp would stop thinking that their goal is to fight the Chinese Communists, and not think that their voter base come from opposing national development. No matter what you think about mainland China, the developments in mainland China are out there for the world to see. Hong Kong is such a small place. If you want to oppose national development, you will imperil the interests of the citizens of Hong Kong.

- (SpeakoutHK) July 24, 2017.

Civic Party head Alvin Yeung said that "Co-location is the same as ceding land ..."

Ming Pao's editorial said that this is a fake issue. According to Hong Kong Basic Law Article 7:

The land and natural resources within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be State property. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for their management, use and development and for their lease or grant to individuals, legal persons or organizations for use or development. The revenues derived therefrom shall be exclusively at the disposal of the government of the Region.

As to whether having mainland Chinese personnel in Hong Kong will work, please refer to Basic Law Article 14:

The Central People's Government shall be responsible for the defence of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order in the Region.

Military forces stationed by the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for defence shall not interfere in the local affairs of the Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may, when necessary, ask the Central People's Government for assistance from the garrison in the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief.

In addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

It has been 20 years since the handover. There is enough experience to say that it works.

- (SCMP) July 25, 2017.

The central government intends to let the local government pass a law and finalise the deal, but will act on its own if that does not work out, according to Tian Feilong, a member of the Chinese Association on Hong Kong and Macau Studies, a semi-official think tank.

This is to respect the high degree of autonomy guaranteed for the people of Hong Kong, Tian, a Basic Law academic at Beijings Beihang University, said. However, if Hong Kong lawmakers fail to legislate within a reasonable time, the central government will have to take the initiative, he added. It will no longer be a model for a land lease, but legal redesignation of land use.

Tian said there were two options for getting such a redesignation: one was for the National Peoples Congress Standing Committee to pass a resolution giving mainland law enforcement agencies power to operate in the station; the other was for the State Council to issue a directive upon the citys chief executive to that effect.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 17, 2017.

The owner of the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper has sold off his pioneering tabloid publication Next Magazine to an investor amid financial difficulties.

Businessman Kenny Wee acquired the first ever magazine founded by media tycoon Jimmy Lai for HK$500 million on Monday, through a wholly-owned company named W Bros. Investments Ltd. Next Magazines four sister publications Sudden Weekly, Face, ME! and Next+One have also been sold.

Holding company Next Digital announced on the stock exchange on Monday that Wee will pay HK$320 million of the HK$500 million purchase price to Lai, while the remainder of the sum will be injected into the five magazines.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 18, 2017.

On Monday, Next Magazine reported that an employee questioned Next Media CEO Cassian Cheung during a morning staff meeting regarding comments made by owner Lai, who claimed back in 2013 that he would not sell any of his publications.

If I sell, then I would be a son of a bitch for the rest of my life, he said in an interview at the time. Hong Kong is my home. I have a responsibility to fight for democracy and universal suffrage, and I cant shirk from it. Cheung replied that Lai meant he would be a son of a bitch if he sold his entire Next Media group, and not only Next Magazine.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 24, 2017.

On Monday, Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai announced the sale of his pioneering investigative tabloid Next Magazine to businessman Kenny Wee for HK$500 million amid financial difficulties. The move sparked fears from the Next Media groups labour union that the outspoken magazine would lose its editorial independence, while Wee has threatened to dismiss employees who are biased against him.

Next Magazine staff questioned whether Lai had reneged on his promise not to sell off his publications; he told reporters in 2013 that he would be a son of a bitch for the rest of his life if he did so. Thursdays edition of the magazine hit out at Lai, accusing him of selling out the publication in its cover story.

But American executive Mark Simon, Lais right-hand man, told HKFP he is confident that Next Magazine would retain its editorial independence even though Wee would be a different type of owner. There is not another Jimmy Lai coming for Next, he said. But why is that the expectation?

Simon said that Wees free newspaper Metro Daily which he owned from 2013 until last month has never shunned business with the Next Media group, even as pressure from Beijing caused many local companies to withdraw advertisements from Lais pro-democracy publications.

The newspaper world is small in Hong Kong, and we have a favourable impression of Metro, he said. We printed them for a while, handled some distribution, and they even bought content from us.

Though Wee promised editorial independence for Next Magazine, he also previously claimed that he is more of a moderate, and that it is not necessary to always oppose the government as a journalist.

Is it required that Mr. Wee take a seat at the next Occupy Central? Simon said. All owners are different.

What will keep Next honest is the market, he added. If Next starts taking dives, folks notice, and in a social media world that means a downfall. I dont think Kenny bought Next to lose.

Meanwhile, Thursdays Next Magazine cover story not only criticised Lai for selling the publication, but also spelled out a list of controversies involving new owner Wee. These included a conviction for spitting at a reporter, creditor lawsuits regarding his ownership of Metro Daily and E Weekly, and a friendship with former leader Leung Chun-yings daughter that got his family invited to Government House last year.

The 44-year-old businessman hardened his line after he found out about the story, telling Sing Tao Daily on Tuesday that 5 per cent of the magazines staff were a tumour to the rest of the team.

[They] slam everything they dont like, they dont investigate or find proof, and write biased reports, he said. I have zero tolerance for this type of tumour.

Simon told HKFP that he, too, had little sympathy for the editors who published the Thursday story. If it was any other publication I would worry about the 5 per cent tumour remark, but this is Nextand you saw that cover of the July 20 issue. It was a hard crack at Wee and our major shareholder, Jimmy Lai.

Now I make no bones I was not a fan of [Wees comments], which is our right at Next, but it was the editors at Next Magazine that fired first at the guy who was buying their magazine.

So, while others would replace some in management more diplomatically, Next kind [of] earned that response, he said.

Simon added that he was more concerned about the futures of the journalists whom Wee says he would like to retain at Next Magazine: I would like those more junior people, people who need the pay cheque, to have a chance at making their own decision. Simon said that the Next Media group was happy with Wees promise to retain the vast majority of the staff in Next Magazine.

Although Wee is often followed by Hong Kong paparazzi due to his marriage to actress Suki Choi, media columnists have described his background as mysterious. He made a fortune in the food and beverage business, but his business has been suspected of being a front for mainland Chinese red capital a charge he denied in his Sing Tao Daily interview.

Simon said he only met Wee once, but said he conducted inquiries on his background in the lead-up to several earlier business deals. [Wees] restaurants have good cash flow. Also I know a few of his business associates, he said. I put his net worth at about US$70-80 million after the Metro sale. So he has the money.

 In Thursdays cover story, Next Magazine took questions regarding Wees source of wealth a step further. The magazine wrote that it could not find any property transaction records involving luxury residences that Wee previously claimed he bought including at Sorrento, The Harbourside and The Arch.

There are calls nearly every month from potential buyers for all [of Next Medias] assets, said Simon. Most are clowns.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Free Press) July 18, 2017. On Monday, new owner Kenny Wee told reporters from Next Magazine and sister newspaper Apple Daily that he would not interfere with editorial independence. Take a look at Metro Daily over the past four years, he said. Its always been green [the colour of the newspapers theme], and has not turned red [succumbed to Communist influence].

However, Wee added that the magazines employees must not view him through coloured lenses and compare him with Jimmy Lai, the pro-democracy owner of Next Media. If you choose someone, theyll also choose you, said Wee. Some people might not want to go over to the new owner. Some people might not listen to me after discussions then I would have no choice, I have to ask them to leave. If you are a successful person, if you are a tolerant person with a vision, or if youre an experienced journalist, then you should not look at anyone through coloured lenses, including your new boss or your new colleagues. If youre like that, then you have no business staying at Next Magazine.

- (Sing Tao) July 20, 2017.

New owner Kenny Wee said that just as Next Weekly employees have the freedom to express their wishes, he also has the freedom to decide which employees can stay. He said that if they don't want to work at Next Weekly, they can quit. "I will keep those who have confidence. There is no reason to call a restaurant bad if you have never ever dined there. This is a frog in a well mentality. I want talented people."

Kenny Wee said that keeping the "malignant tumors" around will contaminate everybody. Based upon what he knows, 5% of the company are "malignant tumors." He said that certain senior staff members use colored lenses to make decisions. Within the editorial staff, "they will make biased criticisms without investigation or confirmation. I have zero tolerance for such malignant tumors." Previously on television, Kenny Wee hAD wondered if the media has to oppose the government all the time? Do you oppose the government even if it has done nothing wrong? He said then that he will not let such employees stay.

As for Next Weekly report yesterday about his personal history, Kenny Wee said that the report contained many mistakes. After reading it, he had a good laugh. He said that he is not acquainted with the two Chief Executives named in the report. He once accompanied his wife Suki Chui to dinner with friends twice at Government House, but the report said that he is well-acquainted with CY Leung. "Is it a crime to accompany my wife to Government House? This is taking things out of context."

He said that the workers have devoted more than twenty years to make this magazine. But "someone has decided to carve out a personal kingdom." He said that he cannot let one person's decision affect the livelihoods of more than 400 families. He said that it would hurt a lot to shut down Next Weekly. The person who make that proposal (namely, editor-in-chief Wong Lai-tong) was mean and should not kill off a successful magazine.

Kenny Wee said that he has no layoff plans, but he cannot guarantee that nobody will be dismissed. It would be unfair otherwise if some workers decide not to do their work. He said that there are fewer than 400 persons at Next Weekly now. He hopes to hire more people for the Breaking News division in Section A and the Entertainment Paparazzi in Section B of the magazine. Kenny Wee said that the magazine will continue to be bold, it will have freedom of press, and it can criticize the government, senior government officials and the Chief Executive.

Kenny Wee said that people speculate that he is a "red" capitalist. "Frankly, nobody is going to invest money in Next Weekly except me." He emphasized that no "red" capital is involved in this deal.

Kenny Wee said that he does not know Jimmy Lai. The deal was made through company representatives. Kenny Wee said that Jimmy Lai sold Next Weekly to him probably because he has no political background, he is neutral and he previously owned Metro Daily.

- The Hong Kong Journalists Association is concerned that Next Weekly may be turned "pro-communist" by its new mainlander owner. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what made Next Weekly tick.

Here is the truth about the rise of Next Digital in a table: (Oriental Daily) July 18, 2017. The number of convictions by Next Digital publications under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (period: December 1993 to July 17, 2017)

Apple Daily, 62 convictions, fined between $4,000 to $50,000 each time
Next Weekly, 22 convictions, fined between $2,000 to $40,000 each time
EasyFinder/Face, 18 convictions, fined between $1,000 to $50,000
Eat & Travel Weekly, 2 convictions, fined between $5,000 to $10,000
Sudden Weekly, 4 convictions, fined between $2,000 to $5,000
Next Weekly (Taiwan), 12 convictions, fined between $5,000 to $20,000
Sharp Weekly, 11 convictions, fined $10,000 each time

The rise of Next Digital has plenty to do with smut. The fall of Next Digital has more to do with the creeping creepy political bias. Advertisers and readers began to flee because they can no longer trust what is printed.

 - Let us examine the Book A of the July 20th edition of Next Weekly. The book has 84 printed pages, including the front and back covers. Who are the advertisers?

Inside front cover: The Hong Kong Mahjong Company, which runs a 'recreational' mahjong facility in Wanchai
Page 5: MTR's Express Rail Link
Pages 6-7: Next Plus (self-advertisement)
Page 9: Next Health Channel (self-advertisement)
Page 63 Next Car Channel (self-advertisement)
Inside back cover: Sammy Beauty Centre)
Outside back cover Wakmann swiss-watch

Book B of the July 20th edition of Next Weekly has 60 printed pages, including the front and back covers. Who are the advertisers?

Inside front cover + page 1: Designer Bridal Room
Page 3: MTR's Fare Saver
Page 17: Cosmo Boxx (beauty store app)
Page 23: Next Media Marketing (self-advertisement)
Inside back cover: Nine classified ads (for domestic helpers, wigs, personal injury lawsuits, evening school, private investigator, fortune telling)
Outside back cover: the Top (leather care)

How are they going to support 300 or so employees? And we don't know how many of these advertisers are actually paying the full amount on the rate card.

Meanwhile the Book A of the July 19th edition of competitor Eastweek. The book has 116 printed pages. Who are the advertisers?

Inside front cover: Panasonic (electronics)
Page 5: Broadway (consumer electronics retail)
Page 7: Ngong Ping 360 (travel)
Page 9: Samsung (electronics)
Page 21: CMK (consumer electronics retail)
Page 23: Sing Tao news group (self-advertisement)
Page 26: ThiEYE (electronics)
Page 32: HSBC bank (bank; half-page)
Page 39: Eastweek (self-advertisement)
Page 40-42: MassMutual (insurance)
Page 45: Public Bank (bank)
Page 49: Headline Daily (self-advertisement)
Page 53: East Week Express (self-advertisement)
Page 57: Headline Daily( self-advertisement)
Page 61: AIA (insurance)
Page 65: AIA (insurance)
Page 69: AIA (insurance)
Page 87: Sammy Beauty Centre
Inside back cover: TP-Link modems (electronics)
Outside back cover: China Mobile (telecommunications)

Meanwhile the Book B of the July 19th edition of competitor Eastweek has 172 pages. Who are their advertisers?

Inside front cover: PHYSICAL (fitness center)
Pages 6-7: Hong Kong Disneyland
Pages 10-13: Wisderma (beauty cream)
Page 37: Philips Lumea Prestige (personal care)
Page 41: Trendy Zone (consumer electronics)
Page 49-50: Hair Regen (hair regeneration)
Page 63: Kaeru (personal care)
Page 71: Medosan (personal care)
Page 76: Dr Morita (personal care)
Page 89: Balmain (watches)
Page 107: Hong Tai (travel agency
Page 121: Euroasia International Medical Group (cosmetic surgery)
Page 123: Chicco (children)
Page 125: Chicco (children)
Page 126: Jakewell (children)
Page 127: Touch (self-advertisement)
Page 128: ESF (education)
Page 133: HKT education (education)
Page 134-135: Eastweek (self-advertisement)
Page 149: Euroasia International Medical Group (cosmetic surgery)
Page 151: Angel Face (weight reduction)
Page 165: Sing Tao Magazine Group (self-advertisement)
Page 167: Euroasia International Medical Group (cosmetic surgery)
Inside back cover: Regal Palace (Macau restaurant)
Outside back cover: Kee Wah (pastry)

- (Oriental Daily) July 21, 2017. Previously, legislators who took money from Jimmy Lai have asked business why they are not advertising in Next Media publications. Former Chief Secretary Anson Fong, who has also taken money from Jimmy Lai, wrote to ask HSBC, Standard Chartered and East Asia Bank why they are not advertising in Next Media publications.

It goes without say that these are not fact-seeking questions as such. Instead they are intended to apply pressure on those advertisers. But advertisers are not obliged to explain to legislators what their advertising strategies are. So this proved not to be useful.

- (Bastille Post)

Why did Next Magazine die?

(1) Boycotts. This is the common explanation for the drop in advertising revenue. It is a fact that pro-China companies do not advertise in Next Weekly, but you are being lazy here. I spoke to a Next Digital senior manager recently and he offered the same explanation. I asked him, "Even if Apple Daily and Next Weekly are boycotted by pro-China advertisers in Hong Kong, this cannot be happening in Taiwan. But why was advertising revenue also dropping in Taiwan?"

When we conduct a scientific experiment, we have a test group and a control group. The Taiwan Next Weekly is our control group which is unaffected by Hong Kong factors. Year-to-date March 2017, Hong Kong Next Weekly had advertising revenues of $57.8 million which is a year-to-year drop of 46%. Meanwhile Taiwan Next Weekly had advertising revenues of $42.8 million which is a year-to-year drop of 53%! Taiwan saw an even greater drop than Hong Kong. The boycott effect has been exaggerated.

(2) Digital revolution. The digital revolution has an impact. How much? I was interviewed by Next Weekly more than three years ago by Bastille Post. Their team consists of one reporter, one photographer and one video camera man. They said that they were going to post the interview on their website. I asked the reporter: "If you post the interview on the website, who is still going to pay $20 for the print magazine?" The reporter could not give an answer. I thought at the time that they sent three people to conduct this interview to be posted on the website, which is going to cost too much for too little impact. So the impact of the digital revolution on Next Digital is actually a problem that they created for themselves.

(3) Strategic mistake. According to Next Weekly editor-in-chief Wong Lai-tong, "In retrospect, we were ignoring our core business. Do our competitors suffer as much? We made sure that we got the hit rates, but this may not be appropriate for a magazine." At Next Digital, a lot of print media contents were posted online for free. This only caused the print media circulation to drop more precipitously than the competition. Three years ago, the print media had $1.5 billion in advertising revenues. Now it is $560 million, or about one-third left. Meanwhile the online media had $640 million in advertising revenues three years ago. Now, it is $650 million. That is to day, print media ad revenues have fallen greatly but online media ad revenues have flattened out three years ago already. How do you make up for the missing $940 million ad revenues? Next Digital sacrificed print media in order to go digital, but the results were disastrous.

Year 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Print ads $3.474 billion $3.269 billion $2..57 billion $2.328 billion $1.784 billion
Online ads $157 million $364 million $640 million $660 million $650 million
Total costs $2.176 billion $1.92 billion $1.817 billion $1.442 billion $1.236 billion
Labor costs $819 million $838 million $823 million $655 million $631 million
P/L ($946 million) $248 million $169 million ($324 million) ($394 million)

-  Next Weekly is losing more than $100 million a year. Why is Kenny Wee willing to pay $500 million for it? Well, that depends on whether he genuine wants the sale to go through.

Once up a time, Next Weekly was the flagship of anti-Communist media in Hong Kong. Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee asked rhetorically whether the proof of the success of One Country Two Systems must depend on Jimmy Lai going down on his knees. He implied that Next Weekly is a rock-steady fortress of democracy that will not be surrendered to the enemy. But before too long, Jimmy Lai is down on his knees begging for $500 million of 'red' capital.

Today the myth of the Fortress of Democracy has been totally dismantled. If I were Kenny Wee, I would start making anonymous revelations about the pro-China background of my potential financiers. This will immediately caused the Taiwan government to veto the sale of Next Weekly (Taiwan). This will immediately allowed me to renege on the whole deal and I walk away with no harm to my reputation.

But the net result will be to make the Taiwan government look authoritarian, deprive Next Digital/Jimmy Lai of the desperately needed cash infusion and destroy the Next Weekly brand. What more can I ask for?

- (Oriental Daily) July 23, 2017. How can the money-losing Next Weekly be worth $500 million? Did Jimmy Lai really find a sucker? But all business people are crooks, so what makes you think that this buyer is a sucker? The buyer is putting down a deposit of $10 million, which is less than the standard rate of 10% (=$50 million). This means that the buyer is hesitant. Once he finds out the state of Next Weekly, he will surely quit. Besides the offer was for Taiwan and Hong Kong magazine titles, and the Taiwan government has clearly said that they won't approve of any deal involving mainland money. So it is no wonder that many people are pessimistic about whether this deal will be completed. Wasn't it the same when Jimmy Lai tried to sell his Next TV in Taiwan?

- (SilentMajorityHK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 19, 2017.

Two weeks ago, the Hong Kong Journalists Association issued its annual report on Freedom of Expression. They pointed out that "of the 26 mainstream media outlets in Hong Kong, nine of them are controlled by mainland China or have Chinese investors." They specifically named TVB being controlled by a Chinese Communist Party member through a confidentiality agreement ...

The next day, Apple published several reports under the title "35% of Hong Kong media are red, freedom of press in danger," "media managers in collusion with authorities" and so on.

Previously, the investment of Alibaba into the South China Morning Post, the investment by the Chinese "Rupert Murdoch" Li Ruigang in TVB, Henry Cheng Kar-shun and red capitalists investing to save Cable TV ... these incidents were criticized by Jimmy Lai's media outlets and the HKJA as the death of Freedom of Press.

A few days ago, Jimmy Lai announced that he is selling Next Weekly for $500 million. The deputy publisher and editor-in-chief Wong Lai-tong said that this deal is "selling the workers into brothels." Even Emily Lau and Kwok Ka-ki are worried that Next Magazine would turn 'red' because the buyer Kenny Wee may be backed by 'red' capital.

When any person or organization had anything China connection, Jimmy Lai and his pals would call them prostitutes. Today Boss Lai is selling his own child into a brothel.

The normally belligerent Hong Kong Journalists Association has only a moderate statement about Jimmy Lai selling his son. That statement did not even mention the name "Jimmy Lai."

This is an astonishing display of the highest level of "double standards."

When does a person sell his child? Of course when he is in dire financial straits. At this time, Next Digital is financially troubled, but its boss Jimmy Lai still has investments in other businesses all over the world. So why does he have to sell his child?

Could it be for justice? Since he believes that the enemy is 'red' capital, he should be staying until the very end. If the bridgehead is lost, he should blow up the bridge and die with the enemy. On no account must be hand the fortress over to the enemy for $500 millino and leave his soldiers behind to be raped and killed.

For those who believe that Hong Kong media is being taken over by 'red' capital, why aren't they saying anything about Jimmy Lai handling over a major pro-democracy stronghold over to the 'red' capital. If Ma Yu investing in the South China Morning Post is 'red' infiltration, if Li Ruigang investing in TVB is 'red' infiltration, then Jimmy Lai's sale of Next Weekly to a 'red' capitalist is killing freedom of press. So why is no one condemning Jimmy Lai.

The editor-in-chief's tearful complaint has allowed us to peek at the truth. The money guy has taken the money and sold you out. Will the Yellow Ribbons wake up?

(Bastille Post) July 19, 2017.

People are interested in the financial backing for Kenny Wee, with some speculating that he is backed up by "red" capital. Yesterday I spoke to a mainland tycoon and even he thought that the Central Government was behind Kenny Wee.

But an informed Beijing source said that the Central Government would not be so stupid as to buy Next Weekly. His information is that no only will the Central Government not step in, but they will not encourage anyone else to do so.

The reason is very simple. For the longest time, Jimmy Lai's Next Media Group has been hostile towards Beijing. Now that business is bad, it is clear that Next Weekly will have to fold if no buyer takes over. From Beijing's point of view, it is better to let it die naturally. If a group of Hong Kong/Taiwanese tycoons came up with the money to take over the magazine, it would be giving $320 million to Jimmy Lai to continue his fight with Beijing. Why would the Central Government let this happen?

In 2012, Next Media tried to sell its Taiwan business (including Next Weekly, Apple Daily and Sharp Daily) to a consortium of financial groups for HK$4.64 billion. These Taiwan financial groups sought a reaction from Beijing and got the response "No support." The reason is the same. If Jimmy Lai rakes in several billion dollars from Taiwan, he will have more ammunition to use against the Central Government. Of course, the Central Government did not support such a move. So the Taiwan group backed off, because they didn't want to cause trouble for themselves.

The Beijing source said that there are many uninformed rich people in Hong Kong and Taiwan. They think that there must be a "red" background in this deal. But if they went to ask the Central Government, they would be told solemnly that there is no connection and that they should not get involved.

No matter whether this deal will go through or not, it is for certain that "red" capital is not involved. Furthermore, the Central Government will not regard those investors positively.

(HKG Pao) July 19, 2017.

It was in mid-May that Kenny Wee was negotiating to buy Next Weekly. Many people were anxious at Next Digital. In early June, Jimmy Lai hosted the senior management at dinner and declared: "How can I sell to Kenny Wee!"

As the saying goes, if you believe so much as 10%, you will lose eyesight in both eyes.

One of those present suddenly remember the history of Giordano. In October 1995, Jimmy Lai sold 10% of the Giordano shares and said that he won't be selling out for at least six month. In less than that night, Jimmy Lai played the role of son-of-a-bitch by selling all his shares. Jimmy Lai was a son-of-a-bitch all along.

- (HKG Pao) July 21, 2017.

Is Next Weekly worth $500 million? A prospective buyer must surely evaluate the deal from a business perspective (e.g. is it worth the price?).

But it is also possible to book at it from a non-business perspective. This is interesting because there are actually no completely opposite perspective.

The first perspective is that this deal is done to help China. But does China want your help? The news that Next Weekly is looking for a buyer has been around for a while, and more than one person have asked the Central Government about it. Everybody got a negative response, sometimes adding "Please don't touch this!"

Now that someone is paying $500 million to buy Next Weekly plus the long-defunct Sudden Weekly, this must be very confusing. Since China does feel that buying Next Weekly is helping them, who is this supposed to help?

The opposite perspective is that this is supposed to help. Kenny Wee had just sold Metro Daily for $400 million. He may have to pay off existing debts. Where is he going to find $500 million to complete the deal? He will have to raise more debts. Where is his money coming from? What is more sure is that it is not going to be 'red' capital, irrespective what the concerns of certain people are. We can guess, but we won't know for sure.

Finally, the question is: Is Next Weekly worth $500 million? Business-wise, the magazine is losing more than $100 million a year. If Next Digital keeps it around for a couple more years, it will probably destroy Apple Daily and the online business with it as well. But the appearance of an idiot to take over Next Weekly for $500 million must be a godsend.

Even more ridiculous is that fact that Next Weekly magazine is being bundled at $20 as a combination of Next Weekly and Eat and Travel Weekly. The sale to Kenny Wee includes only the money-losing Next Weekly but not the money-earning Eat and Travel Weekly! Ha ha! How can this be a deal worth $500 million? And pigs will fly too.

And what will happen to a Next Weekly that is not anti-communist? All its loyal readers will run away! Are the advertisements going to rush back in with a huge drop in readership? Ha ha! Can you believe this?

It does not matter whether you believe this or not. It only matters that the buyer believes it. I for one fail to see how Next Weekly can be worth $500 million. But that doesn't mean much, because the person who is putting down $500 million may derive other benefits that are not know to you or me.

- (Headline Daily) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 25, 2017.

A former colleague told me about a true story. During a brainstorming session at Next Weekly, the Finance section editor said that she just went to the CHK Hutchinson Holdings press conference: "There are several noteworthy things, namely ..." But before she even began, Jimmy Lai stopped her: "Who goes to these things anyway? The magazine cover story shall be: The Li Ka-shing empire is finished!" Then he got up and left. My friend thought: "Huh! The end of the empire? There is no sign whatsoever. How is the cover story going to be written?" My friend was so glad not to be in the Finance section. But the editor who agreed with the boss and came out with this cover story is the same editor-in-chief who is crying today about the sale of Next Weekly.

I have been through many such experiences. The worst part about being deputy editor-in-chief is attendance of the weekly brainstorming sessions. Today we speak of editorial independence. Actually, there is none over at Next Weekly. Most of the time, it is on Jimmy Lai's say-so.

For example, someone spoke brought up the subject of modern love stories. Jimmy Lai had this unique idea: "Do you think that there are still parents sleeping in the lower bunk and the son and girlfriend sleeping in the upper bunk? And the young people are making love above while the parents are in the lower bunk ..."

I said: "Mr. Lai, you must have watched too much television?" He said: "How do you know there aren't any if you haven't searched?"

"Do it first. Don't say no before you even start" is Jimmy Lai's rule. So many people help him to "finish" the story. I don't think such topics has any social significance beyond peddling pornography. I did not pay any attention, but a female reporter looking to advance her career spent a full week and "found" a modern love story exactly according to the demand of Boss Lai. Of course, the story was duly embellished.

The kind of boss will lead to the same of employees. You cannot ignore certain things just because the boss says so. In retrospect, it is a crime to aid and abet this sort of thing.

(SCMP) July 15, 2017.

An intense political drama gripped Hong Kong on Friday as the High Court stripped four opposition lawmakers of their seats in the legislature for improper oath-taking, in a tough ruling that further alienates the pan-democratic camp and sets the stage for months of legal appeals, protests and acrimony ahead.

Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu Chung-yim were disqualified by the Court of First Instance while in the middle of a Legislative Council meeting which was postponed for a day as they refused to leave the chamber immediately.

The court, ruling on legal action initiated by former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, was unambiguous in clarifying that oath-taking must be done strictly by the book with no additions or deviations before, during or after an oath no matter how well intended.

Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung based his ruling on both common law principles and a controversial interpretation of the citys mini-constitution by Chinas top legislature that earlier saw two newly elected pro-independence lawmakers kicked out of Legco for insulting the nation during their swearing-in.

It is also not only to provide a legal basis to check and punish future breaches by the oath taker It is also a constitutional legal requirement that the oath taker, in taking the oath, must also sincerely and truly believe in the pledges under the oath that he or she is taking, he said.

All four vowed to appeal, presenting a picture of defiance at a press conference first and a protest at night joined by hundreds of supporters outside government headquarters.

Related Links:

Court of First Instance Document HCAL 223/2016.

[#687] The $5,000,000 Lawyers (2017/03/01)

[#621] Two Down (DQ2), Four More Next Up (DQ4) (2016/12/06)

Internet Comments:

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. The judgment dashed any hope of reconciliation between opposition lawmakers who called it a declaration of war and the new administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Responding to the ruling, she made it clear she would not intervene for the sake of better relations. Building bridges still has to be done in a lawful way, she said. I dont think a chief executive or any government official should sort of compromise on the rule of law just because we want to be friendly.

- Would you like Carrie Lam to intercede and order the Department of Justice to withdraw the judicial review after the ruling has been made? What justification can she offer? This can only be political horse trade over the dead body of the rule of law.

- The opposition asserts that the executive branch is attacking the legislative branch. In their view, Nathan Law was elected by 50,818 voters; Lau Siu-lai by 38,183 voters; Leung Kwok-hung by 35,595 voters; Yiu Chung-yim by 2,491 voters in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape constituency. The disqualification of these four legislators meant that the wishes of 127,087 voters have been subverted.

- (Oriental Daily) July 19, 2017.

The DQ4 said that when the government went through the court to disqualify them, the wises of the voters have been violated. They said that their seats were given to them by the voters, and therefore only the voters can take the seats back. When the DQ4 and their supporters articulate this view, they actually look as if they genuine believe this.

Dear friends, have you ever heard a death row inmate tell the executioner: "You have no right to take my life. My life came from the parents, and only they can take it away"? Death inmates may be desperate to cling to their lives, but even they can't spout this kind of nonsense.

I don't understand how the DQ4 and their supporters could say this? Are they even worse than death row inmates? They say that everything and anything goes during the oath, and the voters can decide four years later whether to re-elect that person or not. Well, does that apply to the legislator who takes off all his clothes during the oath? Or the legislator who punches another legislator in the course of a Legco meeting? Do all these transgressions have to wait four years for the voters to decide in the next election? And if I don't want to run for office again, I will have the license to do anything I want (murder, robbery, rape, etc) because nobody (not the government, not the police and not the court) can touch me!? How can anyone say such nonsense?

- Here is Eddie Chu Hoi Dick response at the RTHK City Forum when asked whether they had reflected on what they did during their oaths: "What should I reflect about? What should I reflect about, sir? I was elected by 80,000 people! What should I reflect about?"

So Eddie Chu Hoi Dick assumes that anyone elected by the people can never do wrong because everything that they do is in accordance with the wishes of those voters, and the voters are never ever wrong.

- Internet reaction: Adolf Hitler got 17,277,180 votes in 1933. So he should not have to reflect on anything.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 16, 2017.

... Even an idiot can see that this has nothing to do with justice, democracy or whatever. This was a perfect demonstration of banging heads against a solid wall. More than one hundred thousand voters cast their votes to send you to the Legislative Council. You were going to get a big salary plus special privileges and benefits. Instead, you engage in some childish antic. It is as if you defaced your admission ticket for fun, which caused it to become invalid. As a result, you are kept outside the gate. And now you have the nerve to come out and tell the people to pay for your legal bills? You should count yourself lucky if those voters did not come at you.

... I am increasingly sympathetic with the supporters of the opposition. Do they have the word "Sucker" etched on their faces?
New Year's Day? Donations please.
June 4th? Donations please.
July 1st? Donations please.
Pre-election time? Donations please.
Post-election time? Donations please.
Legal troubles? Donations please.
DQ'd? Donations please.
You are asked to open your wallet for them all the time, as if you owe them. No wonder participation and donations have tumbled recently.

Joshua Wong is now saying that Nathan Law's office was paying more than 10 aides whose full-time jobs are to oppose the government. Are you still naive enough to drop $100 into their donation box? Compared to their $200,000 monthly budget or Jimmy Lai's multi-million "black gold", your donation is trifling.

You voted them in. But they chose to bang their heads against the wall. Now they want you to pick up their medical bills. Is this reasonable? Nobody pointed a gun at Lau Siu-lai and forced her to read the oath ever so slowly. Nobody waved a knife to force Nathan Law to alter his intonation. They brought it upon themselves. Why should the voters foot the bill for them?

"Political suppression" is the slogan for confidence men to make money. The true purpose is this: "Please donate money."

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. The ruling has effectively curtailed the bargaining power of the pro-democracy bloc. With Leung, Law and Lau all directly elected lawmakers out of the picture, the pan-democrats, already a minority in the legislature, have lost their limited veto power to block motions and amendments to bills tabled by their pro-establishment rivals. They will also be unable to stop Beijing loyalists and government allies from changing Legco rules to prevent the pan-democrats from filibustering contentious bills.

- Here is a 2011 article on the Indian parliament: How to restore decorum & gravitas in our parliament?

The erosion of decorum and gravitas in parliamentary proceedings is a phenomenon often seen in Parliaments of democracies with a multi-party parliamentary system, with no party strong enough to enforce its political will on the conduct of the parliamentary proceedings.

One saw it in the pre-de Gaulle French Parliament and one continues to see it often in the parliaments of democracies such as Italy, Japan, South Korea and some South American countries.

de Gaulle did manage to improve the functioning of the French Parliament by having a new Constitution introduced. Despite this, the experience on the whole has been that the erosion cannot be prevented or reversed through rules and regulations alone or through flippant measures such as denying salary to Members of Parliament disrupting parliamentary proceedings. The only way of dealing with this erosion is through the practice of a robust system of parliamentary ethics, the initiative for which has to come from the ruling party.

This phenomenon is generally not seen in democracies with a two-party system or with a restricted number of political parties where parliamentary strengths are evenly matched. Two examples are the UK and India before 1970. The predominant presence of the Congress in the Indian Parliament and the parliamentary etiquette of the post-Independence leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru ensured the prevalence of decorum and gravitas even in the most contentious of situations. The self-confidence arising from predominance in numbers ensured a certain dignity and self-restraint in the conduct of the MPs of the ruling party, which was reciprocated by the members of the opposition.

The erosion in the decorum and gravitas consequent on the emergence of a multiplicity of political parties initially started in the State legislatures in the 1960s and has subsequently spread to the Parliament, causing frequent spells of paralysis in the functioning of the Parliament, to which the ruling and opposition parties have contributed in varying measures.

The initiative for reversing the erosion through better parliamentary etiquette and conduct has to come from the ruling party ...

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. The Department of Justice said it had no plan to go after any other lawmaker.

- (CAP 542 Legislative Council Ordinance) Section 73 Proceedings against persons on grounds of disqualification.

73(2) Proceedings under this section may not be brought after 6 months from the date on which the person concerned acted, or claimed to be entitled to act, as a Member.

So the fact is that the Department of Justice actually cannot go after any other lawmaker.

- Actually, there are a number of judicial reviews filed by citizens against these and other legislators. Four more "pro-democracy" legislators made obvious changes to their oaths: Chan Chi-chuen (People Power), Cheng Chung-tai (Civic Passion), Shiu Ka-chun and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick. Those cases are moving inexorably ahead, albeit slower. But the government has set the precedents, and prior cases count for everything under Common Law. Those judicial reviews were filed around November 2016, which are within the 6-month window of opportunity.

- CAP 542 Legislative Council Ordinance Section 73.

(1) An elector, or the Secretary for Justice, may bring proceedings in the Court against any person who is acting, claims to be entitled to act, as a Member on the ground that the person is disqualified from acting as such.

Tsuen Wan resident Law King-yeung applied for a judicial review of the status of Eddie Chu Hoi Dick and Cheng Chung-tai. The case will be heard on July 26, 2017. There isn't anything that Carrie Lam or anyone else can do to stop this case from moving forward.

- Here is the full list:


Lam Cheuk-ting (Democratic Party): Addition after the oath: "Down with corruption! Down with Wolf Ying"
Roy Kwong Chun-yu (Democratic Party): Addition after the oath: "Hong Kong is the homefield for the people of Hong Kong. Do not forget our initial goals. Go, Hongkongers!"
Helena Wong (Democratic Party): After the oath: "Restart constitution reform! Down with CY Leung! The Water Works Department must test the water immediately."
Wan Siu-kin (Democratic Party): During the oath: Pause between "Republic" and "Chinese People".
Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung (Labour Party): After the oath, he ripped up a prop copy of the August 31st resolution
Chan Chi-chuen (People Power): During the oath, he split pause between "Republic" and "Chinese People." After he oath, he said: "I am a Hongkonger. I want to have universal suffrage. I will filibuster to stop evil laws."
Siu Ka-chun (Professional Alliance): After the oath, he banged a drum and yelled: "Umbrella Revolution may have been defeated but it has not vanished. We will resist the authoritarian regime. We are back."
Cheung Chung-tai (Civic Passion): After the oath: "Constitution by the people to re-establish a new charter. Hongkongers for themselves. Long live Hong Kong!"
Eddie Chu Hoi Dick: After the oath: "Democratic self-determination. Tyranny will be defeated. Oppose Andrew Leung for chairman."

- (Oriental Daily) November 14, 2016.

27-year-old waiter Ricky Chan Ka-wai filed a judicial review at the High Court against legislators Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung, Cheung Chiu-hung, Siu Ka-chun, Wan Siu-kin, Lam Cheuk-ting, Helena Wong Pik-wan, Roy Kwong Chun-yu, Eddie Chu Hoi Dick, Chan Chi-chuen and Cheng Chung-tai over their oaths of office. The applicant said that the oaths are invalid under the National People's Congress Standing Committee's interpretation of Basic Law Article 104. Chan emphasized that he filed the application as an individual citizen.

Previously a taxi driver had already filed a judicial review against legislators Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law, Cheng Chung-tai, Siu Ka-chun, Chan Chi-chuen and Eddie Chu Hoi Dick over their oaths of office.  The applicant contends that the oaths were invalid according to the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance and the National People's Congress Standing Committee's interpretation of Basic Law Article 104.

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. The disqualification is retroactive to October 12, 2016 the date the four were sworn in, raising the prospect of further clashes with the government over the salaries and allowances they will be asked to return. All four will have to pay legal costs as well a total of HK$3 million to the government and HK$1 million each to their own lawyers. The court ruling includes an injunction barring them from acting as or claiming to be lawmakers.

- (Wen Wei Po) July 17, 2017. According to the published Legco data, Nathan Law claimed $2.25 million, Lau Siu-lai $2.18 million, Yiu Chung-yim $2.05 million and Leung Kwok-hung $1.7 million in operating expenses over the past 9 months. Their salaries were about $850,000 each over the past 9 months. Leung Kwok-hung admitted that he may have to file for bankruptcy if he loses the appeal.

Under Cap 542 Legislative Council Ordinance Section 39,

39. When a person is disqualified from being nominated as a candidate or from being elected as a Member

(1) A person is disqualified from being nominated as a candidate at an election, and from being elected as a Member, if the person --

(i) is an undischarged bankrupt or, within the previous 5 years, has either obtained a discharge in bankruptcy or has entered into a voluntary arrangement within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap. 6) with the persons creditors, in either case without paying the creditors in full. (Amended 25 of 2003 s. 22)

Leung Kwok-hung was asked a hypothetical question: "If you can taken the oath again, would you have done something like what you did?" He said that if he knew that the HKSAR government would be taking such "unreasonable" measures, he would not have given the authorities the chance to "abuse the judicial process."

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. Rights group Amnesty International Hong Kong was fiercely critical: Todays decision confirms the Hong Kong governments agenda to silence and effectively punish any speech critical of the present political system, wherever it may occur, even within the legislature.

- Amnesty International Hong Kong is making a completely one-sided statement. The 'pro-democracy' side will talk only about ideas such as freedom of speech. Abstractly, that sounds good. They will never broach the subject of what the DQ4 actually did ...

(Wen Wei Po) December 2, 2016.

Lau Siu-lai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4peDyPJixk

On October 12, 2016, Lau Siu-lai preceded her oath with these words: "I, Lau Siu-lai, promise that when I go from the streets into the Legislative Council, I will continue with the spirit of self-determination in the Umbrella Movement to walk with the people of Hong Kong. I will unite with those inside and outside the Legislative Council to oppose the authoritarian regime. We will live in honesty and openness; we will break through coldness and indifference and create the road to democratic self-determination. We will topple the tall wall, determine our own fates and make ourselves strong."

Then she proceeded to read out the oath of office at the slow speed of six seconds per word. Her oath lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards, she said: "Fight for universal pension; implement the policies for marketplaces; defend the dignity in the lives of the people of Hong Kong." She took up a total of 13 minutes for the entire process. At the time, the Legislative Council secretary-general Chan Wai-On who administered the oath did not react.

Afterwards, Lau Siu-lai posted on Facebook under the title: <Slow reading was used to show the absurdity of the oath>: "I read the official oath word by word. The oath became more than 90 unconnected words without any coherence, relationship or meaning. The audience cannot grasp any sentence or tone. In this way, the audience can determine their own meaning based upon their subjective speculations. This is done in order to show the hypocrisy of business-as-usual ... the fluent articulated oath is hypocritical, the harmonious legislature is also hypocritical." She added: ""What I said before the oath is the more honest version."

After receiving complaints and reviewing the video recording, Legco president Andrew Leung declared the oath to be invalid and administered the oath again on November 2. On that occasion, Lau Siu-lai read the oath at a normal pace.

Yiu Chung-yim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea8UsHmnVho

On October 12, Yiu Chung-yim read the oath until he completed the part of pledging allegiance to the People's Republic of China. At that point, he inserted "I will supoport the Hong Kong system, fight for genuine universal suffrage and serve towards sustainable development in Hong Kong." Afterwards the Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on said that Yiu had altered the oath and demanded Yiu to retake his oath.

Yiu then proceeded to read the oath. Upon completing the oath, he added: "I will supoport the Hong Kong system, fight for genuine universal suffrage and serve towards sustainable development in Hong Kong." At the time, Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on said that Yiu had altered the oath and told him to return to his seat. Later Legco president Andrew Leung rules that Yiu's oath was invalid. At Yiu's request, the oath was administered again on October 19.

Leung Kwok-hung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLn6JIUEfbs

At the oath ceremony, Leung Kwok-hung wore a shirt for "civil disobedience." He held an umbrella with slogans such as "End one-party tyranny" and a prop that represents the August 31st decision of the National People's Congress. As he proceeded, he shouted slogans such as "Umbrella Movement, no yielding, no concessions," "I want double universal suffrage" and "Down with CY Leung" etc.

His oath was broken up with 29 pauses that averaged 2 seconds each, including a pause between "the Chinese People's" and "Republic" as well as racing through another "People's Republic of China." After the oath, he shouted: "Rescind the National People's Congress August 31st resolution, I want double universal suffrage, the people will determine their own futures without needing the permission of the Chinese Communists." He tore up his paper prop that represents the August 31st decision of the National People's Congress and littered the pieces onto the ground.

At the time, the Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on did not react. Later Legco president Andrew Leung did not address the matter.

Nathan Law Kwun-chung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4OnNgspWjs

Before reading out the oath on October 12, Nathan Law aid that the English term for the oath was "affirmation" whose Latin meaning was being more firm and resolute. He said that the oath is a solemn rite, but the rite has "degenerated into a tool for the authorities" "that compels the popularly elected representatives to bend under the system and its authoritarianism." He said that he had to complete this required procedure, "but it does not mean that I submit myself to authoritarianism." He said that he "will not pledge allegiance to a regime that murders its own people" and that "change begins with resistance."

During his reading of the oath, he read "pledge allegiance to the People's Republic of China(?)" in the tone of a question as opposed to a statement. After reading the oath, he shouted: "Power to the people, tyranny will persih!" At the time, the Legislative Council Chan Wai-On did not react. Afterwards, Legco president Andrew Leung ruled that Nathan Law's oath was valid.

The case is an open-and-shut no-brainer. Once this is brought to court, any judge is going to disallow the oaths. The evidence consists of video recordings of the oaths. Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung does not intend to go down in history as the judge who found that Lau Siu-lai's one-word-every-six-second oath to be solemn, sincere and proper. He will be a laughing stock all over the world. It will also open the floodgates for copycat behavior in all walks of life.

- If a witness takes the oath in Lau Siu-lai's manner, Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung would throw him into jail for contempt of court.

- Leung Kwok-hung said: "This can't happen in any place with true democracy." I loved to see a list of "places with true democracy" that will accept Lau Siu-lai's oath of office.

- Actually, the only places that will accept these oaths are authoritarian countries. If Kim Jong-un wants to take his oath in that manner, who is going to object?

- Here is a trip down memory lane with US State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau. So is there going to be a more coherent response now?

(US State Department Press Briefing, November 15, 2016)

MS TRUDEAU: Thank you. Legislators-elect who altered the wording of their oaths of office. The United States strongly supports and values Hong Kongs legislative council and independent judiciary, two institutions that play a critically important role in promoting and protecting the special administrative regions high degree of autonomy under Basic Law and the one country, two systems framework that has been in place since 1997. We believe that an open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by the rule of law is essential for Hong Kongs continued stability and prosperity as a special administrative region of the Peoples Republic of China.

QUESTION: Okay, maybe I missed it. So you think that you dont like this action by the court?

MS TRUDEAU: We believe that the Chinese and the Hong Kong SAR government and all elected politicians in Hong Kong should refrain from any actions that fuel concern or undermine confidence in the one country, two systems principle.

QUESTION: So does that mean that you that altering the oath, youre opposed to, or that the court stripping them of their office is of concern? Which or both?

MS TRUDEAU: Both. We --

QUESTION: So you dont like the fact that they changed the oath and you dont like the fact that the court ruled the way it did.

MS TRUDEAU: We believed that actually, both. So one, it was an independent the independent legislative council, the independent judiciary, we believe played that important role. But we also call on both the Hong Kong politicians as well as the Chinese Government.

- (SCMP) July 15, 2017. The four lawmakers disqualified on Friday over their oath antics could face claims by the Legislative Council for the return of up to HK$11 million in salary and allowances, plus up to HK$7 million in legal fees.

- Time to open your wallets and hand over your money for the DQ4 to give to the lawyers.

- (HKG Pao) July 15, 2017. After failing to get a huge turnout that evening, Joshua Wong went on with the more important business of soliciting donations. He wrote: "We are very tired of thinking about the legislators dealing with the very complex appeal process. We are also very concerned about the huge legal fees, the more than one dozen aides who will become unemployed and the party losing the financial support from the Legislative Council.

After losing the monthly $200,000 office budget, Demosisto may not be able to sustain basic operations after August. So Joshua Wong is asking the young people who support them to make monthly donations through this cold winter.

Wan Chin jumped in to point out that Demosisto had no concrete plans after the demonstration that evening beyond asking for money. He told Joshua Wong not to worry, because "there are enough middle-class hypocrites who would vote for you in a by-election."

- (HKG Pao) Here are the number of LIKE's for the various posts at the four major pro-establishment websites (SilentMajorityHK, SpeakoutHK, Good News HK and HKG Pao) by 530pm:

- (HKG Pao) After the court ruling was published, the DQ4 immediately called for a general rally outside Government Headquarters at 8pm. How many hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy citizens came out to show their support? Even Apple Daily said that there were 300 people, including reporters and the aides of the DQ4.

- Where do Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching fit into all of this?

When Leung and Yau vacated their Legco offices, they left behind a note: "If you keep the mountain green, you will have be able to collect firewood some day. War is tricky. You must never let people anticipate what you will be doing. Save yourself to fight with the 'old guys' in the future."

Who are the 'old guys'? Are these the 'traditional pan-democrats' who egged the young radicals to dig graves to bury themselves?

On Sunday at the RTHK City Forum, legislator James To (Democratic Party) said that if the National People's Congress Standing Committee had not issued its interpretation of Basic Law Article 104, then the legislators could follow the local ordinances as well as the High Court's previous ruling to alter their oaths. The legislators can seek legal advice beforehand to make sure that they don't step over the line.

However, the equilibrium was upset when Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching went way over the line to insult all Chinese people. Several tens of thousands of protestors gathered around the Legislative Council to express the global outrage. The National People's Congress Standing Committee issued an interpretation to clarify what the requirements for an oath was. So Leung and Yau were disqualified, and then the DQ4 followed because they also stepped over the line.

When Leung and Yau lost their case, they were facing legal fees as much as $6 million. At the time, the pan-democrats called the two "Communist moles" who "deceived stupid voters into voting for them," "brought infamy to the Legislative Council" and "gave the weapons to CY Leung to use suppress democracy." On that night, Yau went to Mong Kok to rally support but everybody ignored her. Given what happened to the DQ4, Leung and Yau must be feeling some satisfaction.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) July 19, 2017.

Disqualified localist lawmaker Yau Wai-ching has invited the other disqualified lawmakers to come together and discuss legal arguments for their potential appeals.

The six were all disqualified after Beijing issued a rare interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kongs de facto constitution, which said that lawmakers must take their oaths sincerely and accurately.

The press conference on Tuesday was the first time they have appeared together after four lawmakers were ousted last week. They entered the Legislative Council as private citizens.

The nature of the cases against the six of us are the same they should not be handled separately. Thus after we speak to our lawyers, we will try to talk to [the others] to come up with legal arguments, Yau said.

Baggio Leung said the public should not let themselves be deceived and divided anymore. This incident clearly showed it does not matter to the Chinese Communist Party whether you think you are a democrat, someone supporting the rule of law, someone fighting for freedom, or someone fighting for independence or self-determination you all want to take power away from the authoritarian regime, he said.

Leung said if the Court of Final Appeal does not accept their application, it means they have lost the case and will likely have to pay the governments legal fees, which the lawyers estimate to be between HK$8 and 10 million. We are quite certain we dont have the ability to pay declaring bankruptcy would seem to be the only way out, he said.

Yau said it was too early to talk about by-elections. Anyone who has not obtained a bankruptcy discharge or paid creditors in full in the past five years cannot run for office.

- (Citizen News) July 18, 2017. At the press conference, Leung Chung-hang said: "Whether you think that you are a democrat, or someone who supports rule-of-law, or someone who is fighting for freedom, or someone who is fighting for independence/self-determination, the Chinese Communists would not think that you people are different from each other" because "everybody basically wants to take away some power from the authoritarian regime." He asked citizens not to divided.

- Wan Chin: "Oh, so Hong Kong independence/determination is the same as Democratic China. Now you tell us?"

- Internet derivative art:


Left to right: "Promiscuous," "Inferior," "Stupid," "Trash," "Garbage," "Useless"


"Collective resignation by all pan-democrats"

- You want to ask Leung-Yau for legal advice? Bwaaahhh! #626 They've Got New Legal Theories (2016/12/15). More recently, the Legal Aid Department rejected Leung-Yau's application for legal aid on the grounds that the likelihood of them winning is close to nil.

- What Leung-Yau can tell is the list of legal arguments that have failed so far. If something works, wouldn't they have used it already?

- The court ruling included injunctions against the DQ4 from acting as members of the Legislative Council and claiming to act as members of the Legislative Council. When the court ruling was published, the DQ4 were attending a Finance Committee meeting at the Legislative Council. They refused to leave, and the meeting was terminated as a result. The next morning, the DQ4 attempted to barge into a Legislative Council meeting. As you might expect, none of the Rule-of-Law pan-democrats are talking about contempt of court.

- The court ruling included injunctions against the DQ4 from acting as members of the Legislative Council and claiming to act as members of the Legislative Council. When the court ruling was published, the DQ4 were attending a Finance Committee meeting at the Legislative Council. They refused to leave, and the meeting was terminated as a result. The next morning, the DQ4 attempted to barge into a Legislative Council meeting (see YouTube). As you might expect, none of the Rule-of-Law pan-democrats are talking about contempt of court.

- When the law is on your side, you uphold the rule of law. When the law is not on your side, you uphold the rule of might.

- When the court rules for you, you say that we must respect the independence of the judiciary. When the court rules against you, you say that the judiciary must be subservient to politics.

- (SCMP) Disqualification of lawmakers shows up the hypocrisy of the pan-dems. By Alex Lo. July 17, 2017.

The need to protect the rule of law and an independent judiciary has been a major pan-democratic cause. But now that a High Court case has turned against four pan-democratic legislators, its odd that they and their allies feel not the slightest shame in denouncing and disobeying the judgment.

Do they only respect court rulings that turn their way?

Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu Chung-yim have been disqualified as lawmakers for breaching oath-taking laws during their swearing-in ceremony at the Legislative Council last October. The Court of First Instance ruling also bars them from identifying themselves as lawmakers and from attending Legco meetings. They and their allies have denounced the court case launched by the previous administration of Leung Chun-ying as a declaration of war. They have also warned the ruling will set a precedent on how public oaths need to be taken.

I dont get it. If people dont want to swear by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, by China and/or by the Basic Law, they shouldnt run for public office.

Aided and abetted by their colleagues from People Power, the Civic Party, the Democratic Party, the Labour Party and other localists, the four tried to force their way into a Legco finance committee meeting at the weekend. Their colleagues then crashed the meeting, which would have approved HK$3.6 billion in new annual funding for education, covering kindergarten to university. This kind of mindless temper tantrum has become routine among pan-dems in Legco. Perhaps they should play by the rules which they claim to uphold.

The four are set to appeal the court decision; they may get lucky. More importantly, they should look on the by-elections for their vacated seats as a de facto referendum.

Long Hair knows all about this. In 2010, he was among five pan-democrats who resigned from Legco and then won back their seats in by-elections. While he wont be able to run again, pan-democrats will try to win back six seats four from the latest court case and those of two others, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, who were disqualified in an earlier judgment.

If they win most or all the seats back, the pan-dems can legitimately claim an unassailable mandate. But if they lose, well, no doubt they will cause more chaos, in Legco and out.

- What is to be done? According to an armchair social activists:


On September 28, there will be a collective resignation.
The people will surround the Legislative Council and occupy Central district
To demand the dissolution of the entire Legislative Council for brand new elections.
The people (and not Chinese Communists) should decide who shall be legislators!


collective resignation!
The time has come for a revolution in the streets!

- (HKG Pao) July 15, 2017. On Facebook, legislator Cheng Chung-tai (Civic Passion) wrote:
"The court has disqualified all four legislators. Let us have a collective resignation. This legislature has no reason to continue." He gave three reasons: (1) to defend the residual honor of the people of Hong Kong; (2) to return the power of monitoring the government to the people; (3) to avoid Hong Kong becoming an authoritarian society.

Immediately, netizens asked: "Why don't you lead the way and resign?" and "Why don't you tell us what is your value in the legislature?"

- Wan Chin's Facebook

I cannot blame the pan-democrats for not willing to participate in a collective resignation. If you were disqualified, you can still run in the by-election. But if you resign on your own, you are not eligible to run in the by-election.

- Democratic Party legislator Andrew Wan's Facebook (now deleted)

Han Lin-shan, Raymond Wong,  you bastards are calling for a collective resignation. You are moles.
What is biggest impact of the disqualification of those legislators? Veto power by Legco constituency groups? Or 1/3 veto power? Right now, the loss of six legislators is such a big problem already. If we resign collectively, the pro-establishment camp will be able to do anything that want. Article 23, Legco procedural rules, mainland border control in Hong Kong ... they will pass everything. What kind of logic is this? Collective resignation is a form of political naivete, or sabotage. Han and Wong are moles.

- What else is to be done? This comes from armchair revolutionary Benny Tai Yiu Ting:


If the current administration hopes to salvage some minimal trust after the disqualification of the four legislators, then they must break with the previous administration. If they can do the following, they will get a little bit of trust back from everybody:
1. They must promise not to initiate legal proceeding to disqualify more legislators.
2. They must promise not to seek legal fees from the four disqualified legislators.
3. They must promise to hold by-elections not later than four months when all appeals have been exhausted, including the cases of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching; they will not delay the by-elections in order to hold all of them at the same time.
4. They must state that they will not support any revision to Legco procedural rules before the by-elections have been completed.
5. They must promise that they will not submit any controversial bills (such as Article 23 legislation or constitutional reform) before the by-elections have been completed.
It is not too difficult for the Carrie Lam administration to make these promises. Everything is within the powers of the government, and it will bring desirable political effects. The important thing is whether she is genuinely sincere about mending relationships.

- What the fuck is he thinking? For example, look at #2 about not seeking legal fees from the four disqualified legislators. Look, the lawyers are going to be paid one way or the other. If the government excuses the DQ4, then the government picks up the tab. In other words, the taxpayers will be paying the lawyers. Why the fuck should I pay for Lau Siu-lai's legal bills over her silly oath. She is a teacher with a PhD degree, and a responsible adult. Why should I pay for her stupidity?

The court ruling stipulates that the DQ4 must pay for the legal fees. Citizens can open their wallets and pay for them. But if the government does so, I will be the first one to file a judicial review. I am indigent and my likelihood of winning is 100%, so I will appeal with legal aid all the way to the Court of Final Appeal.

- And look at #1 about not disqualifying other legislators. As a professor in law, Benny Tai is apparently not aware that the other judicial reviews are being filed by private citizens against other legislators. The government's work is already done by setting the Common Law precedents in the case of the DQ4. On July 26, a courting hearing is scheduled for the cases of Cheng Chung-tai and Eddie Chu Hoi Dick. If Carrie Lam, the Justice Department and/or the courts combine to quash these judicial reviews by fiat, it would  be a breach of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 35:

Hong Kong residents shall have the right to confidential legal advice, access to the courts, choice of lawyers for timely protection of their lawful rights and interests or for representation in the courts, and to judicial remedies.

In fact, Benny Tai recently said that without the judicial review, the  people will have no choice but to go to fight in the streets.

- (Oriental Daily) July 18, 2017. Chu said that those individual citizens who have filed judicial reviews against legislators may be secretly backed by Beijing. He asked Carrie Lam to not to get involved with the judicial reviews brought forth by individual citizens.

- In a rule-of-law society, it does not matter who brought forth the case. It only matters whether the case has merits. The cases of Eddie Chu Hoi Dick and Cheng Chung-tai are identical to the case of the DQ4.

- And look at #4 on revisions to Legco procedural rules. Such proposals come from legislators themselves, not from the government. To ask Carrie Lam (and/or the China Liaison Office) to force the pro-establishment legislators not to make such proposals is a clear violation of the separation of powers that is supposed to be a core value of the pan-democrats.

- Strategically, the pro-establishment camp should do on nothing about revisions to the procedural rules. They should let the pan-democrats continue to filibuster until majority opinion is on their side. And then they can pounce. Everybody knows that we can count on the pan-democrats to over-reach.

- (Headline Daily) July 18, 2017. By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

... Simply put, Benny Tai wants Rule-of-man, with Chief Executive Carrie Lam using her authority to release convicted criminals.

I recalled that Luggage Gate (#505), during which Chief Executive CY Leung's lost her laptop computer and asked airline employees to bring it to her. At the time, CY Leung made a call on behalf of her daughter. More than a thousand people showed up at the airport later to protest CY Leung's abuse of power for personal purposes.

If asking someone to bring a laptop computer is such a serious misdeed, then leniency on the DQ4 must surely be an earth-shattering political deal!?

It is normal to have divergent opinions in society. But it is not a good thing when double standards are used for everything. If the DQ4 were from the pro-establishment camp, then Benny Tai's conditions will obviously be a case of government officials shielding their friends, swapping power for support, a devil's bargain ... all of which lead inevitably to "Carrie Lam must resign!"

... In a rule-of-law society, the standard response from Carrie Lam or anyone else should be: "Don't talk to me! Go talk to the judge!" Getting Carrie Lam to overturn a judge's ruling is giving up on rule-of-law.

- What is to be done? Part 3 of many parts.

Emergency appeal!
All non-establishment legislators will donate all their salaries and subsidies beginning August 2017 to pay for the legal fees for the DQ4 legislators all the way through the Court of Appeal of the High Court, the Court of Final Appeal and the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpretation.

- Fat fucking chance!

- (Oriental Daily with video) July 14, 2017.


More than 20 citizens showed up at 930pm outside League of Social Democrats headquarters in Cheung Sha Wan district in order to celebrate the disqualification of Leung Kwok-hung. They held up photos of Leung and chanted: "Long Hair deserves to be disqualified!" They scattered ghost money around and drank beer to celebrate. They even performed a Taoist rite for the dead. Although the lights were still on inside, nobody came out.

- Leung Kwok-hung said that he can only continue to appeal, even though it will cost a lot of money. Including the initial case, the legal bill will be at least $3 million per person. If he can't afford to pay, he will have to file for bankruptcy and thus barred from running in the Legislative Council election again. Leung said that the best solution would be for the government not to contest their appeal and let them resume their posts.

Bwaaahhhh!

- (Wen Wei Po) July 17, 2017.

The DQ4 must appeal the ruling of the Court of First Instance. Right? If they don't, they will sink into oblivion. Filing an appeal will keep them in the limelight, with the chance of raising more money.

But there seems to be a subtle change in tone now. The keyword is still "$MONEY$".

On radio today, Lau Siu-lai said that there are many considerations for an appeal, including financial pressure. She will discuss with the other three, and it is possible that they may reach different decisions. She said that people (including the lawyers) are pessimistic about the outcome of an appeal, because the Court of First Instance accepted the Basic Law Article 104 interpretation in full.

Meanwhile Nathan Law said that he is leaning towards an appeal. But the legal fees will be in the millions, so it depends on the financial pressure and the support of the non-establishment camp. He is pessimistic about getting legal aid. He estimated that the Legislative Council will ask him to give 3 to 4 million dollars back. Nathan Law said that the Basic Law Article 104 interpretation was a "political decision." Even if he is not confident about the deal, the Court of Final Appeal needs to clarify the legal issues.

Leung Kwok-hung said that it is entirely possible that he won't file an appeal because of the legal fees. He does not know whether legal aid is available. If they do, the amount will be less than $1 million; if not, the amount will be about $3 million each. He said that there is "no reason" for the HKSAR government to ask them for legal fees, because it is only "fair" that the money should come out of the treasury.

- (Oriental Daily) July 17, 2017. There are six unfilled Legco seats: Two in Kowloon West; two in New Territories East; one in Hong Kong Island; one in a functional constituency. Basically Hong Kong voters go for about 55% "non-establishment" and 45% "pro-establishment." If elections are held for all six seats simultaneously, it is likely that one seat in Kowloon West and one seat in New Territories East will go to the pro-establishment camp.

Therefore, Nathan Law has suggested that, for the sake of mending social rifts, the government should hold two sets of elections: first for two seats in Kowloon West and New Territories East; then for the other seats.

Politically, this means that the "non-establishment" camp will probably win five of the six seats (but not the functional constituency which was won by Yiu Chung-yim only because two pro-establishment rivals split the majority vote).

Economically, this means that the government will pay $140 million more to hold the elections.

Well, I can think of better ways to spend $140 million. Can you?

- Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said that the additional $140 million expenditure is worthwhile because it is "in the public interest." He did not explain the meaning, but he may be implying that pan-democratic non-cooperation at the Legislative Council will eventually cost much more than $140 million.

- This may help to mend "social rifts" between Carrie Lam and Nathan Law, but it will permanently damage Carrie Lam with the "pro-establishment" camp.

- Carrie Lam said that she will not compromise on rule-of-law for the sake of the pan-democrats.

- People like Benny Tai, Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law and others are listing demands that the government must meet before social peace and harmony can be restored. If not, they promise a permanent non-cooperation campaign.

The lesson from the Occupy Central debacle is that none of these people are authorized to represent anyone or any group, and therefore meeting their demands will accomplish nothing. If you meet one set of demands, another person will pop up and list another set of demands. It will never end.

So it was during Occupy Central that their demands included: (1) rescind the August 31st resolution of the National People's Congress Standing Committee; (2) implement universal suffrage with civil nomination; (3) CY Leung must go; (4) Carrie Lam and Raymond Tam must resign; (5) one-party rule must end in China; (6) implement universal pension; (7) establish standard working hours; (8) increase minimum wage; (9) build more public housing; (10) protect all green parkland; (11) stop construction of the Express Rail Link; (12) stop construction of the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong bridge; (13) the Chief Executive must not be the automatic university chancellor; etc.

- (Bastille Post) Here is a game-theoretic analysis of the Grand Reconciliation. There are four players: the non-establishment camp; the pro-establishment camp; the Chief Executive/HKSAR government; the Central Government.

In a Prisoners' Dilemma, how do you get all sides to arrive at the optimal solution? In this case, how do you get everybody to make concessions, reduce the heat and arrive at a permanent ceasefire?

The non-establishment camp: The situation is complicated by internal divisions. The camp is divided into traditional and localist factions, with the traditional faction being further subdivided into conservative and radical factions. If the non-establishment camp had a unified will, they can negotiate with the Central Government. For example, "If you forego legal fees for the DQ2/DQ4, if you stop further judicial reviews to disqualify more legislators, if you hold the by-elections separately and if you promise not to revise the procedural rules, I will promise to stop filibustering in the future and allow the government to pass most of the normal budgets." But nobody can represent the leaderless pan-democrats to make those promises. You can be sure that the radical/localist factions will agree with the demands, but refuse to adhere to the promises. They got into the Legislative Council because of the chaos, and they will not accept peace and harmony.

The government: Chief Executive Carrie Lam does not want to the destroy the initial peace between her and the pan-democrats. She is the one who is most motivated to achieve a Grand Reconciliation so that she can get about the business of governance.

The pro-establishment camp: How compliant to Carrie Lam will they be? In the matter of the by-elections, if the government accedes to the pan-democrats' demand and hold the by-elections one by one, all those seats will go to the them. Conversely, if the by-elections are combined, the pro-establishment camp stand a chance to win seats in Kowloon West and New Territories East. Will they accept the arrangement? Unless the Central Government forces them, there is no reason for them to sacrifice their self-interests.

The Central Government: This is the same problem here. If the Central Government settles for the Grand Reconciliation, are they sure that the non-establishment camp will actually keep their promises?

After assessing the situation for all four sides, the conclusion is that while a Grand Reconciliation is in the best rational interest of society as a whole, it won't be easy for the sides to actually do it. So the situation today is very fragile and unsustainable. Instead we expect to see the game to continue.

- During the Umbrella Revolution, the Yellow Ribbons occupied Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay and held the people of Hong Kong hostage in order to extract ransom from the government. (SpeakoutHK) In this latest iteration, the Yellow Ribbons are holding 690,000 Hong Kong students and several tens of thousands of teachers hostage. Unless Carrie Lam agrees to let the taxpayers pay for the legal fees of DQ4 as well as arrange the by-elections to the satisfaction of the Yellow Ribbons, the bill for additional education expenditure will not be passed this year. The students will not receive their subsidies and the teachers will not get contracts. So if Carrie Lam loves school children, she better do what the Yellow Ribbons tell her. If the bill fails to pass, it will all be Carrie Lam's fault and she must resign.

- (SCMP) Attention pan-dems: dont cut off your noses to spite your faces. By Alex Lo. July 19, 2017.

Blind opposition and mindless theatrics have brought pan-democrats and localist radicals to a sorry state at the Legislative Council. They have lost the plot following the High Courts shock judgment last week, which disqualified four of their own who had failed to swear their oaths of office properly.

In retaliation, they are threatening to scuttle an education funding bill worth HK$3.6 billion a year that practically everyone supports, including their own constituencies. Several clichs come to mind, such as biting the hand that feeds you, and cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Having forced the cancellation of two Finance Committee meetings at Legco already, the pan-dems have one more chance to approve the bill today before the summer recess. Yet, at the last minute, they are attaching new conditions and demands.

These include expanding the scope of coverage of a new subsidy worth HK$30,000 a year, currently budgeted for secondary school graduates who enrol in private tertiary schools that run expensive self-financing degree programmes.

I am all for extending the new subsidy to students who take self-financed courses at public universities. But this can be done in the next round of legislation.

Opposition lawmakers also want to link their support for the bill to by-elections. They want two rounds rather than a single round for the four who were disqualified last week and for the two Youngspiration members who were booted out last year.

This linkage, completely unrelated to education, gives the game away: lay the blame on the new administration of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor if the education subsidy bill fails to pass. But its clear their anger stems from the court judgment over the four lawmakers disqualification, so they are taking it out on the education bill.

Their attempt is so transparent even a child can see through it. My advice is, dont do it, please. You will just make it worse for yourselves. The funding will help schools to hire full-time primary and secondary teachers, and professionals in special needs education and information technology.

If you want to go after the government, by all means. But lets not shoot innocent bystanders and cause more collateral damage. Doing that will lose you more public sympathy, and thats something you will need when you field by-election candidates, hopefully to regain those lost seats.

- (Oriental Daily) July 18, 2017. On morning radio, legislator Eddie Chu Hoi Dick said that the pan-democrats should react to the political suppression by refusing to let the Legislative Council Finance Committee meet because it would be a political surrender otherwise. Chu said that the pan-democrats are at war with the government. However, there is still opportunity to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield, as is the case with the $3.6 billion designated for education resource development.

- Derivative art collection


"This is a stick up!
Thou shalt not mention Article 23 or constitutional reform!
Thou shalt not DQ other legislators!
Thou shalt not consolidate by-elections!
Thou shalt not seek legal fees!
Thou shalt not revise Legco procedural rules!"
Professor of Law (maybe) Benny Tai


Poster for the Movie "The Money Is Not Enough" (The Gang of Four series)
No more Legco seats
No more popular support
No more money
No more justification
What will the Fat Guy do?
In their minds, every person is a human flesh ATM
When the money is not enough,
the only option is to go "bust"


King of Farce: DQ4
July 14: Die in peace
Lead actors: Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai, Yiu Chung-yim

- Voted the best "This is the darkest day in the history of Hong Kong" speech: Claudia Mo video
- The DQ4 saga sung to the tune of Oh My Darling

- (Ming Pao) July 21, 2017.

Question: Do you think that you lack political sensitivity which led to the consequences today?
Lau Siu-lai: At the time of the oath, the old rules were in place. But the rules were changed afterwards, retroactively applied to before. I never realized that the regime could be so shameless. I will need to be extra careful in the future."

- Who is the pan-democratic legislator with seniority? It's James To Kun-shun (Democratic Party). He took his oath flawlessly. Why? Because he knew that playing antics with the oath achieves nothing whatsoever. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose.

- (Oriental Daily) July 24, 2017.

On morning radio, Yiu Chung-yim said that this was a case in which "tomorrow's law" decided "yesterday's oath." The DQ4 are in similar situations, so that only one of them need to file an appeal in order to cover all these cases.

Yiu said that he has not decided on (1) file an appeal; (2) participate in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape constituency by-election; or (3) participate in a geographical constituency by-election. He emphasized that his paramount goal is to win more seats for the pro-democracy camp. But he also said that his one vote would not matter in a Legislative Council with a pro-establishment majority, so his function will be to reveal the evils and secrets of the government.

- The 2016 election results for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape constituency:

2,009 votes for Tony Tse Wai-chuen
2,491 votes for Yiu Chung-yim
1,235 votes for Bernard Vincent Lim Wan-fung

The two pro-establishment candidates split the votes to allow Yiu Chung-yim. In a by-election, Yiu would be most likely be facing a single pro-establishment candidate and lose. That is why he wants to go for a geographical constituency seat. But he has no assets and plenty of negative baggage to speak of.

- In an Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape constituency by-election, he would be hounded repeated the oath that got him disqualified. Mr. Yiu, why were you thinking? What do you think an oath is? What did you hope to accomplish? Can you promise that you won't do this if elected again?

- (The Stand) July 24, 2017.

We sincerely urge the DQ4 (except for Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung who is receiving legal aid) to consider giving up any appeal in court and enter directly into the by-elections. There are five reasons:

1. The appeal process will take too long, and this will take away the people's monitoring of the government through their elected legislators;

2. When the British Senior Counsels have become the tools for mainland China to enforce mainland Chinese governance, the risk of losing the appeals is simply too big. This is like putting their heads under guillotines awaiting for the beheadings.

3. The legal fees and the risks of being excluded from the by-elections are too big. Nobody should go all the way for the sake of the "greater good."

4. How much money is in the Justice Defence Fund? Civic resources should not be wasted on unnecessary legal processes because this is unsustainable.

5. Similarly, too much of the efforts of the pro-democracy lawyers are being spent on the DQ2/DQ4 cases.

- Quiz: Which special interest groups do the writers of this scree represent? The Civic Party? The Democratic Party? What is for sure is that they want the DQ2/DQ4 to make way for better candidates.

- Leung Kwok-hung's Facebook


Please help us: If you see a Long Hair banner, please take it down.

The Lands Department has asked us to remove all banners by July 24, or else they will charge me with removal fees one by one. The New Territories East election district is huge, with many banners located in rural areas. We don't have enough time to remove them. We have asked the Lands Department for an extension but they insisted that no extension was possible.

So I am sincerely appealing people to help remove the banners.

The locations and numbers of the banners can be found at: Goo.gl/w48miY

After removing a banner, please leave a comment here on the location/serial number. Thanks.

If possible, please take the removed banner to League of Social Democrats headquarters in Cheung Sha Wan. We will take it back to re-use.

- Call for general mobilization: Please help Long Hair take down his banners now ... and put them back up after July 24th. The Lands Department will bill him $300 for each banner, so this is how we can contribute our share to help him financially.

- (Oriental Daily) July 22, 2017.

Along comes retired Catholic cardinal Joseph Zen with his grand saying: "It is unthinkably evil to annul the votes of 127,000 voters." Then he asked rhetorically: "Why haven't the citizens come out en masse to make a stronger protest?"

When I read this, I was shocked. Does the retired cardinal want a new round of riots in Hong Kong? On further reading, this was exactly what he wants. He said that this type of evil act "will definite cause another Occupy Movement in any other country." Joseph Zen is blaming the people of Hong Kong for not coming out for another Occupy Movement, and even start among Mong Kok riot. Dear Cardinal Zen, don't you normally preach that God is peace-loving?

Joseph Zen lacks political wisdom. After the court rules on the DQ4 case, he waited patiently day after day for the citizens to come out and make noise. Instead he found Hong Kong to be peace and tranquil. He could not understand why, so he has come out to openly complain. If Joseph Zen has any wisdom, he should know that this case is not going to irk the citizens into rioting.

The antics during the oath ceremonies were both childish and unlawful. No western democratic society will tolerate with it. The Hong Kong government is acting in accordance with the law. What is there for the people to be angry about?

The cases of the DQ2 and DQ4 legislators were judges in the courts, not by the Hong Kong government or the National People's Congress Standing Committee. In the case of the DQ2, the judge stated that it had nothing to do with the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpretation of Basic Law Article 104.

The court is sacrosanct. How can you protest against a court? Are you going to call for the people to rise up and burn the courthouse down? The opposition camp is not able to find an opening, so how can you start a riot?

- (Hong Kong Free Press) On swearing, accurately, solemnly and sincerely: How does one know if they really meant it? By Tim Hamlett. July 23, 2017.

Call me a glutton for punishment but, when it appeared on the Judiciary website, I read the judgement of Mr Justice Au in the legislators oaths cases. This was not fun. Towards the end, I felt as if I had been beaten repeatedly over the head with a volume of the old hardback Laws of Hong Kong.

Mr Au is apparently not inspired by the observation of the then Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning, that judgements should be written in a way which allows them to be understood by the lay clients involved in the case. Nor, alas, does he have that lucidity which makes some quite technical judgements a pleasure to read.

These are not complaints. Writing legal documents is a difficult and highly specialised art. The results are not meant to be entertaining, even to legal groupies like me. Sometimes we are lucky. And sometimes were not. I understand that on non-legal matters Mr Au is regarded as a bit of a humorist. A well-concealed trait, in working hours.

This is not a preliminary warm-up for a complaint about the result. Clearly the interpretation of the relevant Basic Law was intended to provide a legal reason for the exclusion of some members from the Legislative Council. As that was its purpose it would have been surprising if it had not worked.

Once the Court of Appeal had given the nod to the idea that the interpretation was automatically backdated to 1997 Mr Au really had no choice but to proceed with the flagrantly unfair notion that what had been acceptable for 20 years was now grounds for instant defenestration from Legco, and had been such grounds even before it was thought of by our imperial masters.

Students of legal thought will find some interesting by-products of this process. The interpretation says that the taking of the Legco Oath must be done accurately, solemnly and sincerely.

Now accurately, if I understand the situation correctly, has been expanded a bit to include the notion that the swearer must utter the oath, the whole oath, and nothing but the oath. Say anything before or after and you are no longer accurate. It is not enough to read the words on the card. You must not say anything else. A careless so help me God could be very expensive.

Solemnly, you would think, presents few problems. Did the swearer giggle, wear a red nose, insert a joke? Well this also has expanded a bit. Its most interesting feat has been to take over the space formerly occupied by sincerely.

Here I smell a small rat. Because the law, apparently, is that the court will decide on an objective basis whether the oath was solemn. Which is easy enough. These days there will be video. But owing to the conflation of the two concepts the court is also, it seems, deciding whether the vote was sincere.

Indeed Mr Au at one point explicitly states that the standard of solemnity is that a reasonable man would suppose the oath taker to mean what he or she is saying.

The problem with this is that I can believe a judge who is presumably used to making difficult decisions may be able to decide objectively whether an oath-taking is solemn or not. And most reasonable people would agree with his decision in most cases. The objective judgement of sincerity is quite another matter.

Sincerity is an entirely internal matter which happens inside the persons brain. This is not a problem in the mainland legal system, where the contents of the suspects brain can be extracted by pushing toothpicks under his fingernails or threatening to shoot his wife. I do wonder whether it can be reliably detected by a Hong Kong judge watching a video.

After all most of us accept civic obligations to the SAR and China as arising out of the current constitutional situation. Looking at the sort of time-servers and sycophants who occupy the pro-government side of Legco we must suspect that if by some awful international error Hong Kong had been returned in 1997 to Russia instead of China, they would now be willing to swear undying loyalty to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Hong Kong. Like, whatever.

Mr Au avoided this potential problem by treating solemnity and sincerity as the same thing. I do not think that produced any injustice in the instant cases. Clearly if a swearer has tripped over the accuracy and solemnity requirement it does not matter too much whether we also diagnose insincerity or not.

Will there, though, be future cases in which the newly minted legislator has taken the oath with all the accuracy and solemnity that a reasonably law can require, but is still not the sort of person the Liaison Office wishes to see in Legco? I do not look forward happily to the spectacle of a government lawyer arguing that a legislator should be disqualified because he took the oath but he cant have meant it because look what he said last year.

Curiously absent from the proceedings is the one group of people who are the losers in all this, and who happen to include me. The purpose of electing legislators is not to provide high quality advice to the government or to provide a stimulating and fulfilling career to aspiring young politicians. It is to ensure that the population of Legco reflects in its views the preferences of the electorate.

My constituency is supposed to have seven representatives. We now have only five. The one I voted for last time is out. The one I voted for the time before is out. The one I voted for in the by-election in between was not even allowed to run.

As an elector I am I think entitled to feel that I have been stiffed by the system. Of course I can if I feel strongly take legal action to compel the government to get on with a by-election or two. Why should I be deterred by the thought that the Department of Justice will claim several million bucks in costs if it wins? And if I win all I get is an election. Sorry. I have an invalid dog to support.

- How do you decide whether an oath is accurately, solemnly and sincerely? Per US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on describing his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964): "I know it when I see it."

- "Curiously absent from the proceedings is the one group of people who are the losers in all this, and who happen to include me. My constituency is supposed to have seven representatives. We now have only five. The one I voted for last time is out. The one I voted for the time before is out. The one I voted for in the by-election in between was not even allowed to run. As an elector I am I think entitled to feel that I have been stiffed by the system."

Yes, some people in South Korea feel the same way about the ex-president Park Geun-hye -- she was elected by popular vote, and therefore her impeachment meant that the preferences of the electorate were disrespected. They should have waited until her term has ended before impeaching her to stop her from being re-elected.

- Ahem, if her term has ended, what is the point of impeachment? And by your logic, if you stop her from running again, you are disrespecting the preferences of the electorate, because the voters may just decide that they still want her.

(SCMP) July 4, 2017.

Radio Television Hong Kong has filed a complaint to the Communications Authority over broadcaster TVBs abrupt pulling of a controversial programme that poked fun at Xi Jinping on Friday, when the president was in town to mark the 20th anniversary of the citys handover to China.

The episode of the current affairs programme Headliner, which was replaced by a re-run of a broadcast on Xi and a programme on feng shui, also made repeated references to the imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was released from jail on medical parole last month after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.

Amen Ng Man-yee, head of RTHKs corporate communications unit, told the Post that RTHK was only notified eight minutes before the programme was supposed to be aired on TVB Jade at 6pm last Friday.

Ng said TVB told RTHK the switch was needed for the broadcast of some breaking news, a reason which she questioned.

Instead of running the RTHK show, TVB Jade broadcast a recording of Xi meeting with various sectors in Hong Kong earlier in the day and then a programme on feng shui.

The 12-minute recording of Xi was not a live broadcast. It had already been aired on the TVB news channel at about 5pm.

TVB ran the pulled episode of Headliner on the less popular J5 channel early on Saturday morning.

Ng said RTHK had not agreed to the change and filed a complaint to TVB and the Communications Authority on Monday.

Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung said he also filed a complaint with the authority to question if TVBs decision was a case of political censorship. Hui also asked the Legislative Council to discuss the incident.

The authority said it had received 133 complaints by 5pm on Tuesday.

TVB did not respond to Post inquiries.

(SCMP) July 5, 2017.

The row in Hong Kong over TVBs abrupt pulling of a controversial RTHK current affairs programme escalated with the television station hitting back and accusing the public service broadcaster of being unprofessional in saying its replacement programme on Chinese President Xi Jinpings visit was unimportant.

Facing about 190 complaints lodged with the watchdog Communications Authority and accusations of political censorship by some pan-democrats, TVB broke its silence with a defiant statement on Wednesday.

It would be ignorant of the facts if Ng [Amen Ng Man-yee, head of RTHKs corporate communications unit] did not consider the presidents speech news or thought it was of less importance than Headliner, TVB said in a statement. It was an inappropriate statement by a professional news practitioner or broadcaster.

TVB said it had broadcast Xis speeches at the earliest possible time to cater for the needs of hundreds of thousands of analogue TV viewers who could not watch the digital iNews channel.

In response to TVBs latest statement, Ng said RTHK would let the public judge who was being unprofessional. Important news does not equal breaking news, she said. The recording of Xi was not unpredictable, not something you must broadcast at once.

TVB went further in its statement to say the requirement to broadcast RTHK programmes was historical and out-of-date as RTHK had started digital terrestrial television broadcasting service in January 2014. The Communication Authority said it had no plans to change the rule.

Internet comments:

- Charter of Radio Television Hong Kong

4. As the public service broadcaster in Hong Kong, RTHK is to fulfill the following purposes --

(a) Sustain citizenship and civil society. This involves --

(i) promoting understanding of our community, our nation and the wrold through accurate and impartial news, information, perspectives and analyses;

(ii) promoting understanding of the concept of "One Country, Two Systems" and its implementation in Hong Kong; and

(iii) engendering a sense of citizenship and national identity through programmes that contribute to the understanding of our community and nation;

...

5. RTHK will provide to Hong Kong people editorially independent, professional and high-quality radio, television and new media services. Specifically, the mission of RTHK is to --

...

(d) provide a platform for the Government and the community to discuss public policies and express views thereon without fear or favour;

(HKG Pao) When the people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region want to celebrate its 20th birthday, they were told by RTHK City Forum that this was a "20-year sham." The people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region fund RTHK with their taxes to the tune of HK$ 1 billion per year. Why do they have to be offended in this manner? Whatever happened to the purposes and missions as written down in the Charter of Radio Television Hong Kong?

According to the Radio Code of Practice on Programme Standards of the Communications Authority,

General Principles

7. In the presentation of radio programmes, the basic principles of ordinary good taste and common sense must always be observed. A licensee should not include in its programmes

...

(b) any material which is likely to encourage hatred against or fear of, and/or considered to be denigrating or insulting to any person(s) or group(s) on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, social status, or physical or mental disability;

If RTHK thinks that One Country Two Systems has been a sham for 20 years, we can see why they can hang the national flag upside down:

(Apple Daily) August 1, 2011.

And since RTHK seem incapable of fulfilling their mission, they should perhaps go into Chapter 11 and re-organize.

- (HKG Pao) TVB and ATV were required to re-transmit RTHK programs as part of their licensing requirements. But that requirement was imposed in a different operating environment. The new developments are:

1) The television industry is heading towards hard times due to the challenge from online media. ATV went out of business last year. But Viu TV and Fantastic TV have entered the market to compete for a shrinking pie. The government should not be taking away TVB's precious prime time programs by edict, while giving the competitors Viu TV and Fantastic TV a free pass.

2) TVB is seeing a huge drop in revenue, while Viu TV and Fantastic TV are far from being profitable. RTHK is the second largest broadcaster in terms of operating budget. There is no reason for the government to create an unfair market.

3) The government cannot attract more investors in the television industry as long as they favor on a government channel that is under no economic pressure. If this continues, Viu TV and Fantastic TV will exit with no newcomers.

- (HKG Pao) July 12, 2017. Here are the Nielsen Television Audience Measurement ratings data for RTHK 31 and RTHK 33. The flagship RTHK 31 has an average rating of 0.14375 during Prime Time (19:00-22:45) compared to 0.275 for RTHK 33. What is being shown on RTHK 33 that outperforms the flagship RTHK 31? Would RTHK 33 is just re-transmitting CCTV (China Central Television)? So well the hell has that $1 billion per year gone?

- (SilentMajorityHK) July 11, 2017.

Comparison of channels:

RTHK: Annual investment $1 billion; employees 722; audience rating (0 to 1.2)
TVB Jade: Annual investment $1.06 billion; employees 4249; audience rating (20 or more)
Viu TV: Annual investment $270 million; employees 300; audience rating (0.4 to 3.85)
Fantastic TV: Annual investment $170 million; employees 500; audience rating (not available yet

Comparison of RTHK programme ratings on different channels:

Hong Kong Connection: 4.5 on TVB Jade, 0.6 on RTHK 31
English Made Easy: 2.7 on TVB Jade, 0.3 on RTHK 31
Once Upon A Dime: 2.9 on TVB Jade, 0.6 on RTHK 31
Legco Review: 2.6 on TVB Jade, 0.4 on RTHK 31
Headliner: 3.6 on TVB Jade, 0.9 on RTHK 31

- The TVB viewers are there by habit. If those RTHK programmes are removed from TVB, they are not going to follow on RTHK 31. They will watch whatever is on TVB Jade, also nicknamed the "Big Station."

- (SilentMajorityHK) Here is the rating performance of RTHK 31 during June 19-23, 2017. Don't forget that ATV went out of business with ratings about the 1% level. Each rating point equals 64,980 viewers.

- (SilentMajorityHK) Of the $1 billion budget for RTHK during fiscal year 2017/2018, $400 million goes to pay for the salaries of the 713 employees. But according to a CAT II employee, they are given self-employment contract with no fringe benefits and even forced to take unpaid time off. There are about 30 CAT II employees, who are responsible for filming, interviewing, writing and editing. The scope of their work is similar to regular employees, but they are classified as self-employed persons with no labor insurance, mandatory provident fund, paid vacations and other rights. Last year, Headliner host Tsang Chi-ho attended an RTHK workers' meeting and was told by RTHK Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing: "You are not an employee" and "This meeting is for employees only." However, RTHK head of corporate communications Amen Ng Man-yee said that popular hosts such Candy Chea Shuk-mui and Timothy Cheng Tse-sing are CAT II employees too, but most people will think that they are RTHK employees. Ng does not think that there is any conflict with CAT II employees reporting news under the role of RTHK reporters.

- What this means is that the government must allocate an extra $100 million to RTHK so that the CAT II employees can be treated like human beings ...

- (HKG Pao) July 4, 2017. With respect to the public outcry against the RTHK City Forum topical theme of "One Country Two Systems is great wisdom or a shame for 20 full years? The Chairman says 'trust the nation', black clothed Bauhinia flower to celebrate the handover?", an RTHK spokesperson Ms. Hui responded that there was not much viewer response or complaints. Besides the statements were inconclusive, so RTHK does not see any problems here. When asked why RTHK only chose negative images and ignore the positive celebrations, Ms. Hui declined to respond.

The contact information for the RTHK which says that it does not get complaints are: ccu@rthk.hk and (852) 3691-2388.

- (HKG Pao) July 10, 2017. The Communications Authority said that it has received 196 complaints against the RTHK City Forum. How many complaints were lodged at RTHK itself? The RTHK spokesperson said that they will only make an assessment at the end of the year. They said that there should not be too many complaints against an individual program, and that is why they won't disclose the information. So this is what transparency means to this government department.

By comparison, the Communications Authority said that it has received 190 complaints against TVB pulling the RTHK program Headliner to make way Xi Jinping's speech. If 196 complaints is "nothing", then 190 must also be "nothing" too. Right?

Please note that the previous episode of Headliner got 18 complaints lodged at the Communications Authority. So 196 is a significant jump.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 8, 2017.

When it comes to RTHK, people often wondered: "Why can a group of employees keep attacking the boss? Is there any way to stop, punish or supervise them?"

As a public organization, RTHK is supervised just like any other government department by the Ombudsman, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Audit Commission. In addition, RTHK is supervised by the Communications Authority. But unlike the privately owned television and radio channels, the Communications Authority cannot suspend their license or even impose fines for transgressions. Instead, the Communications Authority can only deplore or warn any unprofessional/unethical behavior.

So even if RTHK makes trouble, they will continue to be paid and promoted. If you question them, they will invoke freedom of press, freedom of speech and freedom of artistic creation. There are no employees like these anywhere in the world.

"Can't the boss fire them?"

The answer is once again NO. Public service jobs are "iron rice bowls" that can never be broken. RTHK  claims to be doing public broadcasting. They are not a state-owned enterprise which must serve the state. A public broadcasting corporation serves the citizens, not the state. Therefore their boss is not the Hong Kong Special Administrative Government. Their bosses are the 7 million Hong Kong citizens and the RTHK budget is supported by taxes.

Here we have an organization which is completely financed by the government. Most of their employees are public service workers. The top management team is appointed by the government. Their Director of Broadcasting reports to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau. In terms of financing, organization and accountability, they look like a government media outlet. But they are not.

In 2006, a commission to review public service broadcasting recommended that RTHK leave the government and come under an independent board of directors. At the time, the RTHK staff said that this was a government conspiracy to "kill" the station. Eventually, the proposal was shelved. The director in charge of the Commerce Industry and Technology Bureau at the time was Wong Wing-ping.

"Alright, let us suppose that RTHK is a public broadcasting service whose bosses are the people. How do they listen to what their bosses are telling them?"

I checked the files. The last public consultation held by RTHK was in 2012. They haven't faced the public since. The opposition camp loves to talk about public consultation, but RTHK has done nothing in five years. Even phone-in audience members get screened. If you are anti-Yellow Ribbon, they won't take your calls; even if they do, they will hang up on you after a couple of sentences. So how do the citizen bosses express their opinions?

If citizens cannot supervise RTHK, they should break up the relationship. The citizens don't want to pay $1 billion a year to support a service that won't listen to them, and RTHK does not have to listen to their nominal bosses either. Once RTHK become their own bosses, they can do whatever they want. RTHK independence is the only way out, and the only redemption for citizens too.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 7, 2017.

This time, I am all for Hong Kong independence. To be more specific, the "Hong Kong" here refers to Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK).

Citizens don't always understand why their regular TVB programming sometimes contain RTHK segments with different feels and qualities. The reason was that when the government first issued the licenses to the commercial channels, Radio Hong Kong did not have any television channels. So the commercial channels were required to show programs such as <Police Report> during prime time.

In April 2016, ATV lost its broadcasting license. The freed channels were handed over to RTHK, which now has three channels: 31, 32 and 33. Shouldn't they relinquish their slots on TVB? Or are they worried about their own drawing power and want to continue to live off the "Big Channel"?

Rules are fixed but people are flexible. The world has changed, and the rules should be changed to allow RTHK to become independent. If their programmes are as significant and meaningful as they claim, they don't have to rely on a commercial channel which is contaminated by the filthy lucre? If they are independent, they would never have to be worried about censorship by TVB.

Once RTHK becomes independent, they won't have to depend on the treasury for funding. They say that public broadcasting services are different from state-owned enterprises because they serve the people and not the state. Fine, I recommend that RTHK becomes independent and solicit public donations for funding. If they win the hearts and minds of the people, the world will be theirs.

- (SCMP) The TVB, RTHK censorship row is a joke. By Alex Lo. July 8, 2017.

Its been embarrassing to watch TVB and RTHK trading blows all week. News organisations should report news, not become news themselves.

RTHK has complained to the Communications Authority about TVBs abrupt pulling of its political satire show Headliner from its scheduled 6pm time slot on the Jade channel last Friday. Instead, the TV station broadcast news footage of President Xi Jinping during his visit to Hong Kong filmed earlier that day. Some media critics have accused TVB of censorship, because the 20-minute Headliner episode carried sarcastic comments made by its hosts about Xi and there were numerous references made to Nobel Peace Prize winner and dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is suffering from terminal liver cancer.

TVB has countered that Xis visit to Hong Kong and various meetings he had with local people had far more news value than the RTHK show. It has accused senior management at RTHK of lacking professional news sense. But it seems to have shot itself in the foot when it told RTHK that it was going to run breaking news on Xi when the footage was shot earlier that day. Still, Xis speech, in which he called for unity, was arguably important news.

TVB did run the Headliner show the next day, on its less popular J5 channel after midnight, a time slot that pretty much guaranteed few people would watch it. Pan-democrats have been quick to side with TVB critics, who have sometimes equated RTHK to being Hong Kongs BBC. Now that would be a satirical statement worthy of Headliner, considering the wide gulf in quality that separates the two publicly funded broadcasters.

There is a very good reason to pull Headliner altogether, though not for this particular episode. Its mission statement is: We make you laugh. If you dont laugh, we have failed in our job. It is, sadly, rarely funny. In fact, half of the show consists of running current news footage with a Canto-pop song as background music. The rest of the show has one host dressed in drag and the other as a eunuch. They could be funny and biting if they had been comedians, but unfortunately not.

A neutral observer might conclude that RTHK and TVB are both right about each other. There probably was an element of self-censorship. But then, the show allegedly being censored lost its relevance a long time ago.

- (EJ Insight) The fact and fiction of TVB's self-censorship. By Michael Chugani. July 13, 2017.

Hong Kongs media is regularly accused of self-censorship, with opposition politicians, journalists, and media groups such as the Hong Kong Journalists Association often voicing concern. Broadly defined, media censorship means not publishing or broadcasting news, or downplaying anything that a media organization considers sensitive or which conflicts with that organizations political agenda.

In the Hong Kong context, self-censorship is more tightly defined as a media organization ignoring or downplaying news that it feels embarrasses or offends mainland China. This definition is clearly one-sided because it assumes that only media considered as Beijing-friendly self-censor. But it is this definition that the Hong Kong public believes. The fact, of course, is all media organizations, both here and abroad, self-censor in varying degrees.

Fox News in the US, for example, plays up everything that is positive for President Donald Trump and downplays anything that is negative news for him. Huffington Post does the exact opposite. Here in Hong Kong, leftist newspapers such as Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Pao avoid anything that is deemed embarrassing for mainland China but play up everything that puts China in a good light. Jimmy Lai Chee-yings Next Media does the opposite. Self-censorship is, therefore, a two-way street.

TVB, whose shareholder make-up includes people with mainland connections, is regularly accused of self-censorship to please Beijing. Before I continue, I must declare an interest. I am a freelancer for TVB where I host an English-language show and co-host a Chinese-language show. But the motive of this column is not to support TVB or to mock the critics of TVB. It is to use facts to put the record straight on an issue involving TVB that dominated the headlines last week.

Government licensing rules require TVB but not other free-to-air TV stations such as ViuTV to broadcast certain programs produced by the government-owned RTHK. One of these programs is the Chinese-language Headliner, which brands itself as satire. It is broadcast on TVBs Jade channel.

On June 30, during President Xi Jinpings visit, TVB decided to preempt Headliner with footage of one of Xis speeches. The footage was broadcast on TVBs 24-hour digital news channel iNews about an hour or so earlier once it became available. But TVB considered footage of Xis speech important enough to also broadcast it on the more-widely watched Jade channel, particularly because tens of thousands of homes with only analog TV have no access to iNews.

TVB had to find a natural break on Jade, which is not a 24-hour news channel and therefore cannot suddenly break into a news item, to air the Xi footage. That natural break came just before 6 pm. By the time the Xi footage ended, it was after 6pm, not enough time to air Headliner before Jades highly popular 6.30 evening news. TVB informed RTHK about eight minutes beforehand that it could not air Headliner and said it would do so later in the evening on another channel.

TVB was immediately accused of self-censorship because that episode of Headliner poked fun at Xi and made repeated references of imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. Here is a fact that needs to be made clear. TVB did not even know beforehand the contents of the Headliner in question. The head of RTHK, Leung Ka-wing, confirmed this to me in black and white, adding TVB is never told in advance the contents of Headliner.

Is it fair to accuse TVB of self-censorship when it did not even know the content of what it is accused of censoring? I think fair-minded people know the answer to that. Democratic Party legislator Ted Hui Chi-fung and the Hong Kong Journalists Association, among others, accused TVB of political censorship. I can understand Hui making unsubstantiated accusations because it serves his political interests to attack TVB, which the opposition camp maligns as under Beijings influence.

But the Journalists Association is supposed to represent journalists and accuracy is the professions cardinal rule. Was it that difficult to make a simple phone call to Leung to confirm if TVB knew the contents of Headliner before rushing to issue a damning statement suggesting TVB did not want to embarrass Xi? If the Journalists Association cannot even get its facts straight on such a simple matter, how can we trust it when it accuses the Hong Kong media of self-censorship?

RTHK spokesperson Amen Ng Man-yee questioned TVBs news judgment in preempting Headliner with news footage of Xis speech. With all due respect, what right has she got to decide for a commercial TV station that a government-produced satire is more important than news about the president of China visiting Hong Kong? Surely, such editorial judgments should be made totally by TVB, which is accountable to its shareholders and viewers, and not by RTHKs Ng, who is a civil servant.

I have never watched Headliner but watched that June 30 episode so I could write this column fairly. I couldnt watch past ten minutes because it was so childishly juvenile. If RTHKs producers think Headliner is satire, it needs to learn the real meaning of the word or perhaps watch Saturday Night Live to understand how comedic satire is done.

The fact is this nonsense, which borders on propaganda for the opposition camp, is produced with taxpayers money. Charles Mok, who represents the IT sector in the Legislative Council, slammed TVB for saying it is time RTHK airs Headliner on its own channels. RTHK now has five free-to-air channels that reach most of Hong Kong homes three digital and two analog.

As a legislator, Mok has a duty to care about how public money is spent. Shouldnt he be demanding to know why RTHK is still sticking to an outdated rule that TVB must air its shows when RTHK now has five channels, all paid for by the public? Mok, an opposition legislator, insists RTHK relying on TVB to air its shows and TVB preempting Headliner are two separate issues.

No, they are not. The facts already show TVB did not know beforehand the contents of Headliner, so self-censorship was not involved. If RTHK does not want its shows to be preempted by important news events, then it should rely on its own channels. So the two issues are not separate, as Mok claims.

If Amen Ng believes the Headliner shows are such riveting TV satire that they should never be preempted, why piggyback on TVBs highly-popular Jade channel. Surely, the best way to test if Headliner is great TV or trash is to show it on RTHKs own channel and see what ratings it attracts instead of relying on Jades popularity to win audience share.

(The Guardian) July 7, 2017.

Chinas first aircraft carrier emerged from the mist in the waters south of Hong Kong on Friday morning as a four-warship flotilla gave a potent demonstration of Beijings might. The carrier, christened the Liaoning after the north-eastern Chinese province, sailed past half a dozen hulking container ships as it entered Hong Kong waters at about 7.30am.

The ships maiden visit to Hong Kong came less than a week after the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, toured the city, warning the former British colony must not become a launchpad for challenges to Beijings authority. Amid calls for greater autonomy and even outright independence from some Hong Kongers, many saw the naval convoy as underlining Xis hardline message.

The Liaonings visit is an escalation of Beijings efforts to squeeze Hong Kong and is meant to show that the military has a role in safeguarding the Chinese governments interests, said Willy Lam, a politics professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The unsubtle message is that if there is any mass protests or things get out of hand, Beijing will not hesitate to call upon soldiers to quell any perceived rebellion against the Communist party. UK and US officials have expressed concern over receding freedoms in the city and the creeping influence of the Chinese officials in the local government. The show of military might served to remind the west that Beijing is in control and will use whatever means to crush efforts to undermine Chinas sovereignty, Lam said.

Xi also put on a display of martial might during his visit, presiding over the largest military parade since the UK handed the city back to China in 1997. The parade and aircraft carrier visit is highly significant and the Chinese garrison in the city typically keeps a low profile, rarely seen on the streets in uniform.

The Liaoning was escorted by two guided-missile destroyers, a guided-missile frigate and two corvettes from Hong Kongs naval garrison, along with 20 police launches and dozens of government marine vessels clearing a path. Fishermen paused their work to snap pictures using their mobile phones as the flotilla passed. Enthusiasts gathered on Hong Kongs southern hills, highways and apartment balconies to capture the dramatic entrance. About a dozen enthusiastic ship captains prominently displayed Chinese flags as they approached for a closer look.

But Chinas first aircraft carrier is not entirely its own. The hull was built nearly 30 years ago for the Soviet navy, but the ship was never completed. The ships journey from a Ukrainian shipyard to the Chinese navy was hardly routine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, construction was halted in 1992 and the carrier was put up for sale. It then took six years before a Chinese businessman purchased it for $20m, saying he planned to tow it to Macau and open a floating hotel and casino. But the purchase and story were a cover, with the ship eventually delivered to the Chinese navy in 2002. The military spent the next decade refitting and upgrading the ship, and it was declared combat ready in November. China launched its first domestically built carrier in April, but it will not be operational until 2020.

The defence ministry contradicted itself over the purpose of the flotillas visit, first saying it was part of a routine training mission, and later announcing it was organised to mark 20 years since the Peoples Liberation Army entered the city at the end of British rule.

Hundreds of eager Hong Kongers camped out overnight, braving sporadic rain and temperatures hovering around 30C (86F) to snag one of only 2,000 tickets to visit the carrier. But tours will be tightly controlled, with no cameras allowed on board and only permanent residents of the city given tickets.

(HKG Pao) July 7, 2017.

Apple Daily reported on the red color on the waterline of the Liaoning: "China's first aircraft carrier is visiting Hong Kong today. But many details showed that the People's Liberation Army has not taken care of the detailed. According to a Macau military expert, the photos of the aircraft carrier entering Hong Kong showed that some of the anti-rust paint under the waterline has peeled off and rusted. This is fairly obvious. International Military Studies Association president Wong Tung said that this detail showed that the maintenance on this aircraft carrier is 'somewhat shoddy'." Wong said: "The details determine success/failure."

According to Taiwan Taiwan Keel Boat Association member George Shy, the red line is smooth and even, which is clearly design to get rid of barnacles. "It would be a disaster if the paint does not peel off, because the barnacles will stick to the bottom of the ship, causing it to lose speed as well as blocking pipes to pump water in and out."

As one netizen noted, prejudiced people see negativity in everything but they will only become laughing stock in the end.

- Eh, Apple Daily quietly did what they always do -- the page about the rust on the Liaoning is inaccessible (Error 404) without explanation.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 8, 2017.

The Hong Kong government says it cannot regulate the emission of black smoke from Chinas Liaoning aircraft carrier, despite public concerns over air pollution.

The 305 metre-long Liaoning arrived in Hong Kong early Friday in a display of military might only days after a high-profile visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Concerns were raised after news outlets captured images of the carrier emitting black smoke.

The secondhand Soviet ship was built nearly 30 years ago and commissioned in 2012. Local media reported that the Liaoning uses heavy fuel oil, rather than nuclear power like carriers in other countries.

Albert Lai, engineer and convener of think tank The Professional Commons, said early-model carriers such as the Liaoning typically use heavy fuel oil, which causes high soot emissions. He said heavy fuel oil is a popular fuel among oceangoing vessels owing to its low price. He said the Liaonings five-day visit to Hong Kong will emit the same level of pollutants as 500,000 cars. The number is based on his estimation that a ship of a similar size typically produces the same level of pollutants in a year as 50 million cars.

Currently, the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation requires all marine vessels use fuel with low sulphur at berth. However, the regulation does not cover military vessels.

The Environmental Protection Department told HKFP: When we formulated the Regulation, we referenced the international practice that exempts warships or other vessels on military service. The fuel used by the Liaoning at berth in Hong Kong is exempted from the Regulation.

Internet comments:

- (HKG Pao) You can always count on the Youngspiration pair of ex-legislators elect Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching to chime in. Leung posted on Facebook: "Never mind about what ordinary citizens have to say about imperialism blah blah blah ... how can you expect this third-hand, diesel-oil-guzzling and retired cruise ship to bully other people?"

- The pro-Hong Kong independence warriors like to talk about clashes, resistance and even violent force. But there is every reason to believe that this retired cruise ship will be able to manhandle these Hong Kong warriors.

- Yes, it takes a retired legislator-elect to make fun of a retired cruise ship.

- So far China has one and only one third-hand aircraft carrier Liaoning. Obviously they are far behind the United States. Looking at Aircraft Carriers by Country, the United Kingdom has:

HMS Glorious
HMS Courageous
HMS Eagle
HMS Hermes
HMS Ark Royal
HMS Argus
HMS Furious
HMS Vindictive
HMS Unicorn
HMS Illustrious
HMS Formidable
HMS Victorious
HMS Indomitable
HMS Implacable
HMS Indefatgable
HMS Colossus
HMS Glory
HMS Ocean
HMS Theseus
HMS Trimpuh
HMS Venerable
HMS Vengeance
HMS Warrior
HMS Perseus
HMS Pioneer
HMS Majestic
HMS Hercules
HMS Magnificent
HMS Powerful
HMS Terrible
HMS Centaur
HMS Albion
HMS BUlwark
HMS Invincible
HMS Illustrious

Isn't this astonishing? China has no chance against the United Kingdom, just as the Qing Dynasty navy had no chance against the British gunboats.

- Ahem, you have posted a list of sunk, retired, scrapped or sold United Kingdom aircraft carriers. The Royal Navy has no aircraft carrier in service at this time. HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2017 with "operational military capability" for 2020. HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020. Of course, this may never happen if the United Kingdom goes bankrupt first.

- By the way, Liaoning is scorned for the black smoke it emits from its diesel engines. What will HMS Queen Elizabeth run on? Two Rolls-Royce 36MW MT30 gas turbine alternators and four 10 MW diesel engines. Good luck!

- How awful is the smoke from the aircraft carrier!?


[Footnote in very small letters: The aircraft carrier in this photo is the Russian ship Admiral Kuznetsov.]

- (The Stand) July 7, 2017. According to data from the Environmental Protection Department, the level of sulfur dioxide at the Number 8 pier in Kwai Chung was 10.9 to 15.8 microgrames per square meter. This is more than double the 5.8 to 6.0 found yesterday morning.

- According to the data from the Environmental Protection Department, the level of sulfur dioxide had risen to 10.0 at 7am in Kwai Chung. At the time, the Liaoning was still in the vicinity of the Po Toi Islands to the southeast of Hong Kong Island. How can its smoke emissions pollute Kwai Chung north of Hong Kong Island but not in Stanley (Hong Kong Island)? Are you ignorant or malicious?

- And where the fuck were you when the USS Kitty Hawk visited Hong Kong?

Internet comments:

- (SilentMajorityHK) July 5, 2017.

In May last year, US President Barack Obama visited Vietnam. The Hong Kong opposition gloated at the sight of Obama sitting Vietnamese beef noodles with citizens in a small restaurant, as compared to the heavy security when Chinese state leaders come to Hong Kong. However, clever people pointed out that the photo showed that the other diners in the restaurant paid no attention to the presence of the President of the United States in their midst. They don't gawk at him and they don't try to communicate with him. Instead, they concentrated on eating their rice noodles.

What would you do if the President of the United States were sitting at the next table in a restaurant? Would you look at him? Would you take some photos of him? Or even approach him to request a selfie?

In the movie <Infernal Affairs>, there is a famous saying: "When someone is completely focused on his work but occasionally glance at you, he is a cop."

In July 1998, US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary visited Hong Kong. Many roads were blocked as well. The Clinton dined at the Maxime Restaurant in City Hall. All the other diners were plainclothes policemen. I know because one of my police friends was one of the actors who performed that day.

But 31 years ago when the Queen of England visited Hong Kong, there were no barriers and security cordon. Why? Because they locked up all the potential protestors during the visit. Pro-UK unification advocates probably don't even know about those dark days.

When a state leader visits some place, roads will be blocked/diverted, normal routines will be disrupted and attendees will be screened. There are no exceptions. When you complain now, you are showing your ignorance. Besides, if you were in the Occupy movement, how dare you complain about disrupting people's lives? Three years ago, you blocked the road for 79 days. The people of Hong Kong put up with you. How dare you complain that Chairman Xi is inconveniencing people going to work? Your double standards are a sight to behold.

- Here are the side shows:

(Oriental Daily) June 29, 2017.

On the eve of Xi Jinping's visit, the Hong Kong self-determination party Demosisto and two radical political parties (League of Social Democrats and People Power) took action. On June 27, Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong and a dozen or so party members joined League of Social Democrats and People Power members early in morning to warp the Bauhinia statue in black cloth.

On June 28 at around 5pm, another twenty plus persons sat down underneath the Bauhinia statue while raising black banners. These included Demosisto's Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Agnes Chow and Derek Lam, plus League of Social Democrats' LEung Kwok-hung. They demanded the withdrawal of the August 31st resolution of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and universal suffrage. Some of them chained themselves together with iron chains.

The police cleared the site beginning at 730pm. They removed legislators Leung Kwok-hung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung. A total of 26 persons were arrested.

26 protestors were arrested in Hong Kong. This story is so significant that it was reported on the front page of The Wall Street Journal:

(Oriental Daily) June 30, 2017.

As of tonight, 9 of the 26 arrestees are out on bail while 17 others (including Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Leung Kwok-hung) are still waiting to be processed. According to lawyers, some of the arrestees had not been processed after waiting for more than 10 hours. They accused the police of 'filibustering' in order to prevent the arrestees to start another round of protest action as soon as they are released.

About 20 people (including "Captain America" Andy Yung) showed up outside the North Point Police Station to show support for the arrestees. They said that they will not leave until the police release the arrestees.

According to League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng's Facebook at 6pm, he is still under detention.

According to information from Leung Kwok-hung to his lawyer at 1am, he had to wait four hours before he could eat the dinner that he requested. Later that night, the League of Social Democrats and Demosisto arrestees decided to apply for haebus corpus.

- (HKG Pao) July 1, 2017.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, the League of Social Democrats brought out their regular coffin. When they started from their headquarters in Cheung Sha Wan, they encountered citizens who destroyed their coffin. Not to fear, because they have a backup coffin ready to go. When they reached Wanchai, the coffin was desroyed by other citizens.

- Hey, it is wrong to express your political opinion by violent means. As much as I approve of patriotism, I must decline to condone what the anonymous citizens did.

- What is going to happen to the League of Social Democrats now? They have lost their main coffin and their backup coffin as well.

- (SCMP) If you can't toe the red line, Hong Kong is not the place to be. By Michael Chugani. July 5, 2017.

What does the red line of President Xi Jinping really mean? It means Hong Kong is being inexorably drawn into the mainland. You can fear this as being sucked into a black hole, or you can extol it as a merging with the worlds second largest economy. Whichever way you see it, you cant stop it. The mainland magnet is already in place.

If you have no problem with Hong Kong being harnessed ever tighter to an economic superpower ruled by a communist regime, then stay and reap the benefits Chinas growing clout offers. If you are spooked by Hong Kong morphing into something that resembles a mainland city, then consider other pastures.

If youre among those who think two systems was intended as a counterweight to one country, you need to digest more thoroughly Xis likening of one country as a tree that can only defend sovereignty if it has deep roots. Take that to mean two systems is an offshoot, not a bulwark against Beijing.

Those clinging to the belief democracy as defined by the opposition is still doable, Xis red line signals its time you stopped deluding yourself. He minced no words in warning that anyone who tries to undermine Chinas security, uses Hong Kong to sabotage the country or challenges Beijings power crosses a red line.

That in effect means you can kiss so-called true democracy goodbye. Why do you think even the mass Occupy protest didnt sway Beijing from insisting it vets chief executive candidates? Beijing will never shed its suspicion that a freely elected chief executive could challenge central government power or let Hong Kong be a base to undermine the country, the very actions that cross the red line.

Beijing will allow one person, one vote to elect the chief executive, as stated in the Basic Law, but it will be democracy with Chinese characteristics. Start getting used to it. Those who cant accept this reality warn we must never allow Hong Kong to become just another Chinese city.

But Hong Kong is already becoming just another Chinese city in every way other than our financial, legal and political systems. Putonghua has almost drowned out Cantonese. Isnt that all you heard during Xis three-day visit? Mainland tycoons are snapping up land, prime offices and residential property.

My new landlord is a mainlander. Now, if that alone isnt indicative of what lies ahead, I dont know what is.

(SCMP) July 1, 2017.

The July 1 anti-government march on Saturday saw its size shrink by almost half to a two-year low of about 60,000, with organisers blaming the low turnout on perceived aggressive tactics by police towards protesters in recent years and heavy rain. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong public opinion programme said about 27,000 to 35,000 people took part.

The Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group of some 50 pro-democracy organisations, conceded the turnout was low, but its convenor, Au Nok-hin, maintained it was still a good show.

In recent years, police have taken a more hostile attitude towards protesters and used pepper spray more often than in the past. We should actually praise those who turned up this year for their courage, Au said.

The march started some two hours after President Xi Jinping left the city after concluding his three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kongs return to Chinese rule. It kicked off in high spirits as people braved the sweltering heat to protest against what they called Beijings encroachment on the citys autonomy.

Loud chanting filled the air as politicians and protesters, old and young alike, poured out of Victoria Park into cordoned-off streets lined by police officers. They ended at the Tamar government headquarters complex about 21 /2 kilometres away. But the weather turned bad later in the afternoon, forcing the organiser to drop a planned public rally outside the headquarters. Rain-soaked marchers dispersed quickly after arriving at the end point.

The front set the key theme for the march as Reclaim Hong Kong, Democratic Self-determination, saying Hong Kong people, not Beijing, should have the final say over local affairs. Some protesters also called for universal suffrage and the release of Liu Xiaobo. The dissident, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work promoting political reform in China, was granted parole recently to be treated for late-stage liver cancer.

Among those leading the march was Lam Wing-kee, one of the five at the centre of the missing bookseller saga that came to light in late 2015. Lam said the citys autonomy had worsened since the handover. Activists from a pro-British group, the Hong Kong-United Kingdom Reunification Campaign, accused Beijing of breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration and urged London to take the city back.

Saturdays march was noisy but largely peaceful. However, some protesters traded jeers and verbal abuse with pro-Beijing activists who were staging celebratory events along the route. Police quickly stepped in and separated them.

Internet comments:

- The Civil Human Rights Front claimed 60,000+ marchers. The police said 14,500 was the crowd size at its peak. Which is closer to the truth? The Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme estimated 27,000 to 35,000, but their reputation is tainted by close relationship to the pro-democracy movement. The independent estimates come of 16,000 from the team of Professor Paul Yip Siu-fai of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Hong Kong University. That number is consistent with the police estimates of 14,500 after accounting for people who joined late or left early.

- There is Chinese saying about the conditions for victory: "天時地利人和" (the weather, the terrain and the people). It rained on the afternoon of July 1st, so the Civil Human Rights Front had the weather against them. The main soccer fields in the Victoria Park were taken over by a science/technology exposition, so the Civic Human Rights Front lost what they considered to be their home field. Finally, the themes of the march did not resonate with the people.

- (HKG Pao) The Civil Human Rights Front reported 60,000 marchers compared to the police estimate of 14,500 at the peak. Before the march, the Civil Human Rights Front tried to pump up the passions by saying how bad CY Leung's government has been; how the police are suppressing with the march; how Beijing is suppressing freedom; how Liu Xiaobo is being treated inhumanely; etc. But this is where it got them. By comparison, 260,000 persons watched the fireworks show in Victoria Harbour later that night. Such is public opinion.

- Higher numbers for the July 1st march means wider social rifts. But the pan-democrats regard the number as a barometer of public support for them, and therefore they do everything possible to encourage people to come. So this is a group of people who wants Hong Kong to suffer maximally because they think that this will translate into election votes for them. Do you think such people really love Hong Kong?

- The real number is not the number of marchers, but the amount of donations raised.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 3, 2017.

Hongkongers have raised HK$540,000 for activists facing prosecution for taking part in the 2014 Occupy movement during this years July 1 democracy march. The Justice Defence Fund attracted the largest amount of donations among all groups who participated in the march. It was originally set up to raise money for the legal fees of lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu, who are facing a government judicial review to disqualify them from their seats. But last month, the Fund announced it had raised enough for the four legislators and would use any additional funds to support Occupy activists facing prosecution. The Democratic Party and the Labour Party also pledged to donate all the money they raised on Saturday minus expenses to the fund, reported Apple Daily.

Yet most pro-democracy parties saw a decline in donations compared to last years march. The turnout this year was also much smaller 60,000 people compared with 110,000 in 2016. The Civic Party saw the largest drop in donations, raising only HK$260,000 compared to last years HK$441,000.

One exception was the League of Social Democrats, which was heavily involved in protests as Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong this week. On the morning of July 1, members Avery Ng and Figo Chan claimed they were assaulted by officers after being taken into a police van. They were attempting to stage a protest near the inauguration ceremony of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The League of Social Democrats raised HK$88,000 more this year than in did in 2016.

- (HKG Pao) League of Social Democrats legislator Leung "Long Hair" Kwok-hung screamed through a megaphone: "I am 'Long Hair.' I want money. I need money." Why? According to party chairman Avery Ng, the party needs to pay legal fees. "If you don't want Long Hair to go to jail, you must donate money."  He added: "Even the judicial reviews filed by the League of Social Democrats are meant to serve the people."

- (HKG Pao) July 3, 2017. Before the event, the Youngspiration duo Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching were interviewed about their plans for July 1st. Leung said: "The actual plan is being considered. That is all I can say." He added: "I cannot tell you" because "it is over as soon as I say it." He said that he wants to send a message to either Hong Kong and/or Xi Jinping. Meanwhile Yau Wai-ching only said: "I'll keep it secret."

So what earth-shaking action will they take? I checked the news carefully and all I found was that the two were present at the march, not to march but to observe how other parties were raising money.

They talk big but they do little. That has been their modus operandi for so long.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 22, 2017.

Thousands have signed an online petition opposing the rumoured appointment of staunchly pro-Beijing teacher Choi Yuk-lin as Hong Kongs next undersecretary for education.

Choi is a vice-chairperson of pro-Beijing industry group Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers (HKFEW), and is the headmaster of the Siu Sai Wan campus of Fukien Secondary School, which was a pro-Communist Party institution during the colonial period. She ran and lost against pro-democracy candidate Ip Kin-yuen for the education sector seat in last Septembers Legislative Council elections.

But on Wednesday, the pro-Beijing Sing Tao Daily carried a report claiming that she would be appointed as undersecretary for education, serving under incoming education chief Kevin Yeung Yun-hung. The report caused alarm among pro-democracy educators, who set up an online petition against her rumoured appointment, citing her support for the governments controversial national education initiative.

In 2012, the HKFEWs National Education Services Centre published the shocking China Model curriculum, which brainwashes children in the name of national education, the petition read. If the vice-chairperson of a red association controls the development of Hong Kongs education policy, the public will completely lose trust in the governments policy. Choi lost in the 2016 Legislative Council education sector elections with less than 30 per cent of the vote, it added. This shows her abilities and political opinions are not supported by the majority of the education sector.

On Wednesday, incumbent legislator Ip said that if Choi were to be appointed into government, it would be a slap on the face of voters.

As of 9am on Thursday, over 3,400 had signed the petition including 1,200 in the education sector and 2,200 members of the public.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 25, 2017.

Advocacy groups have said they will organise street stands opposing the potential appointment of a pro-Beijing school principal as the number two official of the Education Bureau.

Choi Yuk-lin, of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers (HKFEW), is rumoured to be a candidate for the position of undersecretary for education. Choi is the principal of the Fukien Secondary School (Siu Sai Wan).

But education advocacy groups have expressed concerns that if Choi is appointed, she may push for more widespread use of Mandarin, and a return of the ill-fated national education curriculum. The controversial curriculum failed to be established as a stand-alone subject in 2012 after mass protests.

Appointments of undersecretaries are expected to be announced by early August. The advocacy groups will launch street stands on the Wan Chai MTR station footbridge on Tuesday and visit the office of the HKFEW on Wednesday to request a direct conversation with Choi.

Choi was a senior curriculum development officer of the Bureau between 2006 and 2013.

According to the group Societas Linguistica hongkongensis, which supports the use of Cantonese as teaching medium, more than 70 per cent of primary schools have classes that use Mandarin as a teaching medium.

Chan Lok-hang, convener of the group, said Choi could be a major driving force for using Mandarin to teach the subject of Chinese. He said the projects and resources provided by the bureau during her tenure, such as Language Support Services for Primary Schools, all contain more Mandarin elements.

Chan added that after Choi left the bureau, phrases about teaching Chinese in Mandarin disappeared from documents, indirectly showing that she could be responsible.

Chan also said an article on the bureaus website in January 2014 said Cantonese is a Chinese dialect which is not the official language, when Choi was responsible for the Chinese portion of the Bureaus Language Learning Support Section.

Choi very much despises Cantonese, he said. The article created a public relations disaster for the bureau, and the bureaus officials had to tackle the issues created by her. I believe the bureau will not welcome her return as the undersecretary.

Demosisto party secretary-general Joshua Wong said the HKFEW was the organisation behind the national education curriculum in 2012.

The government provided over HK$10 million in funds to the HKFEW to set up the National Education Services Centre, which published a controversial teaching material handbook named The China Model, one of the items that sparked concerns over national education curriculum and the mass protests that came after. The handbook described the Chinese Communist Party as a progressive, selfless and united ruling group.

Wong said the funding procedures of the bureau were often a black box process and the HKFEW often benefitted from it.

If Choi is appointed will it make the black box process even worse? We are very concerned, he said. We are very worried that the national education curriculum, which failed five years ago, will be installed in different subjects.

He also said that Choi often used very biased words against students: She said students who joined the Umbrella Movement formed a democractic hegemony through a rushed and selfish political struggle I believe Education Bureau officials or even Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung had never used such biased words.

Prince Wong of student concern group The Edu Lab said she was concerned about potential white terror the banning of political discussions in schools if Choi is appointed.

It is a double standard that Choi wore [patriotic] red scarfs when attending flag raising ceremonies, but she would not allow students to discuss politics, she said.

Choi lost the education sector seat during the 2016 Legislative Council election to incumbent pro-democracy lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen.

Choi has neither confirmed or denied her potential appointment.

Internet comments:

- (YouTube) The signature campaign!

0:06 -- Name? Andy Lau. Profession? Singer? I oppose Choi Yuk-kin for undersecretary for education. We have received your response.

0:16 -- Name? Chan Ho-nam (note: the main character in the Teddy Boys movie series and played by actor Elkin Cheng). Profession? Triad gang member. I oppose Choi Yuk-kin for undersecretary for education. We have received your response.

0:24 -- Name? Alipay (note: the Alibaba pay system in China).

0:31 -- Name? Letitia Lee (note: famous pro-establishment activist). Profession: Education

0:34 -- Name? Poon Fung (note: minor character in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Profession: General.

0:45 -- Name? Choi Yuk-lin. Profession: Undersecretary.

0:51 -- Name? How-can-you-produce-such-a-list? Profession: Who-is-going-to-believe-this? I oppose Choi Yuk-kin for undersecretary for education. We have received your response.

- (Apple Daily) By Eva Chan, senior lecturer, School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Everybody thinks that any human being would be better as the Secretary of Education than the incumbent. But even as we want to set off firecrackers to celebrate the send-off of Secretary of Education Eddie Ng, the news is that Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers vice-chairperson Choi Yuk-lin is going to become the next undersecretary for education. If so, then her destructive is going to orders of magnitude greater than the mediocre and incompetent Mr. Ng who is hogging that post without ever doing anything. Carrie Lam said that her cabinet contains no surprises or shocks, but it seems that the best is yet to come.

Carrie Lam won the Chief Executive despite her low popularity. We only know that she owes a lot to Sai Wan (=China Liaison Office). We should be prepared that Sai Wan will want Lam to appoint people who are preferred by Beijing to her team. We are psychologically prepared to see pro-establishment characters in the cabinet.

But when the news of Choi Yuk-lin's appointment came out, almost 2,000 school principals, trustees and teachers signed a petition of opposition, including the school principle who are friendly to the Education Department and supportive of BCA. This showed that many people are upset.

What kind of organization is the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers? Five years ago, the government proposed that national education be instituted as an independent subject. The National Education Service Centre of Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers produced a "Special handbook the China model" to praise the Chinese Communists as "progressive, selfless and unifying ruling party" whereas the United States is racked by "political infighting and mass suffering." Thus began the anti-National Education campaign.

At the time, Carrie Lam had just been appointed as Chief Secretary. She could not have forgotten the opposition to National Education. Right now Carrie Lam is talking about national education beginning in kindergarten. My understanding is that she meant to teach kindergarten children that we are Chinese people, the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. But if the highly controversial Principal Choi is appointed as undersecretary for education, that will cause "strong" anxiety.

There are enough controversies in the education sector already. I ask Carrie Lam to reconsider and not create a unnecessary storm.

- Ip Kin-yuen said that Choi Yuk-lin lost to him in the legislative council elections in the education sector by 45,984 (71.7%) to 18,158 (28.3%). Ip said that this shows that Choi is highly unpopular. This is out of 88,964 registered election.

Let us accept that as true.

As of 9am on Thursday, over 3,400 had signed the petition including 1,200 in the education sector and 2,200 members of the public.

Let us accept that these are authentic signatures from real persons.

By my count, 2.4% of the education sector and and 0.03% of the public oppose Choi Yuk-lin's appointment.

That only proves that Choi has no meaningful opposition in Hong Kong, either inside or outside of the education sector.

- (HKG Pao) June 27, 2017.

Eva Chan said that, five years ago, the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers praised the Chinese Communists as "progressive, selfless and unifying ruling party" whereas the United States is racked by "political infighting and mass suffering."

I thank Eva Chan for bringing this back up. Five years ago, she thought that this was deplorable. But today, you cannot get around the fact that all that turned out to be true.

Five years later today, the poverty-reduction campaign has now moved on to the special hardship cases; One Belt One Road has converted cynics into believers through the construction of infrastructure in many countries; the anti-corruption campaign is no show, and it even has an educational television drama <The Name of the People>. Over these five  years, the "progressive, selfless and unifying ruling party" has produced an impressive report card.

Meanwhile in the United States, the presidential election showed us what "political infighting and mass suffering" are. In the primary elections, Hillary Clinton was smeared and damaged by party rivals, so that even members of the Democratic Party felt that the Republican Party would be a better choice. In the presidential election, the shamelessness and ignorance in the debates were appalling. And now more than 20 million people will be losing their healthcare insurance when Trumpcare replaces Obamacare.

- (HKG Pao) July 13, 2017.

On one side, HKG Pao posted <James To threaten not to hire Choi Yuk-lin? Click LIKE to support Carrie Lam to stand firm> on July 8. On the other side, Apple Daily posted <Carrie Lam thinks that there are too few people? More than 10,000 people sign to oppose the leftist school principal joining the Education Department>. So far, the HKG Pao has garnered 10,826 LIKE's versus Apple Daily's 1,555.

Apple Daily has 2.11 million LIKE's for their Facebook, compared to only  87,000 for HKG Pao. So isn't it clear what the public thinks on this issue?

- (SCMP) Red scare campaign by the pan-dems a low blow. By Alex Lo. July 12, 2017.

The new bureau secretaries may be lacklustre and uninspiring, but at least their appointments have avoided controversies. Oddly, the hiring of their deputies has proved far trickier, as the opposition has started to pick fights. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngors political honeymoon may already be over.

Pan-democrats have gone after veteran educator Christine Choi Yuk-lin for her ties to pro-China education NGOs after reports she is being considered for a senior post at the Education Bureau. Now they have expanded their red scare campaign to target Simon Lee Hoey, a rising star among the local political elite.

The knives are out as rumours circulate that Lee is being considered for the post of deputy home affairs secretary. He is currently deputy executive director of Our Hong Kong Foundation, the think tank that was the brainchild of former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.

Pan-democrats such as Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting have accused Lee of being a leftist based on his publications and work experience. Lee does write a lot because he is, well, a scholar. He has a PhD in law from Tsinghua University, and is a specialist in constitutional and international law. He also has advanced degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of London, and is an adviser at Harvard Law School and a visiting fellow at the University of Hong Kongs law school.

His recent publications, which some find questionable, have defended the current chief executive election method, the governments failed electoral reform package in 2015 and Deng Xiaopings conception of the one country two systems governing principle for Hong Kong. His views may be disagreeable to pan-democrats, but they are fairly mainstream.

Lam, the legislator, questions if he is not a closet member of the Chinese Communist Party because he had worked as an assistant to a county magistrate in Guizhou.

Is Lee red? Who knows? The political backgrounds of Tsang Tak-sing, the former home affairs secretary, and his brother Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, the former Legislative Council president, were redder than red. One turned out to be a competent official and the other is one of the few public figures respected by people on both sides of the political fence. Ex-chief executive Leung Chun-ying has been accused of being a Communist Party member.

Lee may or may not make a good political appointee. But are we disqualifying him just because of his published views? Maybe the pan-dems are right Hong Kong isnt free anymore.

- (SilentMajorityHK) By Chris Wat Wing-yin. July 11, 2017.

What is the first thing that you look at when you hire? The face? The body? The manner of speech? The attitude? ... None of the above. You look at the resum!

So here is the perfect resum: Male, born in Hong Kong, Baptist University Bachelor of Arts, Hong Kong University Bachelor of Laws, Chinese University of Hong Kong Master in Government and Public Administration, University of London School of Oriental and Asian Studies Master in Politics and International Studies, Tsinghua University Doctorate in Law. In 2008, he received a special scholarship at Tsinghua University to concentrate on studying the Hong Kong Basic Law. He served four years as the assistant to the country chief in Xifeng county, Guizhou province, China. He returned to Hong Kong and was hired as the Chief Executive of Strategic Management the China Resources Group. He is now serving as the Vice-president of the Our Hong Kong Foundation.

The man is Simon Lee Hoey. His resum is impeccable. His government experience in China is exceptional because very few Hongkongers can say that they have done it.

But when the word came out that Simon Lee Hoey is being considered as an undersecretary in the Carrie Lam administration, Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting became hopping mad and said: "There is nothing distinguished about Simon Lee Hoey. He is incapable to handling the job."

I began to wonder what is so exceptional about Lam Cheuk-ting himself. His resum is brief: Bachelor degree in Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Democratic Party research director and chief executive; Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation director. He had so little to say for himself that he even included his height (6'4") on his resum. If that is Lam's sole exceptional quality to become legislator, then surely Simon Lee Hoey is more than qualified to become an undersecretary.

- (Oriental Daily) July 25, 2017.

Former Scholarism spokesperson and current TheEduLab media contact person Prince Wong held a press conference in which she denounced Choi Yuk-lin for turning Hong Kong schools to 'red' within Liberal Studies. According to Wong, Choi will suppress political voices in schools if she is appointed to as undersecretary for education.

Actually, nobody paid any attention to what Prince Wong was saying. Instead, everybody wondered why she wore that low-cut red dress to the press conference. Is Wong saying that she has already been brainwashed?

Prince Wong promised that she will set up street booths to explain why Choi Yuk-lin must be opposed. She promised that she will go to the Federation of Education Workers to confront Choi Yuk-lin in person. Yes, but the public wants to know whether she will be wearing red that day?

- Joshua Wong threatened that they will take further action if the government makes the appointment:

"Further action?" People are having a good time on the Internet with their speculations.

Firstly, there is the "indefinite hunger strike." Joshua Wong and Prince Wong were two of the strikers during Occupy Central. Joshua Wong was caught sneaking in some glucose. And will Joshua Wong be caught munching on a Big Mac in the subway (against the rules) again?

Secondly, if Joshua Wong got zero for 79 days of the unlawful Occupy Central, then how many days must this next round of Occupy last? One year? Five years?

Thirdly, there is always the tried-and-true method of self-immolation which has been carried only once in Hong Kong (namely, in a fiction story in the movie Ten Years). Many people wish Joshua Wong would set himself on fire. He won't actually do it, but he may threaten to do so unless we donate more money more frequently to him.

- The Good News Hong Kong Facebook's own signature campaign has 19,027 persons in support of Choi Yuk-lin, after filtering out 7227 likely forgeries (such as Xi Jinping, CY Leung, Choi Yuk-lin, etc). There are 863 education workers, 17034 parents/students and 1130 others.

Q1. Are you satisfied with the implementation of One County Two Systems/Hong Kong Ruled By Hongkongers/High Degree of Autonomy in Hong Kong since the handover?
27%: Very satisfied
18%: Somewhat satisfied
17%: Half-half
14%: Somewhat dissatisfied
21%: Totally dissatisfied
3%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q2. Overall, how you satisfied with the quality of life since the handover?
16%: Very satisfied
22%: Somewhat satisfied
27%: Half-half
18%: Somewhat dissatisfied
17%: Totally dissatisfied
1%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q3. Over all, are you satisfied with your personal economic situation since the handover?
13%: Very satisfied
18%: Somewhat satisfied
35%: Half-half
18%: Somewhat dissatisfied
14%: Totally dissatisfied
2%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q4. Are you satisfied with the overall development of Hong Kong since the handover?
10%: Very satisfied
17%: Somewhat satisfied
30%: Half-half
23%: Somewhat dissatisfied
18%: Totally dissatisfied
2%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q5. Do you think Hong Kong has an important role in China's state development strategy?
25%: Very important
27%: Somewhat important
25%: Half-half
11%: Somewhat unimportant
7%: Totally unimportant
5%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q6. Do you think that the Central People's Government value the overall development of Hong Kong?
28%: Value a lot
24%: Value somewhat
20%: Half-half
13%: Not value too much
11%: Totally no value
4%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q7. How much confidence do you have in Hong Kong's overall development over the next five years?
11%: Very confident
15%: Somewhat confident
29%: Half-half
21%: Not much confidence
21%: No confidence
2%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q8. How much confidence you have in China's overall development over the next five years?
24%: Very confident
25%: Somewhat confident
23%: Half-half
11%: Not much confidence
13%: No confidence
5%: Hard to say/no opinion

Q9. Do you think that Hong Kong's future 50 years after the handover should be One Country One System, One Country Two Systems or self-determination/independence?
17%: One Country One System
63%: One Country Two Systems
9%: Self-determination/independence
4%: Other
6% Hard to say/no opinion

(SCMP) Celebrate the handover anniversary? Hongkongers should ask if were better off now than 20 years ago. By Michael Chugani. June 27, 2017.

To celebrate or not to celebrate? Are you among the Hongkongers asking themselves this question as we mark the 20th anniversary of the citys return to Chinese rule? If yes, why? Isnt reuniting with the motherland a cause for celebration?

Yet here we are, 20 years after the colonisers left, grappling with a question that in itself suggests something is terribly wrong.

Before you decide whether or not to celebrate, ask yourself whether Hong Kong is better or worse off than it was 20 years ago. Is it better to have a governor imposed on us by the British monarchy or a chief executive elected through an imperfect democratic system?

Is it better to have a cabinet filled by bosses of British business houses and a British garrison commander or one that is top-heavy with the chief executives allies? Is it better to have a legislature of British-appointed yes-men or one that is partially directly elected and partially indirectly elected in a process favouring Beijing?

Is it better to be ruled by colonisers or communist countrymen of your own kind? Now thats the crunch question. Depending on how you answer it, the other answers will automatically fall in place. Thats because the fault line that splits our city is ideological, not political.

We say we want so-called true democracy but the truth is many Hongkongers dont mind being ruled by democratic colonisers who gave us no democracy rather than by communists who give us some democracy.

The ideological split runs so deep that national education is deemed brainwashing but talk of independence is touted as academic freedom. No one thinks twice about Queen Victorias statue in Victoria Park, but try erecting one of Deng Xiaoping, the architect of one country, two systems. It would be defaced within a day.

Such ideological hostility wont change even if Beijing allows us full democracy. Many Hong Kong millennials find the mainlands restrictive regime too alien. As for the post-millennials, forget about it. They dont even consider themselves Chinese.

This is the Hong Kong that awaits President Xi Jinping 20 years after reunification. Patriots will celebrate in one part of Victoria Park; protesters will begin a street march in another. That this hallmark of freedom has survived 20 years of mainland rule says a lot.

To celebrate or not is a personal choice, but it is the duty of Hongkongers to make sure we give Xi the impression we are a peaceful and civilised society.

(The Stand News)

On 1 July twenty years ago, the advent of the transfer of sovereignty meant the fall of Hong Kong once again. In the 1970s, we were already deprived of our right to self-determination. Once China entered the United Nations, Hong Kong was removed from the list of Colonial Territories. Conniving in the process, Britain stood by. China and Britain then started their negotiations on Hong Kongs future, and Hong Kong people were barred from participating throughout the course. When the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed and the sovereignty of Hong Kong was decided to be transferred to China, anxiety spread through society, but our fate had been resolved, and we were left with no choice but accepting the reality. Hong Kong people then put their faith in the Basic Law to freeze Hong Kong for fifty years, keeping the freedom, rule of law and systems at that time intact. Yet, falling to the scourge of the Chinese rule for twenty years, we must now realize the fact the Basic Law in no way changes the reality that Hong Kong is now a colony of China.

For twenty years, China has been assimilating Hong Kong in an attempt to denigrate Hong Kong as just another city of China and a tool to the communist regime. The government of Hong Kong has never been responsible to Hong Kong people, as the head of the government, be it the Governor or the Chief Executive, is accountable only to the suzerain. The One-way Permit scheme has become the main channel for Chinese to settle down in Hong Kong, and yet, Hong Kong people are denied from our right to determine on the number, vetting and approval on the application. We are thus forced to experience such population transfer. Our Hong Kong identity is perpetually suppressed under the attempts to introduce national education to indoctrinate Chinese identity and Putonghua as the medium of instruction to debase Cantonese that is our mother tongue. Chinese capital are now flagrantly invading Hong Kong and making bullish bids of our land, creating intricate structures with interests in different sectors. While we are suffering from such re-colonisation, the Basic Law and the framework of One Country, Two Systems have never been the bastion protecting us.

If we still cling on to the Basic Law and One Country, Two Systems, we are doomed to self-destruction. As the puppet regime of communist China in Hong Kong condemned One Country, Two Governments as related to advocating independence, it is now clear that anything that may undermine the totalitarian rule of China will be oppressed, and even the Basic Law and One Country, Two Systems cannot be the path to a brighter future. In fact, to blindly put faith in the Basic Law and One Country, Two Systems has no difference from deceiving oneself and wasting ones own precious time to emancipate ourselves from re-colonisation. As 2047 is approaching, we are left with thirty years time, and we have no time to lose. To stoutly resist the Chinese regime, we must not restrain our imagination towards our future within the framework of One Country, Two Systems. Together we shall struggle against the enemy and restore the glory of our Hong Kong.

27 June 2017

City University of Hong Kong Students Union
Hang Seng Management College Students' Union
Hong Kong Baptist University Students Union
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Students Union
Lingnan University Students Union
Student Union of Chu Hai College of Higher Education
Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong Students Union
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Students' Union
The Education University of Hong Kong Students Union
The Hong Kong University Students Union
The Open University of Hong Kong Students Union
The Student Union of Hong Kong Shue Yan University
The Student Union of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Federation of Students

- They have issued a joint statement and then will run a discussion forum or two to discuss the very complex issues. Then they will announce that they have done their bit on valiant resistance of the totalitarian colonialists from China.

Well, they are just a bunch of lazy-thinking, lazy-acting bums. The Chinese Communist Party just love to see these big-talking cowardly university students.

- If we have to count on these fools to take back Hong Kong, we are screwed!

- Take back Hong Kong? They can't even take back their own respective universities from the councils appointed by the Chief Executive?

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 28, 2017.

The student unions of 12 Hong Kong universities and tertiary institutions will not join this years July 1 democracy march, the unions announced in a joint statement on Tuesday. Instead, they will hold a discussion forum featuring academics and localist figures on the 20th anniversary of the citys transfer of sovereignty.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 22, 2017.

A deputy director of Beijings official body in Hong Kong has visited the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and redevelopment project sites in the China Liaison Offices latest attempts at community outreach.

The office said in a press release that Tan Tieniu visited the URA on Tuesday upon the authoritys invitation. Tan spoke with the URAs top-level management officials, including chairman Victor So Hing-woh and managing director Wai Chi-sing. The release said Tan visited the project site of the Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment scheme in order to learn about revitalisation projects and urban redevelopment in Hong Kong. [Tan] expressed appreciation and approval towards the URAs advanced redevelopment ideas and its efforts to overcome difficulties, and proposed suggestions on using technology better in order to improve the management of redevelopment and increase exchange and cooperation with the mainland, it read.

The Liaison Office has increased attempts at community outreach in the past few months, a contrast to its usual practice of having officials attend events as ceremonial guests. Tan visited the St. Pauls Convent School and the Diocesan Boys School both highly respected local schools in April and May respectively. He also visited the Po Leung Kuk and the pro-Beijing New Territories School Heads Association in March, in addition to other visits.

But Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung of the Hong Kong Island constituency has criticised the URAs invitation to Tan as destroying the One Country, Two Systems principle.  What do [the URAs projects] have to do with Sai Wan? he said during a protest at URA headquarters on Thursday.

Internet comments:

- (HKG Pao) When The Dove Encountered the Ox. By Chris Wat Wing-yin (06/25/2017)

When a dove runs into an ox, the laws of nature say that the dove will bounce off, groan and fly off. After all, the ox is a monstrous animal compared to the dove.

In Hong Kong, the laws of nature work in reverse. When the dove runs into the ox, it will bark, bare fangs and brandish claws. This is a true story that just happaned ...

Recently, Democratic Party (which has a dove as its party icon) legislator Hui Chi-fung lambasted China Liaison Office deputy director Tan Tieniu (=literally, Iron Ox) for visiting a redevelopment project in Central district. Hui said: "What business is Central district to Sai Wan (=location of the China Liaison Office)?"

The reason why the Doves dare to interfere with the Iron Ox is because they are used to being rude and oblivious of protocol and position. Thus, they believe that a local government can order the Central Government, that One Country Two Systems means that the Hong Kong systems rules over all else and even that Hong Kong is a sovereign country in its own right.

Hui Chi-hung said that when Tan Tieniu visited the Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment scheme, he is meddling with internal Hong Kong affairs that are forbidden under the Basic Law and destroying One Country Two Systems.

If a short walking tour in a marketplace can destroy One Country Two Systems, then Hui Chi-fung's pals linking up with pro-Taiwan independence elements to interfere with Hong Kong affairs should be counted as blowing up One Country Two Systems with a nuclear-tipped missile?

What is the full title of the China Liaison Office? It is "The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region." That is to say, it is the representative of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong. But you agree with me that Hong Kong is a small region under the Central People's Government, then why can't representatives of the Central People's Government walk around the place and look around? Does the Basic Law stipulate that the "Sai Wan" people must not step out of Sai Wan?

The opposition often say that Xi Jinping is failing to listen to the voices of the people of Hong Kong. So do you want the representatives of Xi Jining to stay household in Sai Wan all the time? If one of them should go talk to a butcher in the Central market, you scream that this is the destruction of One Country Two Systems. Then how is Sai Wan (as the representative of the Central People's Government) supposed to listen to public opinion?

Tan Tieniu became deputy director last year. As a newcomer, shouldn't he come out and look around at his new environment? But Hui Chi-fung is saying that his visit has caused "禮崩樂壞" (rituals being destroyed, music being ruined). What rituals are being destroyed as a result? Which music is being ruined? How exactly has Tan meddled in any Hong Kong affairs.

Actually, I have always thought that the People's Liberation Army should not be confined to barracks in Hong Kong. They are here to defend their own national territory but they are forced to hide in their barracks as if they are lepers. Why? Because some people in Hong Kong are afraid of seeing the People's Liberation Army. Well, now the opposition want the representatives of the Central People's Government be confined to their office in Sai Wan. It is even a crime for them to go out and take a look around. Since when have the people of Hong Kong become so narrow-minded, cruel and intolerant.

When China can put up with the abrasive Hong Kong, but Central has to closed to people from "Sai Wan." Who do you think is more authoritarian?

- "禮崩樂壞" (rituals being destroyed, music being ruined)? Is Hui Chi-fung talking about Occupy Central and the Mong Kok riot?

- (SCMP) June 25, 2017.

President Xi Jinping will be in Hong Kong from Thursday to Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the citys handover from British to Chinese rule, swear in a new administration, and inspect the city, state media Xinhua announced.

Xi has a packed itinerary that includes overseeing the swearing-in of the new chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and her cabinet on July 1. Before flying out later that day, he is expected to visit one of the citys two major controversy-plagued infrastructure project sites either the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge or the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.

According to the itinerary the president and his wife will land at Hong Kong International Airport on Thursday. He is scheduled to attend a banquet that evening with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at Government House. On Friday, he will inspect the local garrison of the Peoples Liberation Army, before attending functions at the convention centre in Wan Chai.

- Xi Jinping is leading the way to destroy One Country Two Systems. Under Article 22 of the Hong Kong Basic Law,

No department of the Central People's Government and no province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law.

Everything in Xi Jinping's itinerary equals interference in Hong Kong affairs. Firstly, the swearing-in of the new chief executive and the cabinet is strictly local. Secondly, the local garrison of the People's Liberation Army is located on lands that are expropriated from the people of Hong Kong by the original colonialists (United Kingdom) and handed over the neo-colonialists (China). Thirdly, the infrastructure projects merely serve to make it easier for mainlanders to move to Hong Kong.

Xi Jinping should not be allowed into Hong Kong. His arrival equals the death of One Country Two Systems.

- Not to fear, because the brave people of Hong Kong will valiantly resist the arrival of Xi Jinping. Led by our great leaders Avery Ng, Raphael Wong, Ray Wong, Edward Leung, Chan Ho-tin, Tommy Cheung, Wong Yeung-tat, Cheng Chung-tai, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, we will use a hail of bricks to send Xi Jinping fleeing back to mainland China with his tail between his legs.

- This lot? They will be throwing bricks at each other first ...

- As for a violent reception, that would be the trifecta (see New York Times December 7, 2001) for Xi Jinping because he will be handed the justification to:

(1) Enact national security laws in Hong Kong to criminalize Hong Kong self-determination/independence;

(2) Militarize Hong Kong to accommodate a submarine base in Hei Ling Chau island for nuclear-powered submarines; a military airbase for fighter jets/bombers in the land formerly occupied by the Lantau South Country Park; a missile base for the PLA Rocket Force in a militarized North East New Territories under martial law so that strategic and tactical missiles can reach Taiwan and the sea lanes in minutes; etc.

(3) Raise Hong Kong taxes to pay for these People Liberation Army personnel and facilities in Hong Kong.

- (SCMP) June 24, 2017.

The Peoples Liberation Army is to make its most visible appearance in Hong Kong in 20 years, marking the handover anniversary with an unprecedented port call by its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, sources told the South China Morning

Allowing Hong Kong people to see how the Chinese military has developed is a way to boost patriotism,military expert Zhou Chenming said. The Liaoning carrier is a calling card for Chinas military, and visiting Hong Kong is a rare chance to show its strength and to show confidence to the outside world, Zhou said.

Collin Koh, a maritime expert from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapores Nanyang Technological University, echoed that view, adding that the visit would be part of efforts by the PLAs Hong Kong garrison to win hearts and minds, and raise awareness and support for the military.

- The presence of the Liaoning is clearly a military threat to the Hong Kong Nation. In order to defend freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, the United States must send the two Nimitz class supercarriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan to Hong Kong to counteract this threat. Freedom and democracy depends on it.

- Spare me with this "darkest day in the history of Hong Kong" talk. The People's Liberation Army has been in Hong Kong since 1997. It is just that they are ordered to maintain a low profile. Each PLA soldier is posted to Hong Kong on a four-year rotation, during which they are practically confined to barracks. Their term here is like jail time. They are not allowed like the British soldiers to have their drunken bouts in the city.

- The difference is clear. The British soldiers have freedom and democracy, which means that they can go among the civilian populations, get mightily drunk, have fights with the locals and fuck the local girls who like foreign dicks more than local dicks. Meanwhile, the Chinese soldiers have no freedom and no democracy, so they stay in their barracks, do push-ups and take cold showers.

- Well, if the American supercarriers come, they will have to wait outside of Hong Kong waters because ...

(SCMP) April 29, 2016.

Beijing denied a US aircraft carrier permission to make a port call in Hong Kong, a US consulate official says, a rejection that comes amid escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry told the US on Thursday night the visit by the USS John C. Stennis would not be allowed, said the official, who requested anonymity.

[The ministry] needs to approve every ship coming into Hong Kong. [They] said no to the carrier, the official said, adding the reason for the denial was not clear.

In a written reply to the South China Morning Posts inquiry, the ministry said on Friday night that port calls made by US warships and military aircraft were examined on a case by case basis in accordance with sovereignty principles and specific circumstances.

Its not the first time China has turned down port calls by US warships. During the Thanksgiving holidays in 2007, Beijing rejected the USS Kitty Hawks visit to Hong Kong after Washington announced an advanced missile deal with Taiwan and US President George W. Bush met the Dalai Lama.

The consulate said it had originally arranged public tours aboard the Stennis for next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cancellation notices had been sent out to invitees, the consulate official said.

- (Apple Daily) June 16, 2017. At 6am on July 26, 2017, Hong Kong Demosisto members (including Joshua Wong, Derek Lam, Agnes Chow), People Power member Tam Tak-chi and League of Social Democrats members showed up at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wanchi and wrapped the Bauhinia statue with several layers of black cloth. Afterwards the demonstrators chanted slogans. The police came and removed the black cloth. The demonstrators dispersed.

- This is yet another triumph for the People of the Hong Kong Nation. Their valiant resistance effort has once again struck fear in the hearts of the Chinese Communists.

- How did Apple Daily know to be present at this non-residential location at the hour of 6am? Because this reporting has been outsourced to Demosisto, People Power and League of Social Democrats. More reporting is expecting from this collection of groups which will stage the news and deliver exclusive reports to Apple Daily.

- The Hong Kong Police proved to be unable to protect the Golden Bauhinia statue. Xi Jinping should reconsider whether Hong Kong is too dangerous for him to visit.

- In addition to the world-leading innovation of the concept of "relay hunger strike," they have now introduced the "pre-demonstration" -- a demonstration held before the arrival of the target.

- Actually, they don't care whether Xi Jinping is present or not. They only want to be in the news so that people will remember to donate more money more frequently to them at the July 1st demonstration march.

- The Hong Kong soccer team will be playing China on July 1st. Our Hong Kong soccer team showed up this morning 6am at the Hong Kong Stadium. The Chinese team had not arrived in Hong Kong yet. So we took a shot at the empty goal. Score! We lead 1-0!  (Cheers)

- The black cloth is easily removed. Why not something permanent like black paint? Oh, but that would make it criminal damage to property (see CAP 200 Crimes Ordinance) which is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

- Comments in single descriptive phrases:

白痴 - idiot
無聊 - futile
弱智 - feeble-minded
on9 - (fucking) stupid
小學雞 - elementary school child's play
馬騮戲 - circus monkey show
自焚? - no self-immolation?

- (The Guardian) June 28, 2017. Hong Kong's last governor Chris Patten feared Xi Jinping was determined to completely roll back the political freedoms guaranteed to its citizens under the handover accord.  Western democracies now had a duty to support young activists such as Joshua Wong who were fighting to prevent that happening.

- That is right -- the United Kingdom should give 10 million to Joshua Wong to buy black cloth to cover up everything in Hong Kong. That should put a stop to Xi's nefarious plot to turn Hong Kong into a Chinese city.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 19, 2017.

The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party will hold a vigil at the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the citys transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China.

Convener Andy Chan Ho-tin says that the party will mourn the 20th anniversary of the fall of Hong Kong, and expects around 300 attendees. On July 1, there will be many activities celebrating the so-called Handover, Chan told reporters on Monday. If we dont come out and express our opinions, the whole world will believe that Hongkongers welcome Chinese rule. We hope to tell the world that Hong Kong is still a colony, he said. Hong Kong is a Chinese colony. Chan added that he hopes to unite the supporters of the various pro-independence and localist groups at the gathering, where participants will be able to reminisce over Hong Kongs glory years prior to 1997.

Chan said on Monday that the proposed vigil on the evening of June 30 will be peaceful, consisting of music, speeches and the broadcasting of video clips. He added that he has been actively contacting the police to apply for a letter of no objection to stage the event. But the response from the police management was quite negative. Even if they stop this event, we will have many ways of expressing our opinions, he said. We will take the situation into account. Even if there is no gathering at that location, we will definitely hold some activities.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 23, 2017.

The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party has been barred from holding a vigil on the evening of June 30 outside the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower because of maintenance works, says its convener.

Andy Chan Ho-tin told reporters earlier this week that he wanted to hold the gathering on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the fall of Hong Kong so as to tell the world that residents were not celebrating the transfer of sovereignty to China.

He said that the proposed vigil at the tourist site would be peaceful, and consist of music, speeches and the broadcasting of video clips. He expected 300 to attend.

But in a Friday morning Facebook post, he said that the police had notified him that the Hong Kong Cultural Centre under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department would close the entire area around the clock tower because of maintenance works. He would therefore not be able to hold an assembly at the area.

Theyre not telling us to participate in other celebration events, are they? he added satirically.

A Leisure and Cultural Services Department spokesperson told HKFP that it will conduct maintenance and cleaning works at the plaza outside the Cultural Centre between 9pm on June 30 and 11am on July 1, in order to prepare the venue for the public to watch the fireworks on the Handover anniversary. The plaza has already been leased to another user for an activity during daytime on July 1, he added.

Reference: The Hong Kong National Party (2016/03/28)

Internet comments:

- (Oriental Daily) June 19, 2017.

Our newspaper obtained information today that many of the pro-independence/self-determination organizations in Hong Kong have been meeting secretly with political parties in Taiwan. In particular, the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party is receiving huge sums of money each month from Taiwan politicians. The Hong Kong National Party spokesperson denied that they are receiving money from Taiwan, but he admitted that they have held meetings.

Our newspaper obtained information that the key contact is Taiwan Chiao Tung University associate professor Sun Chi-pen who has been coming to Hong Kong frequently to meet with pro-independence/self-determination advocates, including Andy Chan Ho-tin and Jason Chow HO-fai of the Hong Kong National Party, Ray Wong and Edward Leung of Hong Kong Indigenous, Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Sixtus Leung Chung-hang of Youngspiration, Wan Chin, Cheng Kam-mun and Cheung Chung-tai of Hong Kong Resurgence Order/Civic Passion, and self-determination advocates Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick. Our source provide us with photos of Sun meeting with Chan Ho-tin, and Sun meeting Wan China.

Our source tell us too that Sun Chi-pen gives Chan Ho-tin HK$50,000 per month to pay for expenses of the Hong Kong National Party and to promote Hong Kong independence. The party receives another $50,000 to $100,000 for holding large rallies. Chan Ho-tin told our newspaper that he meets with Sun Chi-pen each time the latter comes to Hong Kong. However, Chan denies that he gets financial support from Sun.

- (Oriental Daily) June 21, 2017.

Our newspaper received information about the secrets inside the Hong Kong National Party.

The Hong Kong National Party describes itself as a "revolutionary party" and therefore they will not disclose the identities of the members. At the inauguration, they claimed to have about 50 members whose average age is above 20. Based upon public information, some of the members are current and past members of the student union executive committees at Hong Kong University, City University and Baptist University.

Although Chan Ho-tin and Chow Ho-fai are most often seen as the spokespersons of the Hong Kong National Party, there are four "masterminds" behind the scene. The four -- named Chow, Chan, Chan and Cheung -- make the decisions on policies, finance and human resources. Chow and Chan are about 25 years old; they graduated from secondary school and held some freelance part-time jobs, living mostly off their parents; Chan is a Hong Kong University student; Cheung is only 19 years old. The four are not financially independent.

So far, these four have stayed behind the scenes and let Chan Ho-tin and Chow Ho-fai act as puppets in the front stage. By now, the two have achieved a modicum of fame through their public appearances. Some of the 'masterminds' are jealous of them. So they criticize the two for being too cowardly to lead charges at the police and thus losing the support of the more radical pro-independence elements. Meanwhile Chan and Chow are tired of being controlled so tightly, and are contemplating the establishment of their own organization.

The Hong Kong National Party had no comments on this story.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 23, 2017. Andy Chan Ho-tin told reporters earlier this week that he wanted to hold the gathering on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the fall of Hong Kong so as to tell the world that residents were not celebrating the transfer of sovereignty to China.

- Now I am a resident of Hong Kong and I never told Andy Chan Ho-tin that I am not celebrating the transfer of sovereignty to China. So why is he telling the world that "residents are not celebrating"?

If not every resident, then how many residents did Chan mean? "He expected 300 to attend." So the threshold of Andy Chan's calculus is that: "300 = everyone." Or something.

-(Oriental Daily)  According to lawyer Maggie Chan Man-ki, the relevant statutes are:

CAP 200 Crimes Ordinance

Section 2 Treason

(1) A person commits treason if he

(a) kills, wounds or causes bodily harm to Her Majesty, or imprisons or restrains Her;

(b) forms an intention to do any such act as is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests such intention by an overt act;

(c) levies war against Her Majesty (i)with the intent to depose Her Majesty from the style, honour and royal name of the Crown of the United Kingdom or of any other of Her Majestys dominions; or (ii)in order by force or constraint to compel Her Majesty to change Her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or to intimidate or overawe, Parliament or the legislature of any British territory;

(d) instigates any foreigner with force to invade the United Kingdom or any British territory;

(e) assists by any means whatever any public enemy at war with Her Majesty; or

(f) conspires with any other person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (c).

(2)Any person who commits treason shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life. (Amended 24 of 1993 s. 2)

Section 3 Treasonable offences

(1)Any person who forms an intention to effect any of the following purposes, that is to say

(a) to depose Her Majesty from the style, honour and royal name of the Crown of the United Kingdom or of any other of Her Majestys dominions;

(b) to levy war against Her Majesty within the United Kingdom or any British territory in order by force or constraint to compel Her Majesty to change Her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or to intimidate or overawe, Parliament or the legislature of any British territory; or

(c) to instigate any foreigner with force to invade the United Kingdom or any British territory,and manifests such intention by an overt act or by publishing any printing or writing, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for life.

(2) It shall be no defence to a charge under this section that any act proved against the person charged amounts to treason under section 2; but no person convicted or acquitted of an offence under this section shall afterwards be prosecuted for treason under section 2 upon the same facts.

CAP 151 Societies Ordinance

(1) The Societies Officer may recommend to the Secretary for Security to make an order prohibiting the operation or continued operation of the society or the branch

(a) if he reasonably believes that the prohibition of the operation or continued operation of a society or a branch is necessary in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others; or

(b) if the society or the branch is a political body that has a connection with a foreign political organization or a political organization of Taiwan.

- (Oriental Daily) June 29, 2017. Earlier the Hong Kong National Party applied to the police to hold an assembly near the clock tower outside the Tsim Sha Tsui Culture Centre. Today Hong Kong National Party convener Andy Chan Ho-tin said that the police has given a notice banning a public assembly at the location at that time. Chan said that even though he may face criminal charges, he has the responsibility to fight for the basic rights that Hongkongers still have. He said that he would not put anyone at risk.

Chan said that the police told him that the Hong Kong National Party advocates ideas contravene the Basic Law and that the theme was controversial. Chan objected to the police making political judgments. He said that citizens have the right to express their opinions in the streets. This is a core value for Hongkoners.

- (Oriental Daily) June 30, 2017. Yesterday afternoon Hong Kong National Party convener Andy Chan Ho-tin made an appearance at the alternate location of Centenary Garden in East Tsim Sha Tsui. But a large number of police officers were present and they warned Chan to leave. About one hour before the scheduled time, the Hong Kong National Party announced that the assembly was canceled. Instead, they will meet with the press at Baptist University.

The press conference took place at 9pm. Those present included Chan Ho-tin and the presidents of the student unions of Baptist University, City University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University, Education University and Shu Yan University.

- Duh ... whatever happened to the responsibility to defend the remaining basic rights of Hongkongers.

- Where was the Hong Kong Republican Army? Why perform all the push-ups, weight-lifting and jogging if you don't intend to put it to good use to serve the cause?

- (Unseen Hong Kong)

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain back to China. Hong Kong National Party, a local political party that supports the Hong Kong Independence movement, originally scheduled a gathering to mourn the 20 years fall of Hong Kong, but was banned by the police. The gathering was therefore canceled, yet there were still over 200 middle-aged Chinese assembled at the Tsim Sha Tsui pier. It was suspected that these people were blue ribbon wearers, who support the communist party and the central Chinese government.

These middle-aged blue ribbon crowds did not see the Hong Kong National Party showing up for the gathering, and attacked the foreign journalist instead, with a lot of swearing and insulting such as bastard, Get Out in both English and Mandarin. The foreign journalist in black shirt looked completely helpless.

Not long after, a man with glasses that spoke fluent Cantonese stood up for the foreign journalist, and asked the men and women who made a huge scene to go back to mainland China. The man then was also cornered and pushed by the crowds, and was asked to get out of Hong Kong since he isnt Chinese if he supports foreigners.

The foreign journalist in black shirt claimed that he was working with a group of other foreign journalists at that time, and was suddenly insulted by the Chinese guy in red cap. He emphasised that he did nothing to provocate their actions. He also said that he has been working and living in Hong Kong for seven years. I love Hong Kong and I am part of Hong Kong.

- Anna Chan's Weibo post with 7.16 million read at the time of the screen capture:

Spies disguised themselves as media reporters but they are actually directing the riot. Sometimes they deliberately pretend to be gathering news in front of the rioters in order to prevent the police from carrying out their duties.

(Marketing Interactive) June 13, 2017.

Next Digital has recorded revenue of HK$1,783.8 million during the year ended 31 March 2017, a decrease of HK$543.9 million (23.4%) against the figure of HK$2,327.7 million earned in the previous 12 months. The loss was widened to HK$394 million from that of HK$324.2 million loss in the year-ago period.

The media company attributes its drop to a significant decline in advertising revenue of the groups print publication in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other factors include the downsizing and consolidation of the groups newspapers publication and printing division, books and magazines publication and printing division, the restructuring of Taiwan Apple Daily, Taiwan Next Magazine and Apple Daily, as well as Next Magazine in Hong Kong.

It ceased the publication of FACE and ME! in April and May 2016 respectively. In June 2016, Ketchup ceased its print version and switched its focus to solely digital. Auto Express and Trading Express have been packaged with Next Magazine and Eat & Travel Weekly as a new bundle to streamline the magazines operations and reduce operating costs.

During the six months ended 30 September 2016, the total revenue of the newspapers publication and printing division stood at HK$474.1 million, representing a decrease of 27.1% or HK$176.5 million. The company also associates the decrease with the drop in circulation income of the groups publications due to the continued shift in reading habits towards free online media over printed properties.

On the digital front, the digital business divisions revenues, consisting primarily of online advertising revenue, together with content licensing payments, games and content sponsorship, and in-app purchase of virtual products, amounted to HK$649.7 million during the year under review. This represents a decrease of 1.5% on the previous years figure of HK$659.7 million, of which, around 76.0% was generated in Hong Kong while the remaining was from Taiwan and others.

Next Medias digital division recorded a segment loss of HK$1.2 million compared with a segment profit of HK$35.2 million in the previous 12 months. It explains in the press release that it was faced with strong competition not only from an increasing arrays of new local entrants on digital media, but also global platforms and social media that are vying for the same advertisers spending as Apple Daily, which had in effect dampened their topline momentum for the moment.

(Hong Kong Free Press) Apple Daily Taiwan encourages reporters to leave and become freelancers. June 22, 2017.

The Taiwan office of Apple Daily has encouraged its journalists to leave and cover news for the media outlet on a freelance basis, according to an internal memo.

The proposed arrangement comes after parent company Next Digital announced losses of almost HK$394 million for the financial year ending in March. The loss is HK$70 million more than the loss in the preceding year, as advertising income declines.

In a circular dated June 14, originated on popular Taiwanese forum PTT. Apple Daily attributed the proposed arrangement to the difficulties faced by media outlets due to the rise of the internet and smartphones.

We encourage our colleagues to be entrepreneurial, establishing a small company, a personal workshop or a personal media business Apple Daily will then cooperate [with them] on a contractual basis. The outlet told staff that if they left to become freelancers, they could be paid for each written article, and rewarded for exclusive or breaking reports. The outlet added as an example that graphic artists would only be paid at 70 to 80 per cent of their current salary if they signed a cooperation agreement with Apple Daily. However, they could also increase their income by submitting work to other companies. Apple Daily will provide existing hardware and software (such as computers) for work purposes at no cost. Colleagues from all departments are welcome to suggest proposals for entrepreneurship.

The Association of Taiwan Journalists, the countrys industry group, criticised the proposal in a Thursday statement, likening it to a re-negotiation of employee labour conditions. Contract reporters will lose the protective umbrella of the labour laws, including minimum wage, limits on overtime work and holiday rights, and will even have to pay their own insurance. Apple Dailys entrepreneurship proposal is also a blow against the rights of workers to unite as an individual company or personal workshop, they will not have a labour union, and will lose collective bargaining rights against Apple Daily.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 23, 2017.

Following the lead of its Taiwan office, newspaper Apple Daily has announced arrangements to dismiss employees and rehire them as freelancers in Hong Kong, says its local trade union.

The Next Media Trade Union said in a Thursday statement that staff from Apple Dailys supplement, entertainment, graphics, sport and finance sections would be affected. Staff contracting arrangements have also been planned for the weekly Next Magazine.

Earlier this month, parent company Next Digital announced losses of almost HK$394 million for the financial year ending in March. The loss is HK$70 million more than the loss in the preceding year, as advertising income declines.

According to the Next Media Trade Union, several departments or teams from Apple Daily have been asked to establish separate companies. The newspaper would then subcontract production work to them. It added that some employees had been asked to leave at the end of June. They would then be rehired as freelancers beginning on August 1, under contracts lasting from six months to one year.

We understand that the media industry is undergoing massive transformations and the group is facing pressures on costs, said the union. However, subcontracting is not the solution to the problem, because labour protection and news quality will take a big hit.

The union said it would hold a meeting with management on Friday, and urged employees not to accept any contracting arrangements beforehand.

(EJ Insight) June 27, 2017.

Apple Daily newspaper, which has been a vocal supporter of the democracy movement in Hong Kong, is facing a tough time in its key market.

The outspoken daily, launched in 1995 by maverick tycoon Jimmy Lai, has seen its losses widen amid a fall in advertising revenues, forcing the management to resort to drastic steps to cut costs.

In recent days, there was much talk in journalism circles that Next Digital, the company that publishes Apple Daily and some other media titles, could scale down in-house operations and focus on outsourcing of content.

The restructuring will involve pain for the media groups staffers as they may be asked to work under new contractual arrangements, observers feared.

Well, the apprehensions have come true as we have news that Apple Daily is encouraging staff at its newspapers to leave the company and rejoin as freelancers or sub-contractors.

The development was confirmed by the Next Media Trade Union after it was called for a meeting with the companys management late last week.

According to a statement issued by the union, Next Digital plans to ask some employees to formally leave the company and become contractors or freelancers.

The restructuring is expected to affect staff working in the sports, finance, entertainment and some other sections as well as those involved in producing newspaper supplements.

Departments and teams will be encouraged to form their own independent companies, which will then be awarded work by the company under a sub-contracting system.

Apart from Apple Daily, people working for the weekly Next Magazine could be asked to shift to the new work arrangement.

Meanwhile, there were reports that staff working for Apple Daily (Taiwan) have also been told by the companys local office that it wants the employees to move to a new system where they will work on a contractual or freelance basis.

Next Medias move, which is aimed cutting costs and giving the group more elbow room on the labor front, has sparked concerns among the employees and the wider journalistic community.

By shifting to an outsourcing arrangement, the media group will no longer be constrained by labor laws, saving money on things such as health insurance coverage and retirement fund contributions.

While staff who leave the company may be provided work under a new arrangement, it will however amount to a renegotiation of the rights and privileges of the workers.

Besides, there are worries that if Apple Daily group is allowed to get away with its proposal, other media entities in Hong Kong could try to follow suit, endangering many journalist jobs in the city.

Next Media Trade Union said that while it acknowledges the challenges facing media groups, it doesnt think sub-contracting is the right solution.

The new arrangement will remove a safety net for media personnel, the union said, adding that the new workflow system could also take a toll on the content and production quality at the newspaper.

These are legitimate concerns given that Next Media, as is the case with some other newspaper groups, could look for further cost cuts down the road due to shrinking advertising and circulation incomes.

While Next Digital has given no timeframe for the kick-off of the new outsourcing model, the plan has drawn fire from employees as well as various trade unions in the city, including the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and the pro-democracy Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

The trade unions have urged Next Digital to respect its media talents and withdraw the outsourcing plan.

Looking from the companys perspective, it is not surprising why it felt it had to make some drastic changes in the way it conducts its business.

Next Digital announced earlier this month that its net loss widened to HK$394 million in the year ended March, from a HK$324 million loss in the previous financial year, as revenue fell to HK$1.78 billion from HK$2.34 billion.

The company blamed the weaker result to a significant decline in advertising revenue at the groups print media business in both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Apple Daily (Hong Kong) saw its print advertising revenue fall 38.8 percent from a year earlier to HK$141 million, while its circulation revenue declined 9.2 percent to HK$207 million.

The paper saw its daily circulation slip to an average of 130,000 copies, compared with 150,000 copies six months earlier.

Given the slide in ad revenues and circulation figures, the media group was at a crossroads, forcing it to reconsider its business strategy.

Some analysts had earlier raised the question as to whether Next Digital should abandon the loss-making print business and focus on driving the growth of its digital products.

Judging from the groups latest financial results, it is clear that the management team has failed to find the right balance between the print and digital businesses.

Next Digital, which was formerly known as Next Media, aimed to be a leader in digital transformation as its traditional print media businesses faced massive challenge from New Media in recent years.

The group bet on its news portal, the online edition of Apple Daily, and its video news service Apple Action News, to drive revenue growth in the online segment and help offset weak print ad sales.

However, massive cost-cutting in its news operations affected the quality of the content, which in turn affected the traffic and advertising revenues in the digital business.

Though the groups digital business reported HK$650 million revenue for the year to March, the figure was down slightly compared to the previous fiscal year.

A slowdown in digital business is a serious concern for the media group, already reeling from falling print revenues and advertising boycotts by some pro-Beijing enterprises.

With a growing number of online competitors in the market such as on.cc from Oriental Press and HK01 from businessman Yu Pan-hoi, as well as other offerings such as 100Most and myTVSuper, Next Digitals online platforms are no longer an automatic choice for advertisers.

The groups websites have seen a downtrend in the number of daily unique visitors over the past year.

For example, Hong Kong Apple Daily website recorded a total of 39 million page views and 2.3 million daily unique visitors in mid-June. That compared with 52 million page views and 2.4 million daily unique visitors three months earlier.

The number of unique visitors in Taiwan fell even more significantly, from more than 6 million previously to around 4 million now.

Now, what should Next Digital do amid this situation? How can it improve its business prospects and stem the losses?

It is amid these questions that the media group has opted to shift to an outsourcing model, deeming the arrangement as a good solution to bring down costs and reduce overheads.

While the company is justified in seeking changes, it should however ask itself this question: Is it right to ask employees to effectively renegotiate their contracts and settle for fewer benefits?

Is the staff being made to pay the price for the managements faulty business vision and poor execution of business strategies?

The group should bear in mind that journalists are its only real assets, not the offices or printing machinery. All the exclusive news published on the front page of Apple Daily is the result of the hard work of the papers front-line journalists.

Letting go of the most important resource is unlikely to do any good for the newspaper group in the long run.

Getting work done through freelancers and sub-contracting arrangements may reduce the financial burden on the company, but is unlikely to enhance the companys image or foster a sense of loyalty.

Also, it needs to ponder whether it might be sacrificing content quality in order save a few millions.

Instead of asking staff to leave and become freelancers or contractors, the company should streamline its operations and step up focus on digital, which is certainly the future.

To boost online traffic, Next Digital can establish partnerships with independent online news platforms and distribute their content.

Increased traffic and pageviews will lead to more online advertising, helping the group improve its finances.

If the print media business is seen as having absolutely no future, it might be better if owner Lai pulls the plug on the segment as a whole and focus solely on expanding the digital business.

An expanded digital business can help save employee jobs while also ensuring the group can continue to do the bold journalism that it is known for.

Hong Kongs media landscape and the citys struggling democracy movement certainly need an entity such as Apple Daily.

It is in the publics interest that the newspaper group stays robust and expands its readership, using whatever medium be it print or digital.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 6, 2017.

Over a hundred staff members at the Next Digital Group have staged a walk-out in protest of outsourcing plans.

Next Digital is the parent company of Apple Daily, Next Magazine, and other Chinese-language publications. Last month, the group announced plans to dismiss employees and rehire them as freelancers in Hong Kong, as part of a cost-cutting drive. Next Media Trade Union (NMTU) spokesperson Lam Wai-Chung said that, under the plan, staff members will have the same workload, but a lower salary, and with no labour protections.

The 150 staff members left work for 15 minutes, dressed in black, and protested outside the groups building on Wednesday evening during heavy rain.

A statement from the union demanded management withdraw its plans and stop secret negotiations.

Time after time we have been treated by the management as merely labour supply or figures on their account of expenses; disposable when they wish to cut cost[s], outsource-able when they no longer wish to be responsible as an employer. We are truly tired of watching our colleagues go or worrying about our own jobs on a daily basis. We, as dignified staff members of this company, today have come together and spoken to stop the management from ripping our departments apart one by one.

If the management insists on its plans against the will of the staff members, NMTU will consult our colleagues on future actions and no form of action is ruled out at this stage. In the meantime, NMTU would like to call for public support of our ongoing petition against outsourcing.

A union statement on June 29 said that a head of the graphics department had reached a preliminary agreement with the management. At graphics departments for entertainment and supplement pages, only a third of staff members were chosen to join a new outsourcing company, whilst the rest would lose their jobs. The union criticised the company for only negotiating with department heads but not frontline staff members.

Apple Daily chief Cheung Kim-hung told the newspaper that the outsourcing plan will mostly be implemented at graphics departments and there were no plans to implement it elsewhere in the company. He said the company was inclined to halt hiring following potential resignations, and that it will try to find content providers from outside the company. He said the firm will conduct a review to see if staff members are truly suitable and said there will not be large lay-offs. The goal, however, was to cut staff by 30 per cent. Regarding the low staff morale, Cheung blamed the union for not passing on the correct message and said that the management was disappointed, according to the newspaper.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Journalists Association) June 22, 2017.

(Chinese only)

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has the following comments on Next Media's purported plan to outsourcing:

1. HKJA has contacted Next Media maangement in order to learn more, but has not received any response yet. The HKJA requests Next Media management to disclose more details;

2. HKJA questions whether outsourcing will protect the rights of the workers, and is concerned whether workers can decide on whether to accept the outsourcing arrangements without being under pressure;

3. We concur with the call of the Next Media Trade Union to ask workers not to accept the proposal at this time.

- Why can't the HKJA take their Statement on Government ban of online media from attending press conference held by Carrie Lam on June 21, 2017 and rewrite it as:

1. HKJA expresses deep regret and disappointment with the decision of Next Media owner/management to outsource journalism;

2. HKJA reiterates that forcing workers to accept outsourcing contravenes CAP 57 Employment Ordinance which safeguards a comprehensive range of employment protection and benefits for workers, as well as Articles 33, 36 and 39 of the Basic Law;

3. Next Media majority owner Jimmy Lai has always stated that he supports freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. We hope that he will honour his pledge.

4. Apple Daily always take the lead to criticize government departments and large corporations to outsource services in order to reduce costs and maximize profits. We hope that Apple Daily will take the same stance with respect to the vital interests of its workers.

- Why is the Hong Kong Journalists Association talking about "pressure"? Well, if you quit voluntarily, we will hire you back as a freelancer on a per-piece basis; if you don't quit, we will fire you and we won't ever use you again. That would be coercion.

- In Hong Kong, the pan-democratic political parties bill themselves as the true defenders of workers' rights. I wonder what the Democratic Party, Civic Party, Labour Party, Confederation of Labour Unions and the League of Social Democrats will have to say on this matter. Over the years, these parties have received millions and millions in political donation from Jimmy Lai. Will the dogs bite the hand that feeds them?

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Comment from stock analysts: (1) "Next Digital revenues have declined over the course of several years already, showing that they don't have an effective business plan to deal with the crisis. Since the problems have continued for years, investors should not be holding Next Digital stock." (2) "Next Digital cut back on its print operations in order to focus on digital operations, but the latter has moved from profit to loss as well. Therefore, the digital business has failed while incurring developmental costs. There is no prospect for earnings growth at Next Digital in the foreseeable future."

- Buy low and sell high? This is the bottom because there can't be more bad news, right?

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Next Media management issued an internal memo to encourage the workers to voluntarily resign, become entrepreneurs, form workshops and sell news reports back to Next Media.

- What are the tricky issues here?

(1) If you voluntarily resign, you are not entitled to severance pay;

(2) If you become an entrepreneur and form your own company, you are responsible for your own health insurance, retirement/pension fund, workplace injury insurance, etc, and you lose your rights of collective bargaining, minimum wage, standard working hours, overtime pay, paid vacation, maternity leave, etc.

(3) As an outside supplier, you can be fired at will anytime. Next Media does not have to provide you with an explanation (e.g. another service provider will do the same job cheaper; your stubbornness in wanting to be fair and balanced in your reporting; etc).

(3) If you get sued for libel during the course of your reporting (and Next Media has been sued hundreds of times already), you will pay for your own legal fees. In fact, Next Media will stiff you for 100% of the responsibility/liability as the service provider whose contract stipulates so.

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Several days ago, Jimmy Lai told the Oriental Press Group reporter: "Fuck your mother's cunt!" Today, Jimmy Lai's employees are saying "Fuck your mother's cunt" to the outsourcing plan. What goes around ... comes around.

- (The Stand News) June 25, 2017.

Veteran news workers often encounter wage discrimination. Since they have 24 hours a day like everybody else, they can come up with two to three news articles per day just like rookie reporters. In the eyes of the boss, news articles are used to fill the pages and so the quantitative contribution of a veteran is the same as a rookie. However, the veteran gets paid two to three times more than the rookie. If the boss cannot create new sources of revenue and must resort to cutting costs in order to staunch the losses, he will begin by firing veteran news workers.

At most Hong Kong newspapers, there are three to four veterans keeping the gates while the frontline reporters tend to be very inexperienced. This is the reason why Internet news today is so poor, with numerous spelling mistakes and logical errors that often stand uncorrected. News has to be fast, and they can't afford to let fact-checkers and editors slow down the output process.

In the world of Internet news, the metric of success is the hit rate. As such, entertainment news dominate. While "restart of constitutional reform process" and "funding of the new airport runway" may be important to the people of Hong Kong, most people are more likely to read articles with titles such as: "Actress XXX totally nude in new television drama", "scandal of talented girl's father." When a newspaper oursources its news reporting and pays on the basis of hit rate, will they end up with entertainment news all the time?

Meanwhile, if you want to become an independent supplier of news stories, you know immediately that you will be in big trouble if you concentrate on politics, art, culture and sports (except soccer). You don't have many potential clients to begin with, because most newspapers have their own news staff already. Furthermore, the newspapers have political positions. So if you supply news to Apple Daily already, will Oriental Daily buy your news stories? Will Sing Tao or Economic Journal buy your anti-government/anti-Beijing news stories?

Can you count on the Internet news outlets as customers? They are not financially sound themselves, so you can hardly count on them.

What is for sure is that the successful news suppliers will concentrate on soft entertainment news. They will not be able to invest time and money on investigative journalism. You should not expect to see extensive news stories such as "CY Leung's UGL corruption sage" or "the conspiracy to plant voters for the Legislative Council elections." When the media fails to perform as watchdog, the people lose.

Related Links:

Bawang vs. Next Magazine (2016/05/24)
Sudden Closures
(2015/07/26)
Jimmy Lai - Most Influential Person In The World (2015/04/17)

(HKU POP) Survey question

Q1-You would identify yourself as a : (Interviewer to read out the first 4 choices)
Hong Kong Citizen
Chinese Citizen
Hong Kong Chinese Citizen
Chinese Hong Kong Citizen
Others (Please specify)
Don't know / hard to say
Refuse to answer

(HKU POP) Findings [sample base: 661, using only a sub-sample of the tracking surveys]

37%: Identified themselves as "Hongkongers"
21%: Identified themselves as "Chinese"
40%: Identified themselves with a mixed identify of "Hongkongers" plus "Chinese" (that is, "Hongkongers in China" plus "Chinese in Hong Kong")
63%: Identified themselves as "Hongkongers" in broad sense
36%: Identified themselves as "Chinese" in broad sense

When asked to make a choice among 4 given identities, namely, Hongkongers, Hongkongers in China, Chinese and Chinese in Hong Kong, 37% of the respondents identified themselves as Hongkongers, 21% as Chinese, 26% as Hongkongers in China, while 14% identified themselves as Chinese in Hong Kong.

In other words, 63% of the respondents identified themselves as Hongkongers in the broader sense (i.e. either as Hongkongers or Hongkongers in China), whereas 35% identified themselves as Chinese in the broader sense (i.e. either as Chinese or Chinese in Hong Kong), 40% chose a mixed identity of Hongkongers plus Chinese (i.e. either as Hongkongers in China or Chinese in Hong Kong).

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 21, 2017.

The percentage of young people identifying as Chinese has dropped to a new 20-year low, according to the latest University of Hong Kong survey.

The universitys Public Opinion Programme interviewed around 1,000 people by phone last week.

In one question, they were asked if they were Hongkongers, Chinese or a mixed identity of both. In general, 37 per cent identified as Hongkongers, 21 per cent said Chinese, whilst 40.2 per cent either answered Hongkongers in China or Chinese in Hong Kong.

But different age groups presented very different results.

Only 3.1 per cent of the respondents between 18 and 29 said they identified as Chinese, dropping slightly from 3.4 per cent when the poll was conducted six months ago. It the lowest result since the survey began in August 1997. 65 per cent of the age group identified as Hongkongers. 28.7 per cent said they had a mixed identity. Of those older than 30, 24.1 per cent identified as Chinese, whilst 32.1 per cent identified as Hongkongers.

The results of the survey came after an interview of chief executive-elect on Tuesday, which she vowed to tackle pro-independence forces and foster the Chinese identity among toddlers.

Reference: Hong Kong By The Numbers (2014/11/12)

(SCMP) June 15, 2017.

Hong Kong student leaders arrested over the citys 79-day pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014 have indicated that they will admit obstructing the court-ordered clearance of a key demonstration site.

Demosisto secretary general Joshua Wong Chi-fung and former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum, along with nine other protesters, are set to admit that they had committed contempt of court, their lawyers told the High Court on Thursday.

In the present case, a total of 20 demonstrators allegedly obstructed the work of bailiffs acting on a court injunction to clear occupied roads in Mong Kok, a major base for Occupy protesters at the time, on November 26, 2014.

This resulted in the issue of a batch of summonses against them for contempt in April last year. Another group of protesters is facing summonses in a separate case concerning the same clearance operation.

Some of the 20 protesters, including Shum and League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming were in court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday when their lawyers informed Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai that more than half of their clients would admit liability. Joshua Wong, who was the convener of student group Scholarism when he became the poster boy of the protests at the time, was not present.

Senior counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam said seven of the clients he handled, including Joshua Wong, would like to plead guilty when the trial was conducted in July. Mr Lester Shum would also like to plead guilty, he added. Four more protesters, to be represented by Gerard McCoy SC, will also plead guilty. They are expected to formally admit their liability during the trial to be commenced on July 3, with mitigation put forth on their behalf.

Mr Justice Chan adjourned for another pre-trial session on June 27 for both counsel from the Department of Justice and protesters to sort out details of evidence they would like to call over the clearance operation, which involved more than 800 police officers.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum said that the reason why they challenged the court injunction was that the government used the court to solve a political problem. Just yesterday, CY Leung admitted that it was a political decision not to use the police to clear the Occupy areas. Shum said that challenging the court injunction does not mean that they are challenging rule-of-law. As long as they accept their legal responsibilities in court, they are respecting rule-of-law. Shum wants to show the pro-establishment camp and the authorities that he is willing to accept the legal consequences, including a jail sentence.

League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming said that he supports Shum, but he himself has doubts about whether disobeying the court injunction is the same as contempt of court. Therefore he chooses to contest the case.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Senior counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam requested the prosecution to hand over the notebooks of all 800 to 1,000 police officers who helped the bailiffs to clear Mong Kok. The prosecution argued that this case is different from the usual criminal case, because the police officers were merely witnesses who did not conduct any investigation. If the defense can point out the connection between the notebooks and their legal argument, the prosecution is willing to coordinate. Lok explained that the notebooks were to be examined to see if there are discrepancies among the police officers about the interaction between the demonstrators and the police.

Mr Justic Andrew Chan Hing-wai thinks that it is not feasible to turn over 1,000 police notebooks. He arranged for a second hearing on June 27 and asked both sides to narrow their differences on this issue.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Joshua Wong is rumored to be planning to run for District Councilor in Southern Horizon in 2019 and then Legislative Councilor in 2020. But under the District Council Ordinance and Legislative Council Ordinance, anyone sentenced to jail for more than 3 months will not be allowed to enter the election in the next five years.

In the previous case involving Cheng Kam-mun (#676) for the same contempt of court charge during Occupy Mong Kok, the sentence was 3 months in prison which was just under the threshold. So Wong's election plans will hinge on the length of jail sentence. Will it be 3 months or less?

(Oriental Daily) July 4, 2017.

Yesterday, the court was supposed to deal with the guilty pleas for seven of the defendants, including Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong and former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum. However the prosecutor said that they unable to reach agreement over the facts of the case as presented in the document that the defense sent over on Friday evening.

The judge reviewed the disputed sections and said that the discrepancies were so huge that he wondered if these defendants are actually pleading guilty. If such is the case, then they should go to trial instead of wasting the court's time. In the end, the judge allowed the prosecutor to continue to seek agreement.

(Oriental Daily) July 7, 2017.

Seven of the defendants admitted that they violated the court injunction. They apologized unreservedly to the court and asked not to be sentenced to prison. Senior Counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam said that the defendants did not engage in verbal or physical violence.

Senior Counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam stated that Joshua Wong would like to run in the Legislative Council election, but he will be barred for five years if he is sentenced to more than 3 months in jail. Wong said that he had heard that the bailiffs would be using violence to provoke the Occupy people. Wong got concerned and therefore he used the megaphone to repeatedly ask the bailiffs to identify themselves. Wong did not feel that he was interfering with anyone at the time, because the injunction was not applicable to him because he was not 'occupying' Mong Kok. When he tried to leave, the police arrested and injured him.

Senior Counsel said that former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum is a student activist who is not involved in any political party. As a student organization member, he has the responsibility to defend the freedoms of speech and assembly. Shum said that he was there to monitor any violence.

(Oriental Daily) July 11, 2017.

Four more defendants pleaded guilty to contempt of court. Senior Counsel Gerard McCoy said that their cases are different from that of previously convicted Cheng Kam-mun because they were passive and apolitical followers ("lowest level of factory workers").

(Oriental Daily) July 12, 2017.

According to the bailiff chief Chiu Suk-man, 35 bailiffs were dispatched to Mong Kok to carry out the court injunction. Meanwhile, the plaintiff arranged for 142 legal agents wearing red hats to clear away the obstacles.

At around 830am, the bailiff chief Chiu Suk-man and the plaintiff's lawyers read out the contents of the injunction to those present. The clearance action started at around 1000am. The scene became chaotic soon, as people yelled and pushed, some falling down. Chiu's sunglasses were damaged during the process. They decided to call the police to help. For safety reason, the police told the bailiffs to move to the entrance of the Wai Fung Plaza.

According to the video, Raphael Wong, Joshua Wong, Lester Shum and others approached the chief bailiff, with Joshua Wong holding a megaphone and asking repeatedly: "Is a person an obstacle? Are you going to remove the people too?" He said that that he could not hear what the bailiff just read out. The bailiff did not reply to him, saying only that he will read the warning again at the next stop. When the workers began to clear the metal barricades, the three stood on the dais behind the metal barricades and questioned the identity of the workers: "Can you clear the scene just be wearing a red hat? What happened to rule of law?"

(Oriental Daily) July 13, 2017.

The bailiff Yu Tak-shun testified that some of those who wore red hats used foul language and threw hats against the protestors. They also pointed their box cutters and pliers against the protestors. Yu said that both sides were veering out of control, so he warned the people in red hats to back off.

In the video shown in court, Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong kept asking the workers to identify themselves and show their authorization papers. The two sides cursed each other. A person wearing a red hat pointed a box cutter at Raphael Wong. Wong asked: "Are you a gangster?" Yu warned the person with the box cutter and pushed him away from the front line.

Yu said that the situation was chaotic and his female colleague fell down. He said that he was also injured in the leg when a metal barricade was pushed against him. But the video showed that no protestors were near Yu and the female colleague when this happened.

(Oriental Daily) July 19, 2017.

According to bailiff chief Choi Tak-ming, representatives of the plaintiff, the bailiffs and the police had met beforehand to discuss the actions. The police was there to support the bailiffs and ensure their safety. If necessary, the police may join in the clearance. Choi said that he formally requested police assistance, but he did not ask the police to make arrests.

According to police chief inspector Lam Chi-yuen, he read out a warning to those present and said that all those who prevented the clearance will be arrested for contempt of court, obstruction of official business and other crimes.

In the videos, Lam was seen to be reading out the statement in English first. But before he got to read it out in English, some of the police officers had already moved among the demonstrators. As one of the commanders, Lam used the megaphone to tell those policemen to stop and retreat. But the policemen did not follow his orders. Meanwhile other police officers were removing the obstacles, with Joshua Wong, Raphael Wong and Lester Shum standing before the obstacles. After the obstacles were removed, Lam was heard to order: "Colleagues of the Crime Team move in arrest those in front."

In a later video, Lam was reading the statement to those present on Shan Tung Street. A group of demonstrators were standing in front of the police. One of them asked: "Where are the bailiffs?" After Lam finished reading, he ordered: "You move ahead. Arrest those who won't leave." Many demonstrators were arrested. Lam told the police officers doing the handcuffing: "Tie them up tighter. These people are not quite human."

(Oriental Daily) July 20, 2017.

Chief inspector Lam Chi-yuen tesified that he issued a warning to the crowd at Shan Tung Street. Af ter waiting for a reasonable amount of time, he saw that the crowd was ignoring his warning. So he ordered his subordinates: "You proceed to persuade them. If they don't leave, arrest them." After reviewing the video, Lam agreed that it was only more than 10 seconds between his warning and his order.

The defense claimed that it was hard for protestors to believe because of the obstacles, tents and police line. Lam disagreed. With respect to the protestors asking him where the bailiffs are, Lam said: "it is his personal problem if he can't see the bailiffs. I mean that they are already obstructing the bailiffs during the entire process."

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 12, 2017.

Over a dozen Taiwanese lawmakers established a cross-party group on Monday to demonstrate concern for the development of democracy in Hong Kong.

The Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus was set up by Huang Kuo-chang of the independence-leaning New Power Party, and aims to promote exchanges in democratic experiences between legislators in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have joined the 18-member caucus, but no legislators from the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang party currently in opposition are known to have done so.

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law, Ray Chan and Eddie Chu, as well as activists Joshua Wong and Alex Chow, attended Monday mornings establishment ceremony in Taipei.

Hong Kong and Taiwan face a similar problem in that we are being challenged by an authoritarian Chinese government, especially on human rights, said Law. From the incidents concerning [the disappearance of] Taiwans Lee Ming-cheh and Hong Kongs Causeway Bay booksellers, to Hong Kongs democratic development and Taiwans lack of international recognition these all originate from the same authoritarian government, he added.

Chu said that Hong Kongs current stage of democratic development is equivalent to Taiwans tangwai period in the 20th century, when the Kuomintang ruled as an authoritarian government and violence against opposition was common. Hong Kongs pro-democracy lawmakers have obtained over half of the popular vote, but less than half of the seats we can see from this that Hong Kong must catch up to Taiwan with regards to democratic development.

New Power Party legislator Huang added that the caucus will not only discuss issues of democracy it will also exchange views with Hong Kong lawmakers on issues of youth, land distribution, urban development and gender.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 14, 2017.

Chinas Taiwan Affairs Office has strongly opposed several Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers visit to Taiwan to establish a congressional group on Hong Kong affairs.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Office, said: We strongly oppose the collusion of Taiwan and Hong Kongs independence forces to interfere in the implementation of the One Country, Two Systems principle in Hong Kong, and to destroy the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. The plot and [their] actions are not welcomed by the people and will never succeed, Ma added at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

But Nathan Law dismissed criticism of the meeting, saying they were merely excuses.

The Democratic Progressive Party, which has been labeled a Taiwan independence force, is now the ruling party. The [pro-Beijing] DAB party also formed a group to visit them in 2008, he said on Tuesday. It shows how ridiculous the claim of collusion with Taiwan independence forces is also, it is normal to have interactions in civil societies. Beijing has long implemented an isolation policy on Hong Kong which claims that fighting for international support is equal to colluding with foreign forces an attempt. But Hong Kong is an international city we cannot stop and let Beijing control us. Fighting for international support is a necessary part of democratic progress.

(Ming Pao) Editorial. June 14, 2017.

The "Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan" has been set up by lawmakers from the New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party, and a number of Hong Kong Legislative Council members attended the tea party celebrating the event.

Both Hong Kong and Taiwan people enjoy freedom of speech. Exchanges between citizens from the two regions should not be criticised as long as they are not illegal. In fact, every time the Taiwanese presidential election is held, members of Hong Kong political parties fly to Taiwan to study the election and visit the campaign headquarters of candidates from all the major parties. However, the invitation issued by the Caucus to Hong Kong lawmakers from the "localism" and "self-determination" camps is different in nature from those exchanges. First, the Caucus was set up by Taiwanese members of the Legislative Yuan, and the tea party was held at the Legislative Yuan. The interactions were thus of a higher level than ordinary exchanges between citizens. Second, according to Huang Kuo-chang, Chairman of the New Power Party, the Caucus was a cross-party alliance of members of the Legislative Yuan. However, one does not need to look further than the list of the Caucus's 18 members to realise that the so-called "cross-party alliance" was in fact made up of "deep-green" politicians from the Democratic Progressive Party and New Power Party only, with lawmakers from the Kuomintang and the People First Party not participating in the Caucus. This shows that the Caucus is not an alliance of lawmakers from across the political spectrum, and is instead a group with an obvious political leaning. If Hong Kong politicians want to compare notes with members of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan, they should meet with people from different camps. They should not contact just a specific group of politicians and leave people with the impression that they are forming an alliance with those politicians.

For a long time, Taiwanese politicians were not particularly concerned about Hong Kong affairs. That was the case during the presidency of Chen Shui-bian and that of Ma Ying-jeou alike. However, since Tsai Ing-wen took office, Taiwan's policies towards Hong Kong have changed without many noticing. As pointed out by a Hong Kong expert on the field, the Democratic Progressive Party's advisers on cross-strait relations now take the view that Taiwan and Hong Kong can "fight shoulder to shoulder with each other to defend the core values that they share, including democracy, freedoms, and judicial independence". The Caucus was established against such a backdrop. Huang has claimed that the Caucus was set up to invite Legislative Yuan members from different parties to be concerned about and support Hong Kong's fight for democracy and to enable lawmakers from the two regions to exchange views on issues like young people and land justice. Despite such an ostensibly lofty goal, the actual proposals of members of the Caucus make one suspicious about their motive are the so-called exchanges on public policies just a masquerade for promoting something entirely different?

Hong Kong's democratic movement before 2014 was never linked to topics like "self-determination" and "independence", let alone being interpreted as separatist. Joshua Wong, Secretary General of Demosistō and Nathan Law, a lawmaker, who were both invited to the Caucus's tea party, said invariably that both Taiwan and Hong Kong were under pressure from Beijing and as such should "support each other". But they have failed to understand one key difference: Hong Kong is fighting for democracy in the face of Beijing, while what deep-green politicians in Taiwan want is Taiwan's independence! Forging friendship with advocates of Taiwan's independence in the belief that "an enemy's enemy is your friend" is likely to backfire it will complicate Hong Kong's fight for democracy and make it difficult to separate the democratic cause from the Hong Kong independence ideology.

(SCMP) Taiwan is sending wrong message about Hong Kongs rule of law. By Alex Lo. June 15, 2017.

Some political groups in Taiwan are helping to turn a Hong Kong fugitive into a human rights claimant. They are, in effect, undermining the well-earned reputation of the citys judicial independence.

Lee Sin-yi, 18, who allegedly took part in the Lunar New Year riot in Mong Kok last year, has been charged with rioting and assaults against police. She jumped bail and escaped to Taiwan. A court has issued a warrant for her arrest.

A simple case of absconding? Not according to some Taiwanese activists. New Power Party legislator Huang Kuo-chang, who has been briefing reporters about the case, said several Taiwan-based human rights groups had been helping Lee.

But why? She is clearly not a dissident, nor is there any evidence that her civil and legal rights may be violated under Hong Kongs judicial system. The young woman made a terrible mistake but now refuses to face the music. Yet, some groups in Taiwan are deliberately misrepresenting her situation as a human rights case.

Huang and other members of his pro-independence party have formed the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus, which is allied with pan-democratic lawmakers and activists such as Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang. The caucus is pushing for legal protocol to be set up in Taiwan for Hong Kong and Macau people who may need to seek political asylum. Do they really think people in both places are facing persecution and need to flee like Lee?

A fugitive is being turned into a cause celebre. This picture is so wrong on so many levels. It sends a message to young people in Hong Kong that its okay to behave violently and lawlessly and to refuse to face legal consequences so long as you claim to take an anti-government stance.

It sends a message that our judiciary is not independent but politically compromised, and so cannot be trusted.

It sends a message that our city is not a free society but runs on a system of repression. As a result, any normally legitimate law enforcement or prosecution may be in danger of being dismissed as an act of political persecution so long as it suits someones political agenda.

If the pan-democrats really stand for the rule of law and judicial independence, now is the time to speak up.

(The Standard) Rival camps argue over Taiwan caucus. June 16, 2017.

The pro-establishment camp has shown no signs it will stop pro-democracy lawmakers from joining a Taiwanese legislature caucus even as the former condemned their colleagues for colluding with independence advocates on the island. Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power, Nathan Law Kwun- chung of Demosisto and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick of Land Justice League on Monday participated in the establishment of the "Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus," a group of 18 Taiwanese Legislative Yuan members who aim to track the SAR's progress toward democracy.

Law and Chu said they advocate self-determination, but not independence. Chan does not support self- determination.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has slammed self-determination, citing it as a prelude to independence.

Thirty-nine pro-establishment legislators yesterday signed a joint declaration, strongly condemning their three colleagues. Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen was not among the signatories.

"As legislators of the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China, they openly joined activities of that organization [the caucus], and advocated 'Hong Kong Independence', 'Subtle Independence' and 'Taiwan Independence' and intervention in the internal affairs of Hong Kong, threatening the 'one country, two systems,' unity of the country and violating the Basic Law," according to the declaration.

Martin Liao Cheung-kong, convener of the pro-establishment caucus, described the Monday event as "collusion," citing members of the Taiwan caucus.

The pro-establishment side has had many contacts with Taiwanese political groups, but those contacts were different, the DAB's Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan said. "This group [Taiwan caucus] has vowed to interfere with Hong Kong's internal affairs," Quat claimed.

Law hit back, saying the Taiwan caucus was similar to Legco panels which cover nothing about Hong Kong independence. Chan said the pro-establishment camp's declaration would mean stopping all contacts with the Taiwan government.

Internet comments:

- (EJ Insight) Can Hong Kong rely on Taiwan to help it fight for democracy? By SC Yeung. June 13, 2017.

Many Hong Kong people admire the culture and democratic political system of Taiwan but would they also accept Taiwan politicians voicing out support for Hong Kong democracy?

On Monday, about 20 Taiwan lawmakers formed an alliance to support calls for democracy in Hong Kong. The group is led by Huang Kuo-chang, chairman of Taiwans pro-independence New Power Party, and includes lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Several Hong Kong pro-independence politicians and activists including Nathan Law, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, Chu Hoi-dick and Raymond Chan attended the launch ceremony.

We need to be united and share our experiences more as we are faced with suppression, Wong said, adding that his party does not advocate independence for Hong Kong but self-determination.

There are many reasons for politicians in Hong Kong and Taiwan to join hands against the Communist Party of China. The alliance could cement the public impression that both Hong Kong and Taiwan are under massive pressure from Beijing. That should help send a signal to the world community that Hong Kong and Taiwan are the victims of Beijings one China policy.

New Power Party said Hong Kong and Taiwan face difficulties like a housing shortage and an inefficient youth development policy. The party would be a good platform for exchanging ideas.

The incidents concerning the disappearance of Taiwans Lee Ming-cheh and Hong Kongs Causeway Bay booksellers, as well as problems in Hong Kongs democratic development and Taiwans lack of international recognition are tied to the authoritarian regime in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the new alliance could trigger another round of criticism of local pro-independence politicians. Beijing could further label them as enemies of the one China policy.

Hong Kong and Taiwan may just want to find a way to get rid of the iron rule of China. Beijing, on the other hand, could interpret the move as an attempt by the younger generations from both places to challenge the legitimacy of Beijings rule over Hong Kong.

The alliance also shows the transformation of the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong.

Previously, traditional democrats from the Democratic Party were willing to challenge Beijings red line under the one China policy. But now, a younger generation has taken up the role to promote Hong Kongs independence overseas.

In fact, if Beijing kept its promises under the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong people should enjoy a high degree of autonomy under one country, two systems.

But sadly, Beijing failed to keep its commitments, which worked against the interests of Hong Kong people, but strengthened its political agenda.

Hong Kong is not a closed-door issue. The global community has also expressed its concern about Hong Kongs democratic development.

Early this year, US Republican Senator Marco Rubio, his partymate Tom Cotton and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin jointly reintroduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to Congress, a move that might prompt Washington to review its policy on Hong Kong and increase uncertainty in Sino-US relations in the days ahead.

Once the bill is passed, the State Department will submit a report on the state of human rights and democratic development in Hong Kong to Congress on a yearly basis.

Its not surprising that Beijing would ferociously attack the Taiwan-led alliance as evidence of collusion between pro-independence forces. But the Hong Kong and Taiwan partnership should send Beijing a warning that it needs to keep Hong Kong in good shape.

- (EJ INsight) For Hong Kong lawmakers, no Taiwan friends, please. By SC Yeung. June 14, 2017.

Does Hong Kong still enjoy freedom of expression, or more to the point, is it free to make friends in Taiwan?

There could be no definite answer after Beijing criticized a group of Hong Kong lawmakers for supporting a Taiwan-led alliance on democracy.

That triggered allegations by the pro-Beijng camp that the alliance is a joint independence force by certain lawmakers from both sides to challenge Beijing and its one China policy. It accused the Hong Kong legislators of violating their oath of office.

Based on that, Beijing loyalists want Nathan Law, Chu Hoi-dick and Ray Chan, who are labelled as pro-independence politicians, to be ousted from the legislature on the grounds that they are a threat to Chinas national security.

Pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao criticised the Taiwanese lawmakers who are spearheading the alliance for blatantly interfering in Hong Kongs internal affairs. It said Hong Kong is a matter for Beijing alone.

However, what the Taiwan lawmakers want to do is their own business, so in that case, Beijing is trying to poke its nose in their backyard.

The pro-Beijing camp is using an old tactic to deal with the collaboration between the pro-independence camps of Hong Kong and Taiwan by using an out-of-date argument to set the bottom line.

For example, Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker Priscilla Leung said the collaboration highlights the need to introduce national security legislation in Hong Kong.

If three local lawmakers showing up at a press conference in Taiwan can threaten the national security of China, then the motherland is simply too weak to be Hong Kongs sovereign.

Hong Kong people are clever enough to understand the rationale behind the collaboration between the Hong Kong and Taiwanese lawmakers in pushing for Hong Kong democracy.

The alliance shows the muscle of the pro-independence camp in dealing with overseas politicians and bring Hong Kong issues beyond Hong Kong, as well as raise political awareness.

Hong Kong people also have the right to know how the Taiwan experience can help to achieve Hong Kong democracy.

Such discussions could be more like academic sharing rather than an action plan that can affect the national security of China.

But Hong Kong people know Hong Kongs fate is tied to Beijing, not Taiwan, or any country in the world.

Hongkongers may not like to express their patriotic feelings publicly but deep in their minds, they believe that Hong Kong cannot be separated from China.

That should be enough for Beijing to stop worrying about the growing independence movement.

In fact, its a non-issue raised by outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying two years ago without providing concrete evidence, using it as a tool to attack a small group of politicians who prefers to maintain the uniqueness of Hong Kong rather than fully embrace China.

Speaking to reporters before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Leung said Hong Kong cannot be complacent in its response to calls for various degrees of self-determination, including separatism and outright independence.

However, Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam is convinced that the idea of Hong Kong independence is supported by very few people and has not gained ground as a popular ideology.

Still, Leung insists Hong Kong must adopt a clear and strong stance against calls for self-determination, as the notion violates the Basic Law.

But it is not appropriate for Leung to talk about Taiwan independence. The more he talks on this issue, the more pushback he gets from Taiwan people. That could further drive Taiwan away from Beijing.

In fact, if Beijing strongly believes that one country, two systems has achieved significant results in the past two decades, top leaders should welcome opposition lawmakers to make friends with their Taiwan counterparts without fear of upending the system.

But can Beijing do that?

- Even before the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan officially came into existence, the New Power Party is already meddling in the judicial system of Hong Kong. After initial denials, they admit that they are harboring the fugitive Lee Sin-yi from the Mong Kok trial. In so doing, the New Power Party has decided that they shall decide what is justice in Hong Kong instead of some Hong Kong court, judge, magistrate or jury. I am sure that the one of the first actions of the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan will be to summon Lee Sin-yi to report on the state of freedom/democracy/human rights in Hong Kong.

- This will make Hong Kong into One Country Three Systems, with the Supreme Court of the Judicial Branch of the Hong Kong system being the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan.

- No, this will make into One Country Four Systems, with the Legislative Branch of the Hong Kong system being co-located at the United States Senate per the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of Republican senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.

- Yes, and we need the United Kingdom to host the Executive Branch of the Hong Kong System in the person of ex-governor Chris Patten in order to have One Country Five Systems.

- Talk about the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus is just hot air. The real question is: Will they put their money where their mouths are? How much are they going to donate (openly or surreptitiously) to Nathan Law/Joshua Wong/Agnes Chow, Eddie Chu or Chan Chi-chuen? Until the money is delivered, all the talk is worth less than a piece of toilet paper.

- The United States of America puts its money where its mouth is as it funneled billions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy to promote freedom and democracy all over the world.

- (ESWN November 11, 2006) Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian once gave Chinese student leader Wang Dan US$200,000. So how much is Joshua Wong worth?

- (Taipei Times) June 9, 2017.

Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communication Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) yesterday engaged in a war of words after Hu chided Wang for saying there will not be Taiwanese independence without bloodshed.

Wang, a student leader in the pro-democracy protests in Beijing in the spring of 1989, in a Facebook post marking the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on Saturday called on Taiwanese independence advocates to stop advocating independence if they are not prepared to shed blood, otherwise their words would only amount to verbal masturbation.

Hu yesterday commended Wang for speaking the truth, but criticized him for the timing of the remark, as Wang, who has spent eight years in Taiwan, is scheduled to leave for the US next month.

Wang has milked his charmed life in Taiwan for all it was worth and only spoke the truth before abandoning Taiwan, Hu said.

Wang said on Facebook that the KMT had deliberately misinterpreted his words.

The bloodshed remark was meant to encourage younger generations to fight for independence, but also act as a reminder that they should be prepared to pay a price, Wang said. He dismissed Hus remarks about him living a high life in Taiwan only to abandon it.

Wang compared Hus words to propaganda by Chinas Internet trolls, calling them vulgar. He urged the KMT to mind its own business, saying that countless Republic of China soldiers were killed by the Chinese Communist Party during the Chinese Civil War, but instead of avenging them, the KMT has played second fiddle to Beijing.

The KMT lost its reign over China and repeated its mistake after it retreated to Taiwan, he said. If I were the KMT, I would have dug a hole in the ground and jumped in. How come you still have the audacity to accuse others? Wang said. Spokesman Hu, how shameless you are.

Hu yesterday said he is not ashamed of stating the facts. Citing a list pan-green camp politicians that have also criticized Wangs bloodshed remark, he said the antipathy toward the remark had crossed party lines.

The best revenge the KMT can have is to promote the teachings of the democracy pioneers who died during the war and pass on Taiwans democratic values to all Chinese, Hu said. Wangs remark that the KMT should take revenge on China shows that he is not well-versed in democracy and that his thoughts have progressed little since 1989, Hu said.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 13, 2017.

Panama and China announced Tuesday they were establishing diplomatic relations, as the Central American nation became the latest to dump Taiwan for closer ties with the worlds second-largest economy.

The move prompted an angry response from Taiwan and will likely further strain ties between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland.

Taiwan is recognised by around 20 countries worldwide and its status is one of the most politically sensitive issues for Chinese leaders who pressure trade partners to accept its one China principle.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said in a nationally televised message to the country and the world that Panama and China establish diplomatic relations today.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying: In light of the interests and wishes of both peoples, the Republic of Panama and Peoples Republic of China have decided to grant each other, from the date of this documents signing, mutual recognition, establishment of diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level.

Taiwan reacted furiously to the latest move. We strongly condemn Beijing for manipulating the so-called one China policy to continue to suppress Taiwans international space through various means, the presidential office said. This kind of action is not only an open threat to Taiwanese peoples survival and welfare but also an open provocation to peace and stability in the Taiwan strait and the region.

- (SCMP) June 14, 2017.

The United States wants China and Taiwan to engage in dialogue instead of escalatory or destabilising moves, a US State Department spokesperson said after Panama cut ties with Taiwan and switched its official recognition to Beijing.

The US continues to oppose unilateral action by either side to alter the status quo across the Strait, spokesperson Heather Nauert told a press briefing on Wednesday.

Nauert declined to comment whether Panama, a small Central American nation, had informed the US of the change in advance.

The United States urges all concerned parties to engage in productive dialogue and to avoid escalatory or destabilising moves, Nauert said.

- Hmm, " the United States continues to oppose unilateral action by either side to alter the status quo across the Strait"? Whatever happened to the rights of the sovereign nation of Panama to choose which countries it wants diplomatic relations with?

- The Hong Kong independence movement needs strong and powerful friends. Taiwan is not one. What Hong Kong needs is the United States Seven Fleet permanently guarding Victoria Harbor. But the United States sees no reason to do so.

- The Hong Kong independence movement is not looking for that single strong and powerful friend. They are looking for many friends. They think that if Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang declare independence simultaneously, the Chinese Communists won't be able to attack on all fronts at the same time. This is the Whac-A-Mole strategy.

- While it would be a major war to invade Taiwan, and Tibet and Xinjiang have huge areas to cover, Hong Kong is a piece of cake -- just cut off food, water, electricity and telecommunications. Hong Kong will capitulate within a week.

- All it takes is one torpedo from a Chinese submarine to blow up the underwater internet exchange cable connecting the Information Technology Centre of the Chinese University of Hong Kong to the United States. Hongkongers will surrender immediately because there is no point in having a revolution if you can't it on Facebook.

- Here is the list of the 20 countries which still recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan):

The top picks for the next to go are: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vatican City. However, China will probably schedule them to take place one every three months.

Nicaragua's president is Daniel Ortega (Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)) while El Salvador's president is Salvador Snchez Cern (Farabundo Mart National Liberation Front (FMLN)). Both are leftists/socialists. Just like Panama, these countries are always worried about being invaded by the United States to overthrow their democratically elected governments. They need China's support at the United Nations. The only reason why they haven't done so yet is that China told them to wait.

Meanwhile Vatican City's has to weigh the conditions of the Devil's Bargain because there are 1.4 billion Chinese souls waiting to be saved. If Vatican City does not act, they will all go to hell.

- (HKG Pao) June 15, 2017.

On Radio Free Asia, Causeway Bay Bookstore's Lam Wing-kee said that Hong Kong independence is unlikely to be realized in the foreseeable future. "However, Hong Kong independence can serve as the bargaining chip against Chinese Communist meddling." He said: "What is wrong with the people of Hong Kong fighting for independence? I don't see anything wrong with it. It can be used as a bargaining chip!"

Lam Wing-kee said that he does not approve of violent resistance. However, the people of Hong Kong should be able to bring up self-determination, independence and other demands as bargaining chips in negotiations with the Chinese Communists over their meddling. "If you have bargaining chips, why not use them?"

Lam Wing-kee said that culturally speaking, the Chinese Communists should be able to rule for another 3,000 years. The China problem can only be solved by "rectifying" the traditional Confucian ideas in Chinese tradition. He said that it will be impossible to bring down the Chinese Communists. "But I think that it is possible to maintain a distance from them, in the sense the river water won't mix with the well water."

Lam Wing-kee said that the people of Hong Kong can hold down Chinese Communist meddling if they stick to their principles. He does not think that Hong Kong is a hopeless, but it all depends on how the people of Hong Kong. "You have to ask the people of Hong Kong, not mainland China." Lam said previously that he has no plans to immigrate to Taiwan. He said that Hongkongers can surely immigrate to Taiwan to enjoy the "fruits of their resistance." But as Hongkongers "hae the duty to defend the land in which they were born and raised." Therefore he does not approve of immigration.

- Here is a gambler who holds a hand that is a sure loser (=Hong Kong independence will be impossible to realize), but he wants to bet the family house on it.

What is the situation of the other player (Chinese Communists)? If he concedes this bluff, he will also lose Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and the hearts and minds of every Han person. So he will have to go all in, and take over the gambler's family home.

- (AM 730) By Lee Wah-ming (Democratic Party). June 16, 2017.

In Taiwan, eighteen legislators formed the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus on June 12. The Democratic Progressivfe Party's Secretary-general of the Legislative Yuan Lin Chih-chia said that, as the representative of the speaker and deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan, he promises to do everything possible to provide resources to this Caucus.

he signs are the the members of the Caucus come from the New Power Party and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. The New Power Party was formed in January 2015 and won five seats in the Legislative Yuan elections last year to become the third most powerful political party after the Democratic Progressive Party and the KMT. This young organization supports Taiwan independence. They are basically formed by young persons backed by the Democratic Progressive Party, which includes Taiwan independence in its party policty.

The Caucus is clearly formed by pro-Taiwan independence elements. Although the three Hong Kong legislators who attended the inaugural ceremony insisted that they have never advocated Hong Kong independence, their previous ideas and actions show that they do not think they are Chinese. They use the term "Chinese Communists" instead of the "Central Government" or "Mainland Government." During the legislative council elections, they repeatedly emphasized that they are for self-determination and not Hong Kong independence. But there is not much difference between the two ideas.

Ever since the Democratic Progressive Party took over the reigns in Taiwan, cross-strait relationship has dropped to the freezing point. The Chinese government is isolating Taiwan internationally. Earlier, they prevented Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organisation meeting. Recently Panama broke off diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. My guess is that the Taiwan government wants to use Hong Kong to make trouble for the mainland government, even secretly giving resources to support Hong Kong forces to oppose the central government.

My other interesting observation is that while Caucus chairman Huang Kuo-chang (New Power Party) Noted that this is the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China, Chan Chi-chuen, Joshua Wong and others from Hong Kong said that this is the 20th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to China. The different ways of characterization of the same event showed that these Hongkongers don't like the word "handover" for obvious reasons which I don't need to explain.

I am not criticizing the formation of this Caucus because I am afraid of making the central government angry. I will fully support anything to help democracy in Hong Kong. But there is absolutely no point in these kinds of actions that only provoke the central government. Above all, I don't want to see Hong Kong being used as a chess piece by Taiwan and other foreign forces. We have to fight for our own democracy, and we cannot expect someone else to do it for us!

- (Ming Pao) June 16, 2017.

Certain Hong Kong Legislative Councilors went to Taiwan to form a Taiwan Legislative Yuan Hong Kong Democracy Concern Network with Taiwan legislators.

Unsurprisingly, the Beijing camp characterized this network as a coalition of Hong Kong independence and Taiwan independence elements. Joshua Wong said that this was a mischaracterization and insisted that this was just political exchange.

Actually, the Hong Kong delegates must know beforehand how this coalition would be viewed.

Traditional Hong Kong political parties such as the Democratic Party and the Civic Party did not participate. From Taiwan, only the pro-independence New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party participated while the Nationalist Party and the People First Party did not.

This sort of coalition cannot be said to be a coalition between the legislatures in both places. Instead, it is at most a coalition of certain kinds of political forces.

Irrespective of whether this is a coalition of pro-independence forces or not, what is the practical usefulness of such a network?

Can Hong Kong use Taiwan to apply pressure on mainland China?

Taiwan can hardly even take care of itself. Taiwan was hapless when Panama dumped it for mainland China. How can it change the political hold of mainland China on Hong Kong?

Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang Ting-yu said that he hopes that Hong Kong legislators will not be disqualified for failing to take the oath of office in accordance with the ceremonial rules.

How can such a Taiwan-Hong Kong network hope to apply pressure on the Hong Kong Legislative Council?

Another New Power Party legislator Kawlo Lyun wanted to be able to introduce motions in the Taiwan Parliament for the government and society to provide help to Hong Kong people who are facing political suppressoin.

This makes one think of Lee Sin-yi who skipped bail for the Mong Kok riot charges and went to Taiwan to seek political asylum. It seems that the short-term goal of the Taiwan-Hong Kong network is to turn Taiwan into a safe haven for Hongkongers seeking political refuge.

But does the Taiwan parliament have consensus on such difficult issues?

Is the Taiwan government willing to do so? When Taiwan becomes the safe harbor, will Hongkongers become even more extreme when they fight against the government because they know that someone is looking after their backs?

There is no clear roadmap at this point.

Wang Dan said that it is bullshit to fight for Taiwan independence without shedding blood. This has raised controversies in Taiwan, and I think it is thought-worthy.

Will the network become a battleground? Are our political figures prepared to go to war? We wait for the answers.

- The model would be the Contras. Taiwan can covertly fund and arm a Hong Kong Resistance Movement.

- (HKG Pao) June 21, 2017.

- In a June 12, 2017 news report in Taiwan, "Legislative Yuan secretary-general Lin Chih-chia said that Taiwan's international space is under pressure from China. The executive branch has its difficulties, so Legislative branch representatives must form various parliamentary friendship association at various countries around the world to break through the political difficulties and raise the visibility of Taiwan. So far, the Legislative Yuan already has 60 international friendship associations with various countries.

According to the Act Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area Article 5-1,

Any authorities or institution at each local government level of the Taiwan Area shall not negotiate or execute any agreement in any form with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other authorities or institution of the Mainland Area unless authorized by the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan. The same applies mutatis mutandis to the civil servants, elected public offices at all levels, or local representative organs at all levels.

Any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution shall not execute any agreement involving the governmental powers of the Taiwan Area or political issues with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other authorities or institution of the Mainland Area unless authorized by the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan or each competent authorities concerned in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Please note the point about "execute any agreement in any form." Nathan Law, Chan Chi-chuen, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Alex Chow and Joshua Wong went to Taiwan for a signing ceremony for the establishment of a network with the pro-Taiwan independence legislators. According to pro-independence legislator Huang Kuo-chang, "This network is formed mainly by the Taiwan Legislative Yuan and the Hong Kong Legislative Council together. No matter what form this takes, the exchange will continue on issues ranging from youth, land justice to urban development, high housing prices, low wages.  Taiwan and Hong Kong can learn from each other about the various policies adopted to deal with the common problems."

- Please note also that the Act Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area refers to the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. There is no such thing as the Hong Kong Area or the Macau Area, because those are considered sub-areas under the Mainland Area.

- The three legislators told the media afterwards that they participated as "individuals"". But once they met in Taiwan, they pronounced that the meeting was "an exchange between the legislatures of Hong Kong and Taiwan." So the three legislators have appointed themselves to represent the Hong Kong Legislative Council in Taiwan.

Has the Legislative Yuan receive the authorization of the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan in according to Article 5-1 to establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong network supported only by pro-Taiwan independence legislators?

What does it take to for Hong Kong legislative councilors to officially represent the Hong Kong Legislative Council? There are some very specific steps. For example, according to Legislative Council document CB(1)712/16-17, the Legislative Council received an invitation from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the World Trade Organisation to send two Legislative Councilors to attend a workshop in Singapore. The Panel on Commerce and Industry at the Legislative Council met to decide whether to accept this invitation. Once there was agreement to accept, the next consideration was to determine which two legislative councilors would go. Yiu Chung-yim and Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu were selected. A budget was estimated for expenses. After the Panel on Commerce and Industry passed the request, the matter was referred to the Home Council for approval. Only then can these two legislative councilors officially represent the Hong Kong Legislative Council.

In the case of Nathan Law, Chan Chi-chuen and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, they did no such thing because it should be very clear that the Home Council would never approve of a delegation to sign a cooperation agreement with something called the Taiwan Legislative Yuan Hong Kong Democracy Concern Network.

- Indeed, Hong Kong and Taiwan have entered a joint law enforcement project:

(Oriental Daily) July 22, 2017. 53 persons have been arrested, either in Hong Kong and 55 in Taiwan, of which 46 are Taiwanese, 5 are Hongkongers and 2 are mainland Chinese. The suspects are charged with using social media to look for victims. These people claim to be Hong Kong Customs officers, investment advisors and betting service managers looking to make friends with Taiwanese divorces between the ages of 35 and 55. They look to gain the trust of the women to give transfer their money into Marriage Funds. 127 Taiwanese women were victimized, losing nearly NT$300 million.

The Hong Kong Police said that perpetrators and victims of these fraud cases are not located in Hong Kong, so that activity is not in Hong Kong's jurisdiction. However, the suspects used Hong Kong bank accounts to accept the money, so they may be violating money-laundering laws. The Hong Kong Police reminds people that the maximum penalty for money-laundering is a $5 million fine and 14 years in prison.

(SCMP) June 12, 2017.

The Democratic Party has vowed to fight for self-determination to the greatest extent for Hong Kong, although it flatly rejects calls for Hong Kong independence.

The party also says it rejects any form of violence in pursuing democracy, while saying it appreciates why there has been a rise in violent or radical resistance in recent years.

The party spelled out its stance on a range of political issues in a 16-page report released on Sunday after a review of the citys democratic movement since the 1980s and the implementation of the one country, two systems policy after the 1997 handover.

The document reads: The Democratic Party will not allow Hong Kong to move towards one country, one system. Nor will we support Hong Kong independence. We believe that we should strive for self-determination to the greatest extent under the current framework of [recognising Chinas] sovereignty.

Without naming any party, the Democratic Party also rejected the idea of having a referendum for Hongkongers to decide whether the city should cut ties with mainland China, calling it a political gamble with extremely high risk. Such an idea has been put forward by Demosisto, a political party led by former student activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung.

The Democratic Party is the biggest pro-democracy party in the Legislative Council with seven seats. It has more than 600 members. The document was released at a seminar hosted by the party on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kongs handover.

Most speakers were from the pan-democrat camp. They criticised Beijing for not respecting the one country, two systems policy by imposing tighter control over Hong Kong in recent years.

One speaker, Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming said: It has now become the Communist Party ruling Hong Kong.

The only pro-establishment speaker, lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee of the New Peoples Party, argued that increasing calls for independence, as well as the citys failure to enact a national security law, had caused Beijing to adjust its policies on Hong Kong.

Representatives of various pan-democratic groups told the seminar they had to learn more about Beijing and its politics to advance the democratic movement.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan said: We cant knock down China. China is getting stronger. We need to ask ourselves if our democratic movement is aimed at destroying a giant. We should get to know more about China. We are not making a revolution. We have no army, no weapon. So, what is our democratic movement aimed at?

Raphael Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats agreed. It seems Beijing knows us much more than we know it. Without an understanding of your opponent, how can you tackle it?

Internet comments:

- The Democratic Party document referred to the relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China as "Hong Kong-China relationship." This is the same positioning as the Taiwan-China relationship, as if Hong Kong and China have equal standing. Worse yet, this is "Hong Kong-China relationship" with Hong Kong taking precedence over China. What were they thinking? Or were they not thinking when they wrote it?

- The Democratic Party arrived at this position by procrastination. A year or two ago, it was fashionable to talk about Hong Kong independence as a possibility. They could not bring themselves to go against the current to oppose. So they dithered around. Now the situation is clearer in view of developments over the past couple of years:

(1) The Central Government/Chinese Communist Party are firmly against Hong Kong independence/self-determination.

(2) The Chinese University of Hong Kong survey showed that 83.5% of persons age 15+ think Hong Kong independence is impossible and 2.9% think it is possible.

(3) The only possible path to Hong Kong independence is based upon the Coming Meltdown of China.

(The Diplomat) March 20, 2015.

The temptation to make predictions about China is probably irresistible, because it is arguably the most important contemporary case in international relations. Thus, a few Western observers have risked their professional reputations by acting as prophets. Perhaps the most (in)famous is Gordon Chang, who published The Coming Collapse of China in 2001. The end of the modern Chinese state is near, he asserted. The Peoples Republic has five years, perhaps ten, before it falls,

China didnt collapse, as we all know. So, yes, my prediction was wrong, he admitted in an article (The Coming Collapse of China: 2012 Edition). But he remained convinced about the imminence of a Chinese apocalypse and offered a new timeline: Instead of 2011, the mighty Communist Party of China will fall in 2012. Bet on it.

But China seems to be getting stronger every day. So how do you rationalize your timeline/path to Hong Kong independence?

(4) No foreign country is willing to support, fund or arm a Hong Kong independence movement. Not the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan or Taiwan.

(5) After the Fishball Revolution, it is clear that the leaders of the Hong Kong independence movement are great at incitement but they run off to 'study' at Oxford University and Harvard University while the foot soldiers are arrested and sentenced to jail.

(6) When resources are limited and even shrinking fast, what is left to do is to plunder from fellow travelers. Thus, the Democratic Party issues its position paper in order to cannibalize Demosisto, Civic Passion attacks Raywond Wong/MyRadio, Wong Yeung-tat fights Cheng Chung-tai within Civic Passion, etc.

- Why is Helena Wong Pik-wan so humble about the need to know more about China? Previously (Ta Kung Pao, June 1, 2017)

Democratic Party legislator Helena Wong Pik-wan said that many people recommended her to watch the television serial drama <In the Name of the People>. So far she has reached Chapter 9. She said that she has gained greater understanding of political culture in mainland China through this show.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen told Wong that he has reached Chapter 16 of <In the Name of the People." "The show runs to more than fifty chapters, so there is plenty more to watch. This is a good show, so I recommend Legislator Wong to finish watching it." However, Tam said that Wong should not be purely watching television drama in order to understand China. He urges Wong and her fellow party members to go more often to mainland China to observe and communicate.

- Raphael Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats agreed. It seems Beijing knows us much more than we know it. Without an understanding of your opponent, how can you tackle it?

The League of Social Democrats' toolkit of dealing with Beijing consists of (1) hanging down banners from Lion Rock; (2) carrying a cardboard coffin to the China Liaison Office, spreading joss money and then disbanding; etc. How do you gain any understanding of the opponent?

(Wen Wei Po) June 9, 2017.

Recently former Civic Passion leader Wong Yeung-tat has been attacked on multiple fronts. On one hand, his mentor Raymond Wong Yuk-man is accusing him of betrayal and disloyalty in order to make more money. On the other hand, there are internal dissension at Civic Passion, with many veterans breaking away. The two major ex-Civic Passion members are Pierre Cheung (aka "The French Guy") and Lee Ching-hei.

Cheung and Lee followed Wong Yeung-tat at many of the major clashes, such as the Occupy movement, breaking into the Legislative Council and the so-called Restore movement in Yuen Long.

According to Cheung and Lee, Wong Yeung-tat is guilty of three things:

(1) Wong Yeung-tat told his trusted aides to clash with the police. Beforehand, he promised to pay for all legal expenses. Afterwards, Wong refused to give a single cent and in fact severe relations with them. Lee Ching-hei is now in court for clashing with the police and Wong refuses to help him. Lee is now cursing Wong as a cowardly bastard "who talks deceptively about morality/ethics all the time."

(2) Wong Yeung-tat believed that it is advantageous for him to run for office on a list with other people who have criminal records. Pierre Cheung said that Wong wanted to run for Legislative Council on Wong's list, because his criminal record gives him an aura of social activist hero. When Cheung refused, Wong ostracized him from Civic Passion.

(3) Wong Yeung-tat cared only about reaping money for himself. He believes that politics is merely a business to make money, and his supporters are merely financial tools. When they are useful, he refers to them as brothers. When they are no longer useful, he discards them.

Internet comments:

- (HK Nuts Power Facebook)

Here are  the 11 vacations that Mr. and Mrs. Wong Yeung-tat took over the past 5 years:
May 2017: Osaka
February 2017: Tokyo
October 2016: Vancouver/Toronto
September 2016: Taipei
April 2016: Taipei
October 2015: England
February 2015: Taipei
December 2014: Osaka
May 2014: Seoul
October 2013: Portugal
August 2013: Kenting (Taiwan)

Here are the Cartier rings that Mrs. Wong bought ($12,600 for white gold, $25,900 for platinum)

Where does the money come from?

Civic Passion member Chan Pak-yeung was sentenced to 9 months in prison for participation in the Mong Kok riot. Civic Passion asked people to donate money, noting that Passion Times will keep 30% of each donation to cover daily operational costs.

- (HKG Pao) Mrs. Wong responded on Facebook: "I only think that two trips per year is too miserly? Over the decade, many of the trips to France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, England, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere have been great ." This is an insult to those who cannot even afford to visit a wilderness park in Hong Kong once a year, or have fewer than 7 days of vacation per year.

There is nothing too unusual about two trips per year. What is astonishing is that Mr. and Mrs. Wong keep wanting the Civic Passion supporters to donate money which is always in short supply, and then they take vacations and buy jewelry for themselves. Don't the Civic Passion supporters feel foolish about how their money is being put to use?

(Wen Wei Po) June 12, 2017.

On the night before yesterday, Chau Sze Tat held a Facebook live broadcast, during which he played an audio recording of Civic Passion chairman and legislative councilor Cheng Chung-tai spoke during a work session.

Cheng was heard to say: "Between September last year and January/February this year, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching ... fuck you! They should have died, fucking bastards! But the problem is that I cannot say so in public. I have to pretend to be their friend. I need to show people that I am helping them, because people are idiots! They think that we are Localists, do  you understand? The Localists are in one camp. Some people actually think that we are Youngspiration!"

Chau Sze Tat said that Cheng Chung-tai is a bare-faced liar. If Cheng dislike Leung-Yau, he should say so. During the oath of office conflict, Civic Passion provided no help to Leung-Yau. "There is no way to spin this. Fuck your mother! Go home and sleep on it ... Fuck your mother! You don't have to purge your party. You should disband your party!"

In addition, a former Civic Passion member named Ah Lok all called in on Chau Sze Tat's show and provided multiple screen captures of mobile phone text messages of the group "Full White Flag" headed by Cheng Chung-tai.

At the time, the localist Jacob Choi had passed away and a Pui Kiu Middle School teacher had his identity forged to create a Facebook account to make critical comments about Jacob Choi and Localism. The Civic Passion organized a demonstration at Pui Kiu Middle School. The screen captures showed that Cheng Chung-tai made a call to action late the night before. "We must burn some mourning clothes to let people know that Civic Passion did this. We must have very loud loudspeakers.

Ah Lok said: "They wanted to publicize Four Eyes (=Cheng Kam-mun). So Four Eyes led the group to the school ... I don't sense any sorrow among them. They merely felt: "Jacob is dead and we can use his aura.' They were laughing and joking about taking more photos of Four Eyes. I fuck your mothers! You are not fucking human! How can you fucking laugh at a time like that?"

Last night, Cheng Chung-tai admitted that the audio recording was authentic. "Someone just told me that my internal report to the working group has been leaked." He said that he regrets profoundly that someone should disobey party rules and violate internal communication protocol. He said: "There is nothing in there that could not be publicly said. There are no secrets or exposs." He added later: "All those who supported Leung-Yau on September 4th (2016 Legislative Council elections) and caused Raymond Wong to lose are mentally defective."

Some Civic Passion supporters believe that the audio recording was leaked by Raymond Wong Yuk-man, who has broken up with Civic Passion and Wan Chin. Most of Cheng Chung-tai's aides worked for Raymond Wong previously. "So it is not surprising that someone is Raymond Wong's mole and passed the audio recording to Chau Sze Tat."

(SCMP) June 13, 2017.

Beijing-friendly politicians are often accused of practising united front tactics. As it turns out, pan-democrats and their radical allies are doing exactly the same. Worse, some have such contempt for the public in whose name they are always claiming to be speaking that its truly breathtaking.

The radical Civic Passion chairman and lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai has found himself at the centre of a political storm among anti-government circles. This comes after a heated discussion during a secretly taped party meeting was released online at the weekend.

Cheng was heard blasting ousted lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching both of the localist group Youngspiration and dismissing the public as retarded. The two localist activists had disrupted the Legislative Councils swearing-in ceremonies and other meetings last October, behaviour that led to their disqualification as lawmakers.

Cheng was heard shouting Cantonese obscenities while discussing the case of Leung and Yau, saying they both should just die. He also complained about having to pretend to be their friend, to make it look like I was helping them.

The public is retarded, he said. They assume I am part of localism. Some even think I belong to Youngspiration, do you understand?

Posting a response on his own Facebook page, Cheng neither confirmed nor denied he was the one speaking during the meeting. But he complained that his party comrades should not have made unauthorised recordings of confidential party meetings and then released them on the internet.

So it turns out Cheng and presumably more than a few other opposition figures have had tremendous contempt for Leung and Yau. Yet, they have kept up what is literally a united front for the longest time, just to exploit the pairs disqualification from the legislature as a rallying point to fight the government.

Cheng is also in legal trouble himself. He has been charged with desecrating the national and Hong Kong flags after he turned upside down small versions of those flags that lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had displayed on their desks inside the Legco chamber in October. It was a completely pointless gesture, other than as a childish insult to the Hong Kong and central governments.

Maybe Cheng shouldnt be so harsh on Leung and Yau. He is turning out to be as big a fruit cake as those two.

Audio recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_agogBdKsVU

(SCMP) Radical localists have pressed the self-destruct button. By Alex Lo. June 21, 2017.

If a recent poll is anything to go by, localist-inspired separatism has just self-imploded. The June study by the Chinese Universitys centre for communication and public opinion survey finds that only 14.8 per cent of people aged between 15 and 24 support independence for Hong Kong, down from 39.2 per cent last year. Meanwhile, 43 per cent from the same age groups oppose independence, compared to 26 per cent a year ago.

A single poll may not be representative, but the localist movement is certainly losing steam. Cheng Chung-tai is just the latest so-called radical to be exposed for his questionable character and political judgment. The Civic Passion chairman and legislator was caught cursing ousted lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching and dismissing the public as retarded.

Edward Leung Tin-kei, once a localist star who threatened the need to spill blood, went overseas to pursue studies on independence movements after calling himself a coward. Wong Yuk-man and Horace Chin Wan-kan, the so-called fathers of localism, have been the ones most looked up to by young radicals. Both men now spend more time attacking each other and their own one-time followers than anything else.

Wong single-handedly caused more splits and disputes within the pan-democratic and localist camps than anyone. Just think of all the groups he had split from, causing deep-seated resentments along the way. He went from the League of Social Democrats in the early 2010s to People Power, the Proletariat Political Institute, Civic Passion and finally a so-called alliance with Chin by the combined acronyms CP-PPI-HKRO, only for both men to lose in the last Legislative Council elections.

But lets not forget the crucial role Wong played in the original spit within the pan-democratic camp that has been at the root of its disarray. That was after the Democratic Party held not-so-secret meetings with Beijing in 2010 that led to a significant expansion of the franchise in the 2012 Legco elections.

That marked the start of local radicalism, when Wong and others helped whip up hysteria against the Democrats. If only the pan-dems had been able to continue dialogue and build trust with the central government!

But with so many leaders discredited, radical localism is burning itself out. Sadly, its only real legacy will have been to give Beijing the perfect excuse to intervene in Hong Kong affairs.

(SCMP) Political conflicts have left our real problems on the back burner. By Alex Lo. June 22, 2017.

When Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying leaves office next week, he will leave behind a highly contentious legacy that will be the subject of debate for years to come. But while his enemies and critics will never admit it, there is no doubt that he has scored two major victories: against the Occupy movement and localist-inspired separatism. Ultimately, they count the most in the eye of the central government.

Perhaps its more accurate to say that Leung did not so much as defeat the two movements than that they self-imploded through poor leadership, lack of organisation and constant infighting. You can draw a straight line from the Occupy protests to localist separatism. Clear-sighted observers had always known that the Occupy movement would get nowhere, having been led by naive and incompetent scholars, churchmen and youngsters. Leung and his bosses in Beijing knew no massive state violence in the mould of Tiananmen was necessary or even desirable. All they needed was to wait it out. Sure enough, it lasted just 79 days.

The outcomes were also predictable: political disillusionment for most, self-styled radicalisation by a few. Pan-democrats like to blame Leung for creating radical localism. Thats their backhanded acknowledgement of his success against the Occupy protests. Having exhausted the sloganeering on universal suffrage when pan-democratic lawmakers voted down the last electoral reform package in 2014, the worst of the citys political malcontents switched to the notion of sovereignty, hence their ever changing, usually incoherent, sometimes contradictory demands for independence, full autonomy and/or city-state status over different time frames, up to 2047 and thereafter. The problem is that the localist radicals cant even agree among themselves when and in what form Hong Kongs separation from the rest of China will take, let alone convincing others that its a viable political programme.

Having seen the Occupy movement self-destruct, we are now watching the localists self-implode. But Leungs victories may yet be pyrrhic. Marxists like to point out that political conflicts are merely the surface problems caused by underlying socio-economic contradictions within a society. And they would be exactly right. Our legion of social problems from extreme inequalities and lack of social mobility and opportunities to profound demographic changes, declining productivity and inability to innovate  are the real issues. Sadly, our leaders and our community as a whole dont seem to be up to the challenge.

(Marxists. org) Sectarianism. By Duncan Hallas (1985/1987)

The term sectarianism is used so loosely that it may be as well to start by clarifying what it does not mean. It is sometimes asserted that it is sectarian to try to build your own organisation in the course of intervention in various struggles. This is nonsense. If you believe that your organisations politics are correct, or at least more correct than those of others, you will naturally want it to grow and will try to build it. Otherwise you are not politically serious.

Of course, this may sometimes be attempted in an arrogant or insensitive fashion, but that is not so much sectarianism as stupidity.

Sectarianism refers exclusively to erroneous attitudes to the class struggle.

By directing socialism towards a fusion with the working class movement, wrote Lenin, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels did their greatest service: they created a revolutionary theory that explained the necessity for this fusion and gave socialists the task of organising the class struggle of the proletariat.

Fusion, in this context, does not mean the dissolution of a revolutionary organisation into a non-revolutionary one. Lenin was totally committed to building a revolutionary organisation and broke ruthlessly with those, including many of his former collaborators, who wavered on this central point. The key words are the class struggle of the proletariat. It is with this that socialists must fuse.

The notion goes back to the Communist Manifesto. Sectarians, for Marx and Engels, were those who created utopias, abstract schemes derived from supposed general principles, to which people were to be won by persuasion and example co-operative islands of socialism and suchlike as opposed to the Marxist emphasis on the real movement, the actual class struggle. It was with this in mind that Marx wrote: The sect sees the justification for its existence and its point of honour not in what it has in common with the class movement but in the particular shibboleth which distinguishes it from the movement. (The emphasis is Marxs own.)

Class movement is meant literally. It is not a matter, or not primarily a matter, of this or that working class institution but of the course of development of the real class struggle and the development of class consciousness. Marx was a revolutionary. For him revolution was not a particular shibboleth, but a necessary stage in the struggle for socialism which, in turn, can only be based on the class struggle, regardless, as he wrote, of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole of the proletariat at the moment considers as its aim.

However, sectarianism is not necessarily avoided by formal acceptance of the centrality of the class struggle. As early as the 1880s Engels was ridiculing the German Marxist emigrs in the USA for turning Marxism into a kind of only-salvation dogma and [keeping] aloof from any movement which did not accept that dogma. Engels had in mind the Knights of Labour, a considerable, although confused, attempt at working class organisation, which, he argued (vainly, as far as the German-American Marxists were concerned) ought not to be pooh-poohed from without but revolutionised from within.

The argument applies generally. So, in the early years of the Communist International, a good number of genuine revolutionaries, mainly in Germany but not only there, were opposed to systematic work in the existing unions. Their argument was that these unions were bureaucratised and conservative, if not downright reactionary. It was broadly true. It was also true that these unions organised millions of workers and, however bureaucratised and reactionary their leadership, they were class organisations which necessarily played a role (a bad one) in the class struggle and could not simply be bypassed. As Lenin wrote:

We are waging the struggle against the opportunist and social-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class over to our side. It would be absurd to forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth. Yet this is the very absurdity that the German Left Communists perpetrate when, because of the reactionary and counterrevolutionary character of the trade unions top leadership, they jump to the conclusion that we must withdraw from the trade unions, refuse to work in them, and create new and artificial forms of labour organisation! This is so unpardonable a blunder that it is tantamount to the greatest service Communists could render the bourgeoisie.

The common thread between this mistake by the (for the most part) active and revolutionary lefts and all other forms of sectarianism is failure to relate to the concrete struggles of workers, however difficult it may be to do so, and to set up utopian schemes as alternatives.

Thus, the propagandistic forms of sectarianism, very different at first sight, have this same root. There is a rich (if that is the appropriate word) experience of this in Britain. We may call them the pure selected few sectarians after a verse by the late Tommy Jackson, referring to the British Socialist Labour Party:

We are the pure selected few
And all the rest are damned
Theres room enough in hell for you
We dont want heaven crammed.

The SLP, although by no means the worst of its kind, placed excessive emphasis on propaganda and a very high level of formal (Marxist) training as a condition of membership. Not so surprisingly, it also believed in separate red unions and had a rule forbidding members to hold union office, although they were allowed to be card holders where job necessity (that is, the closed shop) required it.

An obsession with high quality members, and fear of dilution by raw workers also came to characterise some of the Trotskyist groups (though not all) and their offshoots. Why is this attitude sectarian? Again we come back to the class struggle as the heart of the matter. And that cuts both ways.

As Trotsky himself wrote: Coming from the opportunists the accusation of sectarianism is most often a compliment. True enough, but this in no way alters the fact that sectarian deviations can be a real danger. Trotsky explained the emergence of sectarianism amongst some of his followers by the circumstances of their origin.

Every working class party, every faction, during its initial stages, passes through a period of pure propaganda ... The period of existence as a Marxist circle invariably grafts habits of an abstract approach onto the workers movement. Whoever is unable to step in time over the confines of this circumscribed existence becomes transformed into a conservative sectarian. The sectarian looks upon life as a great school with himself as a teacher there ... Though he may swear by Marxism in every sentence the sectarian is the direct negation of dialectical materialism, which takes experience as its point of departure and always returns to it ... The sectarian lives in a sphere of ready-made formulae ... Discord with reality engenders in the sectarian the need to constantly render his formula more precise. This goes under the name of discussion. To a Marxist. discussion is an important but functional instrument of the class struggle. To the sectarian discussion is a goal in itself. However, the more he discusses, the more the actual tasks escape him. He is like a man who satisfies his thirst with salt water; the more he drinks, the thirstier he becomes.

Fortunately this variety of sectarianism is less common now than it was even a few years ago. many of the erstwhile sectarians of this stamp having been absorbed by the Labour Party.

But doesnt everything that has been said point to the conclusion that revolutionaries ought to intervene in the Labour Party and, to do so more effectively, join it? Isnt it sectarian, as Militant argue, to stay outside?

(Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, Chinese University of Hong Kong) June 2017. 1,028 Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong citizens aged 15 or older were interviewed by telephone on May 23-June 2, 2017 at a response rate of 37%.

Q1. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally dissatisfied, 10 means totally satisfied), how would you rate the Central Government on implementing One Country Two Systems?
0-4: 30.2%
5: 30.1%
6-10: 38.7%
Average score: 5.17
(July 2016 average score: 4.77
July 2015 average score: 4.87
December 2014 average score: 4.99)

Q2. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally distrust, 10 means totally trust), how much do you trust following entities:
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government: average score 4.86
The Central Government: 4.91
The Hong Kong Police: 6.09
(Compared to 4.43, 4.33 and 5.93 in July 2016, and 4.38, 4.54 and 5.41 in July 2015).

Q3. How does Hong Kong compare now against before the handover 20 years ago?
62.9%: Worse
19.2%: About the same
15.4%: Better

Q4. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means extreme pessimism, 10 means extreme optimism), how would you rate the future of Hong Kong?
0-4 33.4%
5: 37.1%
6 to 10: 29.1%

Q5. Have you considered immigrating overseas?
16.1%: Have considered
2.6%: Have seriously planned
1.1%: In the process of immigrating
79.0%: Have not considered

Q6. What do you think about these three preferences about the future of Hong Kong?

Maintain One Country Two Systems
71.2% support
4.9% oppose
22.3% so-so
(compared to 69.6% support and 6.0% oppose in July 2016)

Direct rule by China
14.7% support
58.6% oppose
24.3% so-so
(compared to 13.8% support and 59.2% oppose in July 2016)

Hong Kong independence
11.4% support
60.2% oppose
25.9% so-so
(compared to 17.4% support and 57.6% oppose in July 2016)

Q7. What is the likelihood of Hong Kong independence occurring in the foreseeable future?
83.5%: Impossible
12.5%: Half-half
2.9%: Possible
(compared to 81.2% impossible and 3.6% possible in July 2016)

Q8. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally negative, 10 means totally positive), how would you rate these three political factions in Hong Kong?
Localists: average score 3.48
Pan-democrats: average score 4.51
Pro-establishment: average score 3.9
(compared to 3.45, 4.54 and 4.00 in July 2016)

Q9. Do you agree that constitutional development must adhere to the principle of peaceful non-violence?
78.4%: Agree
15.5%: So-so
4.8%: Disagree
(compared to 71.3% agree and 5.9% disagree in July 2016.

[Note: In July 2016, 39.2% of persons 15-24 support Hong Kong independence while 26% oppose. In July 2017, 14.8% of persons 15-24 support Hong Kong independence while 42% oppose. Why the reversal? (1) small survey sample size for persons 15-24; (2) National People's Congress Standing Committee interpreted Basic Law Article 104 against pro-independence legislators-elect Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching; (3) heavy jail sentences given to Mong Kok rioters; (4) disarray and squabble among localist groups (Civic Passion; Hong Kong Resurgence Order; Proletariat Political Institute; MyRadio; Youngspiration; Hong Kong Indigenous).]

(Hong Kong Economic Journal) June 20, 2017.

In less than two weeks time, our next chief executive, Carrie Lam, will be sworn in and, together with her new administration, they will open a new chapter in our citys history.

For now, it might be too early to tell whether Lam will make a good leader in the next five years, but so far we have seen two good omens about her which may indicate that at least she and her new government wont get off to a bad start on July 1 like her predecessor did five years ago.

The first good omen is that compared to Leung Chun-ying, who had already been engulfed by scandals over the illegal structures found at his own home, and who had provoked thousands of protesters to take to the streets and demand his resignation even before he officially took office, Carrie Lam seems to be a lot more popular among the public at this moment.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Hong Kong University, Lams approval rating stands at 54.7 percent, its highest level since March when she was elected the new chief executive. Her relatively high popularity suggests that Hong Kong people are eager to give their first ever female CE an opportunity to show them what she is made of.

The second good omen was created by Lam herself. During an interview she gave to former Legco president Jasper Tsang, Lam said that most people in Hong Kong, including the pan-democrats, have faith in one country, two systems; all they are demanding is to preserve two systems more properly.

On the other hand, she said she has strong reservations about whether separatism truly poses a real threat to one country, two systems like some people have suggested.

As she put it, separatism remains an impractical and infeasible idea proposed by a very small bunch of radicals, while the overwhelming majority of the public are against it. As such, she believes separatism in Hong Kong is a rhetoric among the minority and doesnt constitute any cause for concern.

We believe Lams opinion about the so-called growth of separatism in Hong Kong is rational, objective and healthy. In contrast, Leung Chun-ying has entirely, or perhaps deliberately, blown it completely out of proportion over the past couple of years.

In fact, we are more than delighted to learn that our next chief executive hasnt lost her head nor her sense of perspective over the issue of separatism in Hong Kong, if we can call it an issue at all, which is undoubtedly a good omen.

It is because her proper and sensible assessment of this issue, as well as her ability to keep things in proportion will help put an end to the controversy surrounding the false proposition of secession from the mainland and restore balance to one country, two systems.

In fact, the hype surrounding the growth of separatism has led to overreaction and misunderstanding in both Beijing and Hong Kong, thereby leading to Beijings toughened stance on our city in recent years on one hand, and deteriorating public confidence in one country, two systems in Hong Kong on the other.

As Jasper Tsang put it during the interview, as the separatism hype continues to heat up, Beijing has become increasingly under the impression that things in Hong Kong are spinning out of control.

And the oath-taking saga surrounding the Youngspiration duo in Legco last year only further reinforced Beijings impression that separatism poses a real threat.

As a result, it took quick and heavy-handed actions to intervene and curb the rise of so-called separatism, thereby arousing growing suspicion and apprehension among people in Hong Kong that Beijing is deviating from the original intention of one country, two systems. This is how much distrust across the border has grown.

As a matter of fact, some key Beijing officials almost share a similar view with Lam on this matter. For example, both Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and Wang Zhenmin, director of the legal department of Beijings Liaison Office, have both dismissed separatism in Hong Kong as negligible and insignificant, let alone an imminent threat.

And there are numbers to support this view, and numbers dont lie. According to a recent poll conducted by the Chinese University, only 11 percent of respondents said they are in favor of separatism, down 6 percentage points from last year.

In particular, among the 15 to 24 age group, the number of those who support separatism has plummeted by 24 percentage points compared with last year. Altogether, 70 percent of respondents are for preserving one country, two systems.

It is our sincere hope that Carrie Lams correct and rational assessment and understanding of separatism can help put an end to this meaningless controversy and the ongoing ideological witch hunt against separatists mounted by the pro-Beijing camp, so as to put one country, two systems back in working order again

(Hong Kong Economic Journal) Editorial. June 28, 2017.

There will be a lot of official pomp and circumstance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kongs return to the mainland on July 1, not to mention that President Xi Jinping himself will be coming to Hong Kong to officiate at the inauguration of incoming Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her new cabinet.

Meanwhile, the pan-democrats are also busy preparing for the July 1 rally on Saturday. However, it is widely expected that this years rally is likely to have a lower turnout than last years.

Lam remains fairly popular among the public since her election, and the majority of the people of this city are eagerly awaiting the transition of government on Saturday and looking forward to Lams promised new deal, thereby reducing the incentive for people to take to the streets this time.

Another major reason for an expected low turnout for this years July 1 rally is that political extremism and separatism, which were once at the forefront of local social mass movements, have fallen out of public favor in recent years, while a centrist and moderate approach to democracy has been gaining in popularity.

Andrew To, former chairman of the League of Social Democrats and once a radical himself, recently told an interview that the so-called valor faction and the radical localists started to fall apart three years ago. And today, they are basically finished.

Indeed, a recent poll conducted by the Chinese University indicated that the percentage of young people in favor of secession from China has plummeted significantly.

According to some academics, the recent plunge in public support for separatism can be attributed to several factors, such as changing attitudes as a result of more profound reflection on the issue among young people, and the negative public image of some localist politicians.

That both extremism and separatism are losing ground in Hong Kong matches Lams assessment of the so-called growth of separatism in our city. During a media interview hosted by former Legco president Jasper Tsang, Lam said the vast majority of people, including the pan-democrats, still have faith in one country, two systems.

She also expressed strong reservations about the notion that separatism poses an imminent threat to Beijings sovereignty over Hong Kong as some in the leftist camp have insisted. She said separatism is far from constituting the slightest cause for concern at this point.

Although Carrie Lam has toughened her stance on separatism recently and declared that all separatist activities would be considered illegal in Hong Kong, it hasnt contradicted her initial views on this issue. It is because even though separatism remains negligible at this stage, it doesnt mean the government would sit on the sidelines and allow it to grow unchecked.

In fact, it is of the utmost importance for our incoming leader to get her priorities right and continue to keep things in proportion over the growth of separatism. Magnifying the issue would do more harm than good.

As a matter of fact, the entire separatism farce would probably never have taken place if Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying hadnt taken pains to draw public attention to the subject in his policy address and then build up a massive hype surrounding this false proposition.

The result of his act has proven catastrophic: not only did secession from the mainland, an idea that no one has ever taken seriously in the past, suddenly become a legitimate subject of public discussion, it has also aroused Beijings grave concerns and triggered its heavy-handed reaction.

Even Chris Patten, the last British colonial governor of Hong Kong who was once denounced by Beijing as the sinner of the millennium, has also realized that separatism is nothing but a dead end and urged the people of Hong Kong to be more realistic and stay focused more on fighting for democracy rather than dreaming about seceding from China.

In conclusion, the declining public support for separatism will not only facilitate dialogue between Beijing and the moderate pan-democrats so as to break the current deadlock over political reform, but can also help put an end to this meaningless argument so that our society can move on and get down to real issues.

(Oriental Daily with video) June 7, 2017.

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is a devout catholic who embraces the universal values of freedom and democrdacy.

On June 4, Lai attended the June 4th prayer meeting at Victoria Park. An Oriental Daily reporter was present at the scene. At around 7pm, the reporter was positioned about 7 to 8 meters away from Jimmy Lai, who was sitting on the ground. The reporter used his photo camera and video cameras to record the scene. During this time, the reporter was aware that Jimmy Lai glared angrily at him. However, there was no contact or conversation between the two.

At about 715pm, the prayer meeting ended and the participants got ready to leave. Jimmy Lai was still seated on the ground. The reporter put down his equipment and stopped recording. About 15 seconds later, Jimmy Lai stood up and walked over to the reporter with a fierce expression on his face. Lai wagged his index finger at the reporter and said "I fuck your mother's cunt" a couple of times. Then he said to the reporter: "You should not film me from so close. I am surely going to get someone one fucking cause you trouble. I will surely cause you trouble. I am telling you now. I have fucking taken your photo."

Afterwards the Oriental Daily reported filed a police report about a criminal threat against his person. The Hong Kong Island Criminal Investigative Division is following up on the case.

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

After the June 4th assembly, Jimmy Lai traveled by car back to his home. An Oriental Daily reporter followed the car and filmed it. When the car went down Argyle Road and turned left onto Kadoorie Avenue, the driver drifted over to the opposite lane for several seconds. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic late at night. The driver realized his mistake suddenly and cut back across the double white line back to the proper lane. This evidence has been submitted to the West Kowloon Traffic Police to follow up.

According to the CAP 374 Road Traffic Ordinance, careless driving carries a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine and six months in jail; dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of a $25000 fine and three years in jail.

(Oriental Daily) June 9, 2017.

On June 6, Sing Tao Daily reported on this incident. Without checking with the Oriental Daily, Sing Tao Daily reported that "the video had been edited so that we do not know how the incident started or ended." The Oriental Press Group issued a legal letter to Sing Tao Daily to demand a correction/apology.

Today Sing Tao Daily posted an advertisement on Sing Tao Daily as well as Oriental Daily and On.cc: "In our June 6th report on the On.cc reporter being insulted/scolded by Jimmy Lai, it was inaccurate for us to write: 'the video had been edited so that we do not know how the incident started or ended.' We make this clarification and we withdraw that previous report. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to the Oriental Press Group."

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

Ever since the incident was reported, a number of Internet users have gone to the Hong Kong Journalists Association Facebook and asked why they are not commenting. Today, there was a statement ostensibly from the Hong Kong Journalists Association:

With respect to the On.cc reporter being threatened by Next Media's Jimmy Lai during the June 4th assembly this year, the Hong Kong Journalists Association strongly condemns Jimmy Lai and demands the Hong Kong Police to conduct a thorough investigation. Our association will refuse to accept any more donations from Jimmy Lai. Anything that Jimmy Lai does in the future has nothing to do with our Association.

In the afternoon, the Hong Kong Journalists Association makes an official statement:

On 8th June 2017, a fake statement with attached logo of HKJA circulated on the Internet. The contents in that fake statement referred to an event that happened on 4th June. HKJA clarified that it was a false statement and was not issued by HKJA. HKJA strongly condemns the issuance of the fake statement under the Associations name,and reserves the right to hold to account those behind the fabrication.

(Hong Kong Journalists Association) June 8, 2017.

A journalist has recently filed a report to the police alleging media owner Jimmy Lai of verbal intimidation. Hong Kong Journalists Association strongly adheres to the principle that journalists enjoy freedom of reporting in public space. Public figures should respect this freedom.

Should a journalist feel intimated by any interviewee, verbally or otherwise, the most appropriate course of action is to report the incident to the police.

Internet comments:

- CAP 200 Crimes Ordinance Article 24: Certain acts of intimidation prohibited:

Any person who threatens any other person

(a) with any injury to the person, reputation or property of such other person; or

(b) with any injury to the person, reputation or property of any third person, or to the reputation or estate of any deceased person; or

(c) with any illegal act,

with intent in any such case

(i) to alarm the person so threatened or any other person; or

(ii) to cause the person so threatened or any other person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do; or

(iii) to cause the person so threatened or any other person to omit to do any act which he is legally entitled to do,

shall be guilty of an offence.

Article 27: Penalties

Any person who commits an offence against section 24 or 25 shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years and shall be liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 5 years.

- (HKG Pao) From the Hong Kong Journalists Association Facebook:

Question: Sham Yee-lan, any comments?

Answer (from Sham Yee-lan): According to information, a police report has been filed. No comments. Please don't be fifty-cent ganger.

Question: Someone asked me whether the Hong Kong Journalists Association is selective in their responses. I did not know how to reply. Therefore I asked you! How is that being a fifty-ganger?

- Why is Jimmy Lai in such a foul mood? (Oriental Daily) June 5, 2017. Next Media announced that the losses have multiplied as of March 31, 2017, mainly due to the economic conditions in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the general shrinkage of the print media market. The advertising and distribution revenues of the Next Media publications have decreased by 23.4%.

- But is that an excuse to vent his unhappiness at a reporter?

- (Speakout.hk) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

This incident occurred because Boss Lai was upset at the Oriental Daily reporter for observing him closely. I am perplexed. Mr. Lai's newspaper, magazines and website have always used this type of doggedness to gather news. From Occupy Central to the Mong Kok riot, the Next Media cameras record their news right next to the police officers' noses. Their paparazzi hounded celebrity stars everywhere. At press conferences, Next Media reporters always asked the most provocative questions (see what was asked of Emma Stone). Thus, their boss should believe that this must be the only, logical way to gather news.

Unexpected, our media boss blew up at the presence of the paparazzi and said: "I'm not going to let you get away with this!"

When a multi-billionaire who owns multiple media outlets said that he is going to "cause trouble for you," you have reason to be afraid.

But the reporter was even more shocked by the silence over at the Hong Kong Journalists Association. Whenever a government official won't answer media questions, or responds with too stern a tone, Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan can always be counted upon to come out and issue condemnations. But when a media boss stopped a reporter from covering news and told him "to watch it," the Hong Kong Journalists Association had no response. Chairwoman Sham was nowhere to be found.

Question to the Hong Kong Journalists Association: Is the ON.cc reporter a journalist? When Boss Lai stopped this reporter from gathering news, it is suppression of the freedom of press? To take a close-up photo of the reporter, point a finger at the nose of the reporter and say "I'm definitely going to make trouble for you" .... is this not threatening a reporter? To tell the reporter that "I fuck your mother" ... is this not insulting the reporter?

When someone suppresses freedom of press, and threatens and insults a reporter, you make no response. What is the point of setting up this association for journalists?

- Jimmy Lai must be the real-life Vordemort (= "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"). Look at the contortion in the clarification statement from the Hong Kong Journalists. The incident is simply "the incident that took place on June 4th" and the participants are not named. Is it really so hard for the Hong Kong Journalists Association to be clear about which "incident" or the involvement of one Jimmy Lai?

- In the past, the Hong Kong Journalists Association would come out to condemn any insults, threats and attacks against reporters. In this case, the Hong Kong Journalists Association is punctilious in stating that it has not issued a condemnation of Jimmy Lai's insult and threat against a reporter.

- (Oriental Daily) June 10, 2017.

There is a western saying: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Everybody saw that Jimmy Lai insulted and threatened the reporter, thereby angering the whole world. But the freedom-defending Hong Kong Journalists Association acted as if they were deaf, blind and dumb. Their chairwoman vanished from public view.

The incident is clear: Jimmy Lai threw a fit and told the Oriental Daily reporter: "Fuck your mother's cunt", "I fucking took a photo of you," "I will get someone to fucking cause you trouble." The police is treating the case as criminal intimidation. So why does the Hong Kong Journalists Association act as if nothing has happened? Do they think Oriental Daily reporters are not journalists?

Of course, they can't avoid the issue forever. Over the past several days, numerous organizations have asked the Hong Kong Journalists Association to state their position. Finally, the HKJA issued a written statement. However, it was very lame. They did not condemn Jimmy Lai's actions. They only told the reporters that "when threatened during the course of news gathering, the correct thing to do is to report to the police."

Each year, the Hong Kong Journalists Association holds a fund-raiser, because "they will never bow to the forces that suppress freedom of press." But at this critical moment, they said that the matter should be referred to the police!? Why is their raison d'tre?

It is one thing for the HKJA to be silent about Jimmy Lai's actions. The worst part is that they rushed out to denounce the fake statement on the Internet. They even said that they have filed a police report. Actually, the key sentence in that fake statement is: "Our association will refuse any donations from Jimmy Lai in the future. Anything that Jimmy Lai does hereafter has nothing to do with our Association." After all, what happens if Jimmy Lai actually thinks that this is a true statement and turn off the money flow in future? Of course, they have to come out with a denial.

People have wondered: If the person who used foul threatening language was the owner of another newspaper or a pro-China organization and the reporter works for Next Media, then the Hong Kong Journalists Association would have jumped out immediately to issue a denunciation about "this darkest day in freedom of press in Hong Kong."

Do you recall that during the Chief Executive election, a pro-democracy activists refused to support John Tsang. Jimmy Lai immediately jumped out and denounced him as a "Chinese Communist mole" and banned his writing from appearing in all Next Media publications. The Hong Kong Journalists Association saw and heard nothing. By contrast, when a certain media commentator had his essay title changed at a pro-China newspaper, the HKJA immediately said that freedom of press is being suppressed. So is this a show of double standards? A case of goalpost moving?

The Jimmy Lai case showed that hypocrisy not only at the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The pro-democracy newspapers and the Jimmy Lai-funded pro-democracy political parties and politicians were equally silent All of these people are enemies of freedom of press in Hong Kong. As long as they get their way, Hong Kong is doomed.

- (Oriental Daily) June 11, 2017.

One week later, Sham Yee-lan was finally cornered by a reporter.

Sham: Have you filed a police report?

Reporter: Yes, yes.

Sham: Since you have filed a police report, I won't make any further comments. And so with respect to ... that is, if ... that is, I personally believe that using foul language against anybody is inappropriate behavior. So, if that one ... that is, if you have filed a police report, then I think the police will deal with it.

Reporter: So the statement will not be changed in any way? Will you add any words of condemnation?

Sham: We won't say anything. Okay? Thank you.

Reporter: Do you feel that the Hong Kong Journalists Association is a toothless tiger?

Sham: We won't respond to anything. I have finished talking. Okay? Thank you very much.

Reporter: Are you being selective?

[The police have merely set up a case file for investigation. The case has not entered into the judicial system. Therefore commenting on the case does not affect the non-existent court trial.]

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 22, 2017. The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has expressed deep regret and disappointment with incoming chief executive Carrie Lams decision to bar digital media outlets from attending her press conference on Wednesday.

- That is to say, the Hong Kong Journalists Association has no "deep regret and disappointment" with what Jimmy Lai did to the Oriental Daily reporter. When they feel it, they say it; when they don't feel it, they don't say it.

(SCMP) June 4, 2017.

A sea of candle light blanketed Victoria Park on Sunday night as tens of thousands of people converged there to mourn those killed in Beijings bloody military crackdown in Tiananmen Square 28 years ago, but in numbers that were the lowest for nine years.

Organisers said 110,000 people attended the event,the lowest turnout since 2008. Last years memorial drew 125,000 people. Police put the figure at 18,000 at the height of the event, down on their estimate of 21,800 last year.

Police put the figure at 18,000 at the height of the event, down on their estimate of 21,800 last year.

(Coconuts Hong Kong) June 1, 2017.

In recent years, an increasing number of people especially university students have dropped out of the annual candlelight vigil. This year, with anti-China sentiment growing amongst the citys youths, all 10 universities in Hong Kong will be completely boycotting the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of Chinas vigil in Victoria Park.

Instead, June 4th-related forums will be held at the schools, including the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). Student union representatives told HK01 that they would not attend the vigil as they do not agree with the Alliances goal of building a democratic China.

The external affairs vice president of Hong Kong Baptist Universitys (HKBU) student union, Kwan Wai-mak, said achieving the goal set by the Alliance is not Hongkongers responsibility. He also referred to the Tiananmen Square crackdown as merely the neighboring countrys history, HK01 reports.

A joint forum led by OUHK and Education University of Hong Kong will focus on Hong Kongs present and future, instead of solely commemoration, said the president of Lingnan Universitys Student Union.

Internet comments:

(Hong Kong Free Press) The Victoria Park Tiananmen vigil debate: Should you go, or stay at home? By Jason Y. Ng. June 4, 2017.

Today marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, known more delicately in this part of the world as the June 4th Incident. Members of the so-called June 4th Generationpeople born in, or before, the 1980s who feel a deep connection with the thousands of student protesters murdered that summerhave always felt a sense of duty toward them: to vindicate their death, and until then, ensure that the younger generations do not forget what happened.

The second duty is what compels parents to take their children to the Victoria Park candlelight vigil year after year, come rain or shine. The annual sit-in, organised by the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, fills several football pitches and features impassioned speeches, songs and prayers. Just like marching down Hennessy Road on July 1st and sweeping grandpas grave on Ching Ming Festival, it is one of those things that people do out of habit and respect.

Since the Occupy Movement of 2014, every year in the lead-up to the massacres anniversary, university students will debate fiercely whether they should continue to partake into the Victoria Park memorial. Most of these discussions end in a decision to withdraw. Just today, the Chinese University Student Union issued a statement declaring the end of the road for June 4th commemoration. They argue that the annual ritual has become a tick-the-box exercise: participants show up at the park, post a sad-faced selfie on Facebook and feel good about themselves for having done something when all they have really achieved is group therapy. They also believe that the pan-democratic parties have turned these memorials into fundraising campaigns and political shows.

Some students have gone further then that. Social media and online forums are plastered with memes and status posts with the rhetorical question: What the F does June 4th have to do with me? Their point is that Hong Kongers have nothing to gain from redressing the wrongs of the massacre, and to put less diplomatically, whatever happened in 1989 happened on the mainland to mainlanders and is therefore irrelevant to them and outside their agenda. Hong Kong people have enough on their plate fighting for greater autonomy and even independence from China. They wont and cant be bothered with what goes on north of the border.

Expectedly, these sentiments draw outrage and condemnation from older politicians, parents and teachers. The June 4th Generation pounced on the students, calling them sacrilegious and heartless. Likewise, the students hit back with their own name-calling, accusing the adults of being Greater China plastican epithet for those who talk incessantly about ending one-party rule in China without doing anything about it and who still believe that a better China will mean a better Hong Kong.

So who is right and who is wrong?

The best way to arbitrate the dispute is to go back to one of our earlier examples: sweeping grandpas grave on Ching Min Festival. Doing so will allow us to isolate the two issues at hand and deal with them separately.

The first issue concerns whether one should attend the Victoria Park memorial. Here, the students have a point. If they are not interested in speeches and prayers, then why force them? If your kids dont want to travel to faraway Wo Hop Shek Public Cemetery and trek up the hills just to burn incense in front of grandpas grave, then leave them at home. Yelling at them for not respecting their ancestors will only backfire. For all you know, your children have their own ways of remembering grandpa that dont involve posing a fire hazard in Fanling or benefiting greedy florists who jack up the price of chrysanthemums every Ching Ming. Mom and dad should just take a chill pill and get on with their trip without the kids. Both sides are better off.

The second issue, however, is altogether differentit is a question of ideology and basic human decency. Asking what the F does June 4th have to do with me is no less morally repugnant than saying I dont care if the Holocaust happened or the Paris terrorist attacks dont matter to me. Any liberal-minded person should take a stance against evil, murderous acts, whether you are Chinese, Hong Konger, French or Jewish. The isolationist approach to history and current eventsthe thinking that what happens elsewhere is irrelevant to meis nave and irresponsible. It is Donald Trump.

Worse, denying that Hong Kong is a part of China and that the citys fate is intricately linked to that of the mainland is to think that the Earth is flat or to call global warming a hoax. The notion that Hong Kong can somehow have meaningful electoral reform and genuine democracy without a more politically open China is mind-boggling. Put more bluntly, university students and young politicians who talk night and day of achieving autonomy and independence without ever proposing a concrete plan or a viable path is simply another kind of plasticthe localist plastic.

So what I have to say is this: if you find the whole Ching Ming routine pointless and banal, all you have to do is stay home. You dont need to say who the F care about grandpa? just because the old man died before you were born.

- (SCMP) June 5, 2017.

More than 200 Hong Kong activists from localist groups and political parties staged a protest march through the citys busy streets Sunday night after the end of the annual vigil marking the 28th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

They were marching from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the central governments liaison office, Beijings representative office in Hong Kong, located in Western district.

Leading the post-vigil march, which kicked off around 10.15pm, were Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary general of localist political party Demosisto; pan-democratic lawmaker Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats and the partys chairman, Avery Ng Man-yuen; and Fastbeat Tam Tak-chi of People Power. Members of the tertiary student group Student Fight For Democracy also joined.

The protesters planned at the liaison office to demand the release of political dissidents and human rights lawyers. As they marched, they chanted slogans such as Vindicate the democratic movement of 1989! and Its no crime to defend civil rights! They also invoked individual dissidents by shouting Release Liu Xiaobo now! and Stop Liu Xias house arrest now!

March organisers did not apply for a police permit to stage the event, claiming it was their civil right to hold such a protest. But some march participants spilled onto Hennessy Road, blocking two lanes of the major thoroughfare in Causeway Bay and jamming traffic. Police eventually closed one of the lanes for the marchers.

By 11.30pm the march was still proceeding, with the head of the procession reaching Central. The event was largely peaceful, albeit noisy. After walking more than two hours from Victoria Park, the marchers arrived at the liaison office at about 12.25am Monday.

The group included 28 people who each lit a candle to remember the 28th anniversary of the crackdown. An activist read a speech stating no room for reconciliation with Beijing in apparent reference to a recent warning by state leader Zhang Dejiang that Hong Kong was not to confront the central government.

The other marchers then passed by the liaison office entrance to conclude the march, with some throwing hell money a traditional Chinese offering to ancestors that is often used by activists to condemn officials.

The march participants dispersed without incident at about 12.50am.

- This is the classical example of Leftist Retardism. Here are the most salient features:

(1) Egotism: They numbered just 200 persons, but they insist on walking on the car lane to impede vehicular traffic. They claim to be fighting for the people, but they clearly don't give a damn about what the people feel or need.

(2) Ineffectiveness: The demonstrators arrived at the China Liaison Office at 12.25am. Isn't anybody still working there at this hour?

(3) Showboating: Everybody knows that this demonstration will do nothing to vindicate the democratic movement of 1989 or release Liu Xiaobo. Why are they still addicted to doing this? Because it gets media exposure! Are there better ways to realize the stated goals? Possibly, but those ways don't get as much media exposure and therefore will not be explored.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

Earlier a group of students from the Hong Kong Kong University Student Union were cleansing the Pillar of Shame at the Wong Haking Building as their first step in commemorating June 4th.

In the video, the twenty or so students were wiping the pillar inch by inch. They looked very awkward, because they are clearly not experienced in doing household chores. This is just a group of brainwashed Hong Kong kids cleansing a pillar that has nothing to do with them.

Hong Kong University Student Union president Wong Ching-tak told the reporters (verbatim): "In the past, people speak of patriotism when they commemorate June 4th. Chinese sentiments. But in this society, fewer and fewer people share these sentiments. So how should June 4th be regarded in the future, or what should be done on June 4th? The June 4th evening assembly of the Alliance still has very strong Chinese sentiments. But today in Hong Kong society, especially among young people, we don't have these Chinese sentiments anymore. When identity and emotions have changed so much, I think that we can feel very different about the June 4th massacre."

Frankly, I have no idea what he was saying? What did he want to say? If you don't have patriotic sentiments, then why commemorate June 4th?

We belong to the generation of June 4th 1989. In that year, I was a university student. We fell the same way as the young people on Tiananmen Square. Back then, the Hong Kong university donated money, and some even traveled north to offer support. A classmate of mine skipped his final exams because he wanted to bring tents and medicine to Beijing.

We opposed corruption because we wanted our beloved country to become better. Without patriotism, the June 4th incident in Beijing has not connection to the people of Hong Kong. When we saw the 9/11 terrorist attack on television, we said: "Oh, how terrible!" And then we continued to go to school/work the next day.

Hong Kong University Students Union president Wong Ching-tak said on behalf of the young people of Hong Kong: "We no longer have these Chinese sentiments." So why were you cleansing the Pillar of Shame? Since you have no feelings about the country or the dead, what are you mourning over?

Wong said: "I am not a Chinese, I am not a Chinese Hongkonger. I am simply a Hongkonger." Therefore they can't even accept the Alliance, whose full name is the Alliance of Hong Kong citizens to support patriotic democratic movements in China. Anything with "patriotism" is bad and "fifty-cent gang." Therefore they won't participate in the Alliance meeting. They will only hold a forum on university campus and maintain a moment of silence.

I wonder why the reporters did not ask: "If China is not your country, then why business is June 4th to you?"

June 4th arose out of patriotism 28 years ago. The memorial services were held for 28 years in a row out of patriotism. It was a patriotic democratic movement. As such, it is meaningless to someone who does not have a country. Since the Hong Kong University students are not Chinese, what do they care about Chinese issues? The Chinese can live or die, and you shouldn't not have to care or commemorate.

Since you are not Chinese, you should take our your identity card and cut it up. You should also give up your student subsidy which comes from the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. You should get out of Hong Kong University, you should get out of Hong Kong, because the land that you are standing upon belongs to China which has nothing to do with you.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

Lee Cheuk-yan said: "Twenty years ago, Tung Chee-hwa told us to put the baggage down. I never expect that today it would be the young people who tell us to put the baggage down or say that they won't carry the baggage ..."

As is well known, the consequence of setting up the Red Guard is to be brought down by the Red Guard using the same method. Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and their ilk are now tasting the bitter fruits this June 4th.

For twenty-eight years, the June 4th march and the candlelight vigil had a slogan about passing the torch to the next generation. This year, we won't see this banner anymore because the torch has been extinguished during the political division of the dirty spoils.

On March 28, the June 4th march was attended by 450 people. The Victoria Park candlelight vigil is down to 18,000 persons. The student unions at Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, Baptist University, City University, Polytechnic University, Lingnan University, Open University, Education University and Shu Yan University declared they won't attend any June 4th memorial activity organized by the Alliance to Support Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. Not only are they not coming, but they are viciously criticizing the activities.

Former CUHK Student Union president Chow Shu-fung said: "It is unrealistic to want the next generation to assume the duty to assume the memory of resistance of the preceding generation."

The CUHK Student Union said: "The Alliance's staid business-as-usual commemoration is using the people's moral feelings to gain political capital. Our Union does not agree ... As the times change, patriotism is completely eviscerated and replaced by Localism. For the new generation, June 4th has little or no meaning left. Localism is their enlightenment. The civic awakening of the Umbrella Movement and the valiant resistance of the Fishball Revolution are affecting the younger generation deeply."

Baptist University Student Union external affairs vice-president Mak Kwun-wai was even more striking: "It is not the responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to build democracy in China. The June 4th incident is the history of the neighboring country ..."

As the Hong Kong University Student Union, they have previously stated that they are not Chinese and they are not Hong Kong (China) either. So Chinese matters mean nothing to them.

The Red Guards scorn Lee Cheuk-yan and his ilk that the June 4th activity is just a bunch of people gathering around the fireplace to get warmth. Therefore they won't play anymore. But how can the candlelight vigil still claim 110,000 participants without any university students coming? Well, they are not gathering around the fireplace to gain warmth. They are gathering around the fireplace to race money.

On Great George Street, there were donation boxes lined up. The purpose of June 4th is to raise money.

Please understand that they are not there to take away your money. For them, the headcount is more important, because this annual activity is the best way to launder money in an untraceable manner.

For example, if some person wants to give $50 million to the pan-democrats. If only 1,000 people show up at this assembly, then each person must have to donate $50,000 on the average in order to reach the $50 million. Now that is impossible. So they need a bigger attendance figure. So if you say that 1 million people came, then it is possible that the average person gave $50 each.

Here are the number over the years:

Year Alliance figure Police figure
2004 82,000 48,000
2005 45,000 22,000
2006 44,000 19,000
2007 55,000 27,000
2008 48,000 15,700
2009 200,000 62,000
2010 150,000 113,000
2011 150,000 77,000
2012 180,000 85,000
2013 150,000 54,000
2014 180,000 99,500
2015 135,000 46,600
2016 125,000 21,800
2017 110,000 18,000

- Here is the scorecard (Oriental Daily, June 5, 2017)

Yesterday, the Alliance to Support Patriotic Democratic Movements in China received $1.4 million in donations, compared to $1.74 million last year.

The Civic Party took in $160,000, the Labour Party $38,000, the League of Social Democrats $188,000 and Lau Siu-lai's Democracy Classroom $80,000.

The Democratic Party donated every cent that they took in to the Alliance. The Civic Party and the Labour Party gave 10% of their intake to the Alliance. The other political parties did not indicate where their money is going.

- Here is the video of the true Star of the Evening: https://www.facebook.com/149918838878285/videos/163974880806014/

And here is our Star snuggling up to Lau Siu-lai:

(Hong Kong Free press) June 2, 2017.

At least five defendants facing prosecution in relation to last Februarys Mong Kok clashes have said they were assaulted or threatened by police during interrogation. Ten defendants appeared before District Court Judge Kwok Wai-kin on Thursday. They were charged with rioting, criminal damage or assault in relation to the disorder in the early hours of February 9 last year.

At least five of them told the court that they intended to reject statements they gave during police questioning, on the basis that they were threatened or forced to say they took part in the protest.

Defendant Yep Chi-fung, 18, claimed that four police officers took him to a room in a police station and stripped him naked. He said he was told by the officers you have the guts to take action but no guts to admit it, as they punched him in his stomach and kicked his thighs when he denied being involved in the clashes, Apple Daily reported. He said he was eventually allowed to put on his clothes after he agreed to cooperate.

Defendant Lam Wing-wong, 22, said a police officer told him: It is no big deal. Just admit it. If you are cooperative, you can pass some of the responsibility onto Yep.

Another defendant Li Cheuk-hin, 20, said he was threatened during questioning. According to Li, an officer said in Cantonese: You are definitely going to feel stuffed tonight. Lis lawyer said the phrase could be interpreted as You are definitely going to be beaten up tonight. Li said he was then beaten by police and forced to admit to throwing bricks for fun. He also claimed he was not told what charges he would face before being interviewed, HK01 reported. An officer allegedly told Li: Dont waste my time and make me get off work late, and said to a colleague: Pre-write a statement for him. Say [Li] was helping others pick up bricks. You will only be given probation at the most.

Defendant Tang King-chung, 29, gave a similar account. He said he was scared and tired while in police custody, and was not informed of his charges. He said he was punched in the arm and was told by an officer: Dont dawdle and make me get off work late. Sign [the statement] quickly. He said that when he denied having taken part in the protest, an officer said: Have you not been beaten enough? If you give a good statement, you will at most get probation for throwing bricks. An officer allegedly wrote in the statement that Tang took part in the protest, even though Tang insisted that he had not. When Tang protested, he said an officer told him: Do you want to stay here and not be released on bail? Tang said he felt compelled to stay silent.

Defendant Chung Chi-wah, 30, said his videotaped interrogation was conducted while he was under threat. He said an officer told him: You were photographed throwing bricks. Dont deny it.

The trial, beginning Thursday, is expected to last 30 days.

On Thursday morning, defendant Mo Jia-tao, 18, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer. He denied three other charges of rioting and a charge of criminal damage.

Another defendant Ng Ting-kai, 25, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of rioting. He denied an assault charge.

The remaining eight defendants denied their charges.

The ten defendants are: Mo Jia-tao, 18; Chung Chi-wah, 30; Anthony Ho Kam-sum, 37; Fok Ting-ho, 24; Chan Wo-cheung, 71; Tang King-chung, 29; Li Cheuk-hin, 20; Lam Wing-wong, 22; Yep Chi-fung, 18; and Ng Ting-kai, 25.

An eleventh defendant, Lee Sin-yi, 18, is being sought by the authorities after failing to appear in court.

(Facebook video) Defendants running away from the press after the court session. Also Oriental Daily.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 1, 2017.

An activist pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of assaulting police officers during last Februarys Mong Kok clashes.

Mo Jia-tao, 18, was accused of throwing a bottle at a police officer in the early hours of February 9. The item missed the target and hit a barricade, while other officers stepped in to restrain Mo, the court heard. Mo was also charged with three counts of rioting and one count of criminal damage. He denied these charges.

Besides Mo, eight other defendants also denied their charges. Counsel for the remaining defendant, Ng Ting-kai, 25, said they would be discussing their clients two charges with the prosecution on Thursday afternoon.

Counsel for defendant Tang King-chung, 29, requested that the prosecution summon the police officer who fired warning shots during the clashes. They wanted to examine whether the officer used excessive force in order to establish a case of self-defence, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported. Objecting to the request, the prosecution said the incident was irrelevant as Tangs alleged offence took place at a different location and more than an hour after the shots were fired. Judge Kwok Wai-kin said he would hear arguments from both parties before ruling on the matter.

Though the case has been transferred to the District Court, the hearing was relocated to a bigger room at the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts owing to the large number of defendants and the extensive use of video evidence. However, rules relating to the District Court remain applicable, including a maximum sentence of seven years in prison compared to three years in magistracies. If convicted of rioting or criminal damage, the defendants face a maximum jail term of seven years.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 2, 2017.

A defendant admitted on Friday one count of rioting in relation to a protest that took place in Mong Kok in the early hours of February 9 last year.

Ng Ting-kai, 25, requested bail after pleading guilty. His lawyer said Ng had been suffering from autism since he was young and the condition had worsened following the incident. Ng also showed symptoms of severe depression, the court heard.

District Court Judge Kwok Wai-kin approved the bail request, on the conditions that Ng is forbidden to leave the territory and must report to police once a week.

The court heard that Ng was filmed throwing bricks or other items thrice at police officers at around 4am on the night in question. Officers later arrested Ng and found flashlights, surgical masks and goggles in his bag.

The prosecution said four police officers were injured during the incident, Stand News reported. An officers middle finger was said to be fractured. She was given a 1.5 per cent permanent disability rating and 360 days of sick leave. Ng was also charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The prosecution asked the court to withhold the charge until after the conclusion of the trial. Judge Kwok approved the request.

(Oriental Daily) June 2, 2017

The prosecution said that the case involves three incidents.

In incident #1, the police pushed from Nathan Road into Shan Tung Street and encountered a rain of bricks and other hard objects from the crowd. The police retreated back to Nathan Road and then to Nelson Street. Defendant #1, defendant #3 and defendant #4 were among those who chased and attacked the police.

In incident #2, the crowd attacked a police man on the northbound lanes of Nathan Road near Dundas Street. Defendant #1 and others threw bricks, garbage bins and other objects at the police van. There were four police officers inside the van. The van sustained more than $26,000 in property damage.

In incident #3, the police formed a police line at the intersection of Soy Street and the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. The crowd on Soy Street threw bricks at the police. Defendant #3 and defendant #7 were identified to be present based upon identifiable characteristics (a blue-white scarf and prior participation in the Shopping Revolution).

(Oriental Daily) June 5, 2017.

Police inspector Mok Hing-wing testified that he was a commander at the scene. At the time, there was a traffic accident with a taxi on Portland Street. A large number of people yelled at the traffic policemen handling the case. Afterwards, a large number of people took over Portland Street between Argyle Street and Shan Tung Street. Mok believed that the people were in an unlawful assembly. Among the crowd were masked men wearing the dark blue Hong Kong Indigenous hoodies.

At 1145pm, the police called on the people to step back onto the pedestrian sidewalk. The crowd got upset and started to throw glass bottles. There was a physical clash. The police set up a defensive semi-circle. At 130am, there was another clash. Some people held shields and a leader yelled: "Three, two, one. Charge!" and the crowd charged at the police line. The police applied pepper spray. The police pushed forward and the crowd threw bricks at them.

At around 2am, Mok learned that a police had fired two shots. Mok said that some people had occupied the southbound lanes on Nathan Road. The police set up a line at Argyle Street but failed to push the crowd back onto the pedestrian sidewalk. At 330am, the police set up a line at Dundas Street and prevented the crowd from heading towards the Yau Ma Ti district. At 410am, the police line advanced to Shan Tung Street. The crowd suddenly threw a large number of bricks at the police. Because the police only carried shields, they decided to move back for safety reasons. The crowd chased the police and threw bricks at them. Some police officers were injured. Mok was hit on the left shoulder by two bricks.

Senior Inspector Ng Sin-nong testified that the police turned into Shan Tung Street from the southbound lanes of Nathan Road at 350am. There were about 100 to 150 people on Sai Yeung Choi Street South. They threw bricks and other objects at the police. A number of police officers were injured. At the same time, people were tearing down the road signs and setting garbage on fire. People then threw bricks at the police officers who carried the small round shield, being careful to aim at the unprotected legs. At first only four to five people were doing so. When the tactic was successful, more people began to do so. The police were not able to hold the line, so they retreated to the southern lanes of Nathan Road. The crowd pursued them. The police retreated to Nelson Street. A policeman was down on the ground, apparently 'unconscious.'

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

Senior Inspector Ko Chung-ying testified that people on Shan Tung Street were throwing rocks and glass objects at the police line at 4am. Ko warned those people: "The rioters up there pay attention! Stop attacking the police!" But the crowd threw even more objects at the police. Many police officers were down with injuries. So the police line moved back towards the Nathan Road. The rioters followed and threw more bricks. Ko was hit multiple times on his body.

Female sergeant Hung Pui-si testified that she was at the police line at 4am on Shan Tung Street. As the police line moved back, a colleague was surrounded and knocked to the ground by rioters. Hung went up to help her colleague. While swinging her baton, she was hit on the right hand by a hard object. She was wearing a helmet at the time, and her helmet was hit by a hard object. Hung was pushed from behind and fell down on the ground. Hung and two other colleagues were taken across the Bank Centre. Hung said that one colleague was bleeding profusely from the mouth and appeared to be unconscious. Hung was bleeding in her right fingers. Later she was assessed to be 1.5% permanently disabled.

The news video shown in court showed that Hung was pushed by a man wearing a black hat. As Hung used an electronic pen to mark herself on the computer screen showing the video. She had to use her left hand to steer her right wrist to do so.

Here is a TVB video of the police under the rain of bricks. Look at 0:40 -- how does this man prepare a defense case? Temporary insanity?

(Oriental Daily) June 7, 2017.

Female sergeant Yu Ching-yee testified that at 4am on February 9, she and her colleague were patrolling along the northbound lanes of Nathan road. A man attacked her colleague. The colleague and two supporting plainclothes policemen subdued the individual. At the time, the crowd gathered on the southbound lanes began to throw rocks and bricks at her.

Senior Constable Chow Wai-kit testified that he saw police officers struggling with a man on the road. So she and another Senior Constable went up to push the man down on the ground and handcuffed him. About 50 rioters began to throw rocks and hard objects at them. Four to five uniformed police officers used round shields to protect them. Chow said that he felt that his life was at risk.

The arrested man took advantage of the attack to escape. A number of rioters came forward and knocked Chow on the ground. His right shoe fell off. Chow was dizzy for a few seconds before he picked up his shoe. Chow saw another Senior Constable being knocked down on the ground and assaulted by two persons, one wielding a foldable chair and another wielding a 5-foot pole. Chow brushed the two men aside to save his colleague. Chow lost his balance and fell down on the ground too. A reporter said: "Stop beating them. There may be deaths." Other policemen came over and the rioters retreated. During cross-examination, Chow was asked whether he retreated in disarray. Chow said: "Yes."

Police constable Yip Kin-kwun testified that he was in a police van heading up north on Nathan Road near Cheung Sha Street. About 120 people surrounded the van and attacked the vehicle with rubbish, rocks and bamboo poles. Yip said that the van was unable to drive away due to the obstacles on the street. Yip instructed the other police officers to put on their helmets. The two policemen sitting in the rear had to duck low to avoid being hit. The glass windows on the two sides of the van were broken, and people threw objects into the van. After 7 to 10 minutes, other police officers came and drove the crowd away. The four police officers in the van were not injured. But the police van was damaged, with broken headlines and windows.

Police constable Chung Yu-chi sat in the rear of that police van. He said: "I was very scared of being hit." He felt that his life was being threatened. The police car sustained more than $26,000 in property damage.

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

The eleventh defendant, 18-year-old female Lee Sin-yi, had not attended the trial so far. Today, the news was that she skipped bail and traveled to Taiwan to seek political asylum. The Taiwan Immigration Department confirmed today that Lee entered Taiwan in January this year, but her current whereabouts are unknown. There is no departure record for her. According to Taiwan regulations, Hongkongers can stay at most 30 days. Therefore, Lee has exceeded her allowed time of stay.

According to a Hong Kong social activists, Lee went to Taiwan to seek help from the New Power Party. It is unknown whether she was successful. The New Power Party told our newspaper that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the flight of Lee Sin-yi. Furthermore, they want nothing to do with Hong Kong independence and they won't comment on anything related to the Mong Kok riot.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 9, 2017.

The Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwans government said that there has been no asylum application. It said it will handle the case in accordance with law, and in accordance with rules if it discovers any case of Hong Kong residents overstaying in Taiwan, Ming Pao reported. The Council also told the newspaper that it supports Hong Kongs values of freedom, democracy and human rights.

Andrew To Kwan-hang, a director of the New School of Democracy, told the newspaper that the Schools staff members had mentioned Lees case to him in mid-January. At the time, he was told members of the New Power Party of Taiwan mentioned Lee sought help from the party to stay there, as she had already arrived in Taiwan. The School acts as a platform for communication between Hong Kong and Taiwan activists, and often hosts events in both regions.

There is no agreement to transfer fugitives between Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the past, top Hong Kong police officers who were accused of corruption in the 1970s have stayed in Taiwan for decades, and some died there.

- (Taipei Times) April 13, 2017.

Three Hong Kong residents allegedly implicated in a grisly body-in-cement case in Hong Kong last month were deported from Taiwan yesterday afternoon, the Criminal Investigation Bureau announced.

The three, including the main suspect, a 26-year-old man surnamed Tsang (曾), were in handcuffs when they arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport under a police escort at 1:15pm. They kept their heads down and did not answer any questions from waiting reporters.

The police handed them over to Hong Kong officials who were waiting on the jet bridge to a Cathay Airways plane and the group boarded the plane at 3:20pm.

The bureau said the trio entered Taiwan on tourist visas along with an 18-year-old woman, surnamed Ho (何), on March 11. Ho turned herself in to Taipei City Police Departments Wenshan Second Precinct on Sunday night, saying she feared for her life and wanted to return to Hong Kong to help with the investigation. She told police where the trio could be found and the men were picked up in New Taipei Citys Banciao District (板橋) on Monday, while Ho returned to Hong Kong the same day. The trio were said to have only NT$4,300 with them when they were detained.

The bureau said the men had told police that they hid in Taipeis Songshan (松山) and Wanhua (萬華) districts and, planning to stay for a while, had rented an apartment through a friend.

After the police said the trios presence posed a public safety risk, the National Immigration Agency revoked their entry permits and expelled them.

Hong Kong was shocked after police investigating a missing persons case on March 29 found a badly decomposed body inside a cement-filled box in an apartment in the Tsuen Wan District. The victim, 28-year-old Cheung Man-li (張萬里), was last seen entering the building on March 4. His girlfriend reported him missing two days later. Hong Kong media reported that Tsang and other suspects in the case had fled to Taiwan.

-  (Wen Wei Po) June 10, 2017.

According to Youngspiration 'adivsor' Lam Ho-ki who is in Taiwan at the moment: "To various friends/enemies/passersby/spectators in Taiwan and Hong Kong, please do not share any information related to Lee Sin-yi ... According to what I know, Ms. Lee is hiding somewhere in a certain country. If the news gets magnified, the local government may expel Ms. Lee back to Hong Kong. Please do not discuss, do not speculate, do not find out, do not share. Just treat this person as if she does not exist."

According to a Discuss.com.hk summary of Internet information, "I believe that Ah Me (Youngspiration) took T (=Lee Sin-yi) to Taiwan to seek political asylum. However, Ah Me was totally unprepared, because there Ah Me did not check with the social activist groups beforehand, did not understand the conditions for political asylum in Taiwan and did not bring the needed documents. Although the newly released audio tape said that Lee Sin-yi is safe, she is known to have asked friends about how to work as a prostitute. Therefore we in Hong Kong are worried about her current situation."

- This is supposed to be the photo of Lee Sin-yi being arrested.

Did the policemen remember to pick up the rocks on the ground as evidence?

- (Oriental Daily) June 12, 2017.

The New Power Party chairman Huang Kuo-chang confirmed today that Lee Sin-yi is in Taiwan and being looked after by human rights organizations. Huang said that after the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus is established in the Legislative Yuan, the New Power Party will push for the parliament to amend the Hong Kong-Macau Relations Act to provide political asylum for Hongkongers.

- This is even better news for Hong Kong than sending all the Mong Kok rioters to jail. It means that they will all skip bail and flee to Taiwan on fishing boats, and never ever come back to Hong Kong.

- Of course, they don't think that way. They believe that if and when Hong Kong achieves independence, their crimes will be pardoned immediately. So they will wait for that come, and they know that it will come. And then they will be greeted with a hero's welcome.

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

Inspector Chan Wai-ki testified today that he was called to duty early in the morning of February 9. He was off duty at the time, and he went from his home to the scene without any special equipment. At the time, the police had set up a defensive line on Soy Street. At around 5am, more and more bricks were being thrown. So the line was pulled back more than 10 meters near the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. Chan said that "bricks were falling down like rain." At the time, Police Sergeant Wong Lok-on tried to arrest the first defendant Mo Jia-tao but failed. Chan went up to help. Chan said that suddenly the rioters threw more bricks because they saw the arrest. Chan said that he was hit at the left side on the back of his head and also above his left ear which caused bleeding. Another brick was aimed at his face, but he fended it off with his left hand. He called for help.

Chan said that many police officers were hit by bricks. Chan stood behind the line and observed three masked young men about 3 meters away throwing bricks from the left. A 60-something-year-old man (not masked) threw a brick from the right. Chan issued warning at them. The four continued to throw bricks. Chan decided to counterattack and charged to arrest the brick throwers. The three men on left turned and ran down Sai Yeung Choi Street South. The older man on the right also turned around and run. But he was slower and Chan grabbed his left hand. Chan and two police officers subdued the older man and dragged him back behind the police line. The defence does not dispute that the individual is the sixth defendant, 71-year-old Chan Wo-cheung.

Chan said that he saw Police Sergeant Wong On-lok lying down on the ground with his face covered in blood and seemingly unconscious. Chan kept calling Wong to keep him awake. At the time, the scene was becoming calmer. Chan said that if Wong was hit again, he may suffer ever more serious injuries and die. Wong was taken to the hospital. Chan was also taken to the hospital, where the doctor applied 4 stitches to a 2mm wound on the back of his head. He also suffered bone fractures in the middle finger and ring finger of his left hand. Later on, Chan was assessed with a 1% permanent disability.

During the cross-examination, Chan said that the sixth defendant ran at "tortoise speed" which allowed Chan to catch up. The defence said that the sixth defendant merely came out of the tunnel to walk towards Sai Yeung Choi Street South and was stopped at the tunnel exit. Chan emphasized that he saw the sixth defendant threw bricks.

Videos of the attack on the police van: The Epoch Times, YouTube

(Oriental Daily) June 9, 2017.

Police sergeant Lin Kin-kwok testified that he subdued defendant #6 Chan Wo-keung along with police inspector Chan Wai-ki. From the news video, Lin identified defendant #6 as wearing a hat. But the defendant was not wearing a hat when subdued. Lin does not know why, but he insisted that he recognized the defendant very clearly because he had thrown rocks multiple times at the police.

Police constable Pang Tak-ching testified that he was at the police line on Soy Street early morning of February 9th. Six or seven persons were standing in front of a rock-throwing crowd. One of the persons was 60 to 70 years old, wearing yellow shoes and not masked. The man threw a rock at Pang, who used his shield to block the rock. Pang picked up the rock, which was triangular in shape and about 12mm long. Today the rock was presented in court as evidence. Later on, inspector Chan Wai-ki and another police officer subdued the 60-to-70-year-old man and Pang took over as the arresting officer. Pang said that he recognized the man as the one who threw the rock at him, because of his face and clothes. Under cross-examination, Pang said that more than 100 rocks must have been thrown at him. So why did Pang pick up the rock throw at him? Pang said that defendant #6 was close to him and therefore he had a good chance to make an arrest eventually.

(Oriental Daily) June 12, 2017.

Police constable Lai Kim-hung testified that he and his colleagues went to the resident of defendant #4 Anthony Ho Kam-sum at 6am on February 26, 2017 to arrest. At the time, defendant #4 said: "Yes, I was in Mong Kok." The police took Ho back to the Wong Tai Sin Police Station, and noted down what defendant #4 said.

On videotape #1, defendant #4 said that he and a female friend went down to Mong Kok on the night of February 8th. There were itinerant vendors. A riot was taking place, with "a lot of people, a lot of noise, something was burning." The police also showed defendant #4 the post cards and wrist bands found in his apartment. These objects have the words "I want genuine universal suffrage" on them.

Defendant #4 said that he requested to call Legislative Councilor Leung Kwok-hung to procure a lawyer, but the police said that they were unable to reach Leung.

In videotape #2, defendant #4 said that he paid no attention to the conflict between the vendors and the police. Defendant #4 said that he had no contact with the police and did not charge the police line. When defendant #4 got home, he learned from the news that there was a riot in Mong Kok.

During the video interview, the police showed relevant recordings of the Mong Kok riot. They said that they had reason to believe that defendant #4 was a man present on Shan Tung Street throwing bricks at the police. Defendant #4 disagreed.

(Wen Wei Po) June 13, 2017.

Hong Kong Police Organized Crime Unit detective Lai Kim-hung testified that 17 days after the Mong Kok riot, he went to the residence of defendant #4 Anthony Ho Kam-sum in Diamond Hill district (Kowloon) to make the arrest. Under caution, Ho said: "Yes, I was in Mong Kok." The police found an Octopus card and a mobile phone at the residence. Defendant #4 was taken back to the Wong Tai Sin Police Station to have his statement taken down. Since no lawyer was present, the statement was not signed.

In videotape #1, Ho said that he wanted to call Legislative Councilor Leung Kwok-hung to procure a lawyer. The police agreed to stop the interview. Lai said that he called Leung Kwok-hung in the presence of defendant #4, but nobody picked up the phone on the other end. Defendant #4 asked to contact lawyer Yeung Hok-min, who said that he won't represent Ho.

Defendant #4 agreed to have his statement taken down on his own. He said that he was down in Mong Kok with a female friend to get something to eat. He found out that there were a lot of people and a lot of noise, but he had no idea what was happening. Later he learned from the unlicensed vendors that there was a clash between the police and the unlicensed vendors. Defendant #4 insisted that he did not charge the police line and he had not physical contact with the uniformed police officers.

Lai played a video posted by SocREC in which a man with dyed blonde hair, no eyeglasses and white t-shirt was throwing bricks at the police from King Wah Centre, Nathan Road, Mong Kok. The man looked back at the camera afterwards. This man matched defendant #4 in appearance, hair color and hairstyle. Defendant #4 denied that he was the man.

In videotape #2, Ho told the police that he forgot whether he picked up any object at the scene. He denied that he charged at the police fine. The police asked him about the gloves and other objects found at his residence. Ho denied that he used those objects that day in Mong Kok. He said that he wore gloves only while he play sports.

Four more videos were shown. There was a man with dyed blonde hair, wearing a bluetooth earpiece, dressed in white clothing and holding a brick. Lai pointed out that this individual as defendant #4.

(SocRec YouTube video) Skip to 10:00 and look for the man with dyed blonde hair and long-sleeve white shirt. How conspicuous can he get?

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Police constable Cheung Chun-yan testified that he was patrolling with colleagues on the night of February 10 and observed defendant #5 and four other persons acting in a suspicious manner. The police examined the mobile phone of defendant #5 and found numerous photos and two videos about the Mong Kok riot. These items were taken between 2am and 7am on February 9. The police also found Whatsapp message in which defendant #5 said that he was in Mong Kok through text, photos and audio recordings. The mobile phone also has Facebook content containing the same type of materials.

When police asked defendant #5 where these materials came from. Defendant #5 told the police that he went to Mong Kok at 2am on February 9 and saw a large number of masked men throwing bricks and setting off fires. He photographed these people and shared the photos with his friends.

Two videos were played in court. In the first video, the police and a group of people were standing in the road and a voice was heard yelling: "Fuck you ... do you dare to fire a shot?" In the second video, a man yelled excitedly at the police: "All the police should die" and a police officer replied calmly: "Same to you."

(Oriental Daily) June 16, 2017.

Police constable Cheung Chun-yan testified that the mobile phone of defendant #5 Fok Ting-ho contained audio messages such as: "I am in Mong Kok. There are a lot of people here. A lot of police. Get people to come out. It is fun and exciting."

Police constable Lee Cheuk-keung testified that police constable Cheung Chun-yan interrogated defendant #5 and then Lee made the arrest. Under caution, defendant #5 said: "I was in Mong Kok that day." At the police station, Lee searched defendant #5 and found a laser pen.

In the afternoon, some of the audio recordings in defendant #5's mobile phone were played in court. There were messages such as: "Play with fire ... you too can come out here ... MK", "Everybody can fucking together ...  you have no idea how much fun this is" and "Get some rocks .. What the fuck for? To fucking throw at the police."


Defendant #5 Fok Ting-ho.

(Oriental Daily) June 19, 2017.

During cross-examination, the defense said that all three statements of defendant #5 taken by police constable Lee Cheuk-keung were inaccurate. Of these, the second and third statements were creatively written by Lee who told defendant #5 to sign. Specifically, in the third statement, "Nobody directed me to do so. I saw other people having so much fun throwing stuff, so I did it too" and "I did not hit any policeman ... I don't remember how long between the two times that I threw bricks." In the second statement, "I thought that it was fun and so I picked up the bricks on the ground to throw at the police. I did not dig out the bricks."

During the taking of the statements, the defense alleged tht Lee told defendant #5 loudly: "You were arrested obviously because you did something. Should I get some colleagues to give you a welcome?" The defense said that Lee persuaded the defendant #5 to admit: "Admit it! This is a trivial matter. At the most, you will be prosecuted for unlawful gathering." Lee denied that he did any of this.

Police state chief Ho Cheung-tim testified in the afternoon. He said that he went on vacation between February 3 and 10. He was called back to duty at 6pm on February 11. The defense said that Ho was already working down at the Mong Kok Police Station at 1am on February 11. While there, he told defendant #5: "You better admit to everything, so that I won't get my colleagues to give you a welocme." Ho denied that he said do.

(Oriental Daily) June 20, 2017.

Police constable Yuan Wing-fung testified today that about the police line at Shan Tung Street was broken by a charge of 60 to 70 demonstrators down the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. About 20 to 30 demonstrators threw bricks, fire extinguishers and iron bars at the police officers near 619 Nathan Road. And then the demonstrators scattered and fled.

On February 16, Yuan saw a TVB news video titled: "Some people used bricks to attack the police; Ambrose Lee said that this was a beastly act." At seconds 19-21 of this video, a man wearing a green jacket and blue jeans picked up a brick behind the group who were attacking police officers at 619 Nathan Road. At seconds 58-59, this man was seen running down Shan Tung Street in the direction of Nathan Road. Yuan said that he saw the same individual on the morning of February 9 running with the crowd towards Nathan Road.

Yuan said that the man was someone that he had frequently seen during the Shopping Revolution demonstrations. Between October 2015 and February 2016, he had seen this man 6 to 7 times, observing him 1 to 2 minutes each time. Yuan said that the man was short and skinny, and Yuan can clearly remember him.

Yuan told his supervisor that he had made this identification. Yuan and other police officers then went down to Mong Kok to locate the man. Finally, they came across the man on Sai Yeung Choi Street South. At the time, the man wore a green jacket. Yuan asked the man: "Where were you on the early morning of February 9th?" The man said: "I know that I went too far that night." Yuan arrested the man and issued the caution. Under caution, the man said: "I only did what others did. Please give me a chance." The defence does not contest that the man arrested by Yuan was defendant #3 Chung Chi-wah.

(Oriental Daily) June 21, 2017.

Police constable Yuan Wing-fung read out the statement from 29-year-old cleaner Chung Chi-wah. Chung admitted that he threw bricks at the police but believed that he missed hitting anyone. Yuan testified that Chung was "shorter and skinnier" than most people and was wearing identifiable clothing, and that was why Yuan recognized Chung in the television news video.

(Oriental Daily) June 22, 2017.

Police superintendent Chan Wai-ki testified today that he was injured by a brick thrown at him. However, his medical report indicated that his left hand was injured on the way falling down. Today the prosecution summoned Princess Margaret Hospital doctor Tse Choi-fung to testify as a medical expert. Tse said that the medical records indicated that Chan's left hand was injured as he fell down on the ground. The information came from Chan himself. Tse said that Chan's injury is consistent with falling down, but he is not 100% certain.

Internet comments:

- (Local Press) June 8, 2017.

At this time, many participants in the Mong Kok incident have been sentenced to jail. Ray Wong said that Hong Kong society should not ignore the background to criticize these demonstrators. People need to understand the needs of these young people and the oppression of the people wrought by the authorities. If the Chinese and Hong Kong Communists had not ignored the quest for universal values such as freedom, democracy and human rights by the people of Hong Kong, the people would not have chosen to defend their dignity in such a manner. The demonstrators were not looking after their personal interests; they were working for the interest of the Hong Kong Nation. All the jailed martyrs are martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They have the will to take responsibility and therefore they are political prisoners who are being oppressed by the authorities in the name of the Law.

So far, I have been following the trials of several dozens of these so-called 'martyrs'. Every single one of them adopted the defense that it was a case of mistaken identity because they were not there, or they did not do what the police said even if they were there, or their actions were misunderstood even if they were recorded on video, or they didn't mean what they said after being cautioned, etc. Not a single one of them said anything like: "Yes, I threw bricks at the police because I was fighting for freedom, democracy, human rights and the right of unlicensed fishball vendors to sell their food anytime anywhere that they want." Not a single one of them. I guess I will wait for Ray Wong's trial to see whether he will do so. My bet is that he will seek political asylum in Taiwan and stiff his mother on the $200,000 personal bond.  His rationale will be that he has much more to contribute to the War of Independence of Hong Kong from the outside in Taiwan than from inside Stanley Prison in Hong Kong.

- Martin Luther: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."

- Defendant #5  Fok Ting-ho said things as recorded on his mobile phone such as:

"I am in Mong Kok. There are a lot of people here. A lot of police. Get people to come out. It is fun and exciting."

"Play with fire ... you too can come out here ... MK"

"Everybody can fucking together ...  you have no idea how much fun this is"

"Get some rocks .. What the fuck for? To fucking throw at the police."

He did not say:

"We must defend the right of small vendors to set up shop in Mong Kok on New Year's Day because this is the Hong Kong tradition."

"We must defend our freedoms of speech and assembly here in Mong Kok, even though the police are shooting demonstrators."

"There is strength in numbers. All pro-democracy activists should come down to Mong Kok to defend freedom, democracy and human rights."

"I have no fear of being arrested and shot at, because I know that my cause is righteous."

So how do you justify giving political asylum to Fok Ting-ho?

Five men accused of carrying glass bottles and throwing bricks and stones at police during last years Mong Kok riot denied charges of rioting on Friday. The District Court is expected to hear testimony from three senior officers who claimed to have witnessed three of the men throwing bricks, before they chased and arrested them. The two youngest defendants allegedly appear in police footage carrying glass bottles at the front line.

The case centred on clashes between police and 100 protesters most of them wearing face masks at the junction of Soy Street and Fa Yuen Street at about 6.45am on February 9, where the two groups were separated by burning objects.

Assistant director of public prosecutions Derek Lai Kim-wah said some people were seen waving objects like sticks, while others used bricks to hit railings.

Delivery workers Chris Yung Tsz-hin, 18, and Law Ho-yin, 20, and worker Lin Yun-faat, 25, were jointly charged with one count of riot as prosecutors observed they were often seen together on the front line. Leo Chan Siu-kwan, 47, who is unemployed, and travel agent Sung Kwan-wo, 27, each face a separate count of the same charge.

All pleaded not guilty.

Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che noted that the case rested on three questions: whether there was an unlawful assembly or a riot at the time; whether the defendants were present; and whether they participated.

Prosecutors will summon 15 witnesses. The court heard all five men were arrested in Mong Kok that morning on charges of unlawful assembly and assaulting police. But three of them deny having been at the alleged crime scene, while another defendant demanded prosecutors prove the scene amounted to a riot.

Opening his case, prosecutor Lai took the court through a bundle of stills from police footage to show all five had been present. At the centre of the photo were [Yung and Law], he said as he flipped through the album. We invite the court to compare whether the two men in the photos were the ones sitting in the dock now.

Videos played in court showed police issued repeated warnings for protesters to disperse. On another occasion, protesters were seen hurling objects at police before turning to run, prompting officers to rush forward.

Inspector Wang Lam testified that some of the objects hit his colleagues shields. We had to avoid the flames and flying objects when we advanced, he recalled. I was hit three times, on my left forearm, chest and left thigh.

(Silentmajority.hk) May 12, 2017.

Yesterday the third defendant 47-year-old unemployed man Leo Chan Siu-kwan was late by 10 minutes. Frankie Yiu Fun-che asked Chan's Senior Counsel Randy Shek about it. Shek said that the defendant was held up by traffic problems. The judge said that the case involves several defendants, so that the trial gets held up if one of them is late. If the defendant should be late again, his bail will be revoked in order to guarantee that he will be in court on time in the future.

(Wen Wei Po) May 12, 2017.

In the opening statement, the prosecutor said that there were about 100 persons gathered at the intersection of Fa Yuen Street and Soy Street at the time. Most of these people wore surgical masks and held glass bottles and bricks in their hands. There was a pile of garbage on flames which generated a lot of smoke.

Among the five defendants, defendant #1 Yung Tsz-hin and defendant #2 Law Ho-yin stood in the front, holding glass bottles in hand, while defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat held a brick-like object in this hand.

At 710am, the police took action to disperse the crowd. Defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat threw a brick at the police. Senior inspector Li Ka-chim saw it, gave chase and made the arrest. Other police officers saw defendant #3 Chan Shiu-kwan and defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo threw bricks at them and then fled. The officers subdued and arrested them.

The prosecution showed videos that lasted about 50 minutes, including the videos taken by the police and another video downloaded from the Internet. Chan Siu-kwan and Sung Kwan-wo cannot be seen on the videos, so their case will be based upon the testimonies of the police officers. In these videos, the police repeatedly told the crowd to disperse to no effect.

There was one video in which the man believed to be defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo being arrested with blood streaming down his face. The police arrested him for throwing rocks at their colleagues. The man believed to be defendant #3 Chan Siu-kwan yelled "I am open and fair. Film me!"

(Oriental Daily) May 15, 2017.

Inspector Wong Lam was cross-examined today. He said that he saw citizens filming alongside the persons in the gathering. Periodically some persons in the gathering also filmed. The Senior Counsel said that when the police dispersed the crowd, there were persons who threw objects as well as persons who were merely filming. Wong said that he couldn't see who was who.

Senior Police Officer Lee Yiu-hung testified that he was on duty at 5am in Mong Kok. He manned the police line near the Bank of China office on Nathan Road. Some rioters threw rocks at the police and set off fires in the streets. Lee and his colleagues used shields to protect themselves and issued verbal warnings. More police reinforcements arrived. Lee and his colleagues pushed the police line to Soy Street near Tung Choi Street. At 8am, Lee and his colleagues intercepted five suspects. Lee arrested defendant #1 Yung Tsz-hin. On Yung's mobile phone, Lee found photos of the unlawful gathering and arson.

Under cross-examination, Lee said that defendant #1 showed him the mobile phone. Lee saw one or two photos showing an unlawful riot. However, Lee does not know whether defendant #1 took those photos or someone else forwarded them. The Senior Counsel for defendant #1 said that defendant #1 told the police that "I just finished eating and I want to take a bus/minibus" and he walked down this street "because there was no other streets opened." Lee said that defendant #1 said that he wanted to find transportation and there was no other way to go, but Lee said that there was no mention of having just eaten.

Another senior police officer Chik Kin-fai said that he manned a police line at Soy Street and Tung Choi Street. Five men looking frightened came at them and tried to sidestep the police line. Chik went up to stop and check them. Defendant #2 told Chik: "Earlier I and my friend were watching people throw rocks and set off fires." Defendant #2 showed two video clips and some photos. One video showed a taxi being destroyed and the other showed several individuals destroying a road sign.

Sergeant Chiu Cheuk-wai testified that at around 7am, he took part to break apart the crowd. Chiu and his colleagues charged from the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street down Soy Street. People threw bricks and glass bottles at them. Chiu saw defendant #3 wearing black cap and grey-colored checkered jacket,  throwing a brick in the direction of a police officer to the right of Chiu and then fleeing into Sai Yee Street. However, defendant #3 was tripped by another person. So Chiu went up to subdue defendant #3. At the time, defendant #3 said: "I have nothing to do with this. I only came here to watch." The defendant's lawyer said that when the  brick-throwing man turned into Sai Yee Street, he would have been out of Chiu's line-of-sight. Chiu disagreed. He said that there was a low concrete curb with a bamboo screen on top at the corner and his line-of-sight was never obstructed.

(Oriental Daily) May 16, 2017.

Sergeant Chan Pak-kan testified that he was on the police line at the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street at around 7am. At the time, 80 to 100 persons were gathered at Fa Yuen Street about 30 to 40 meters away. There was a damaged taxi plus burning fires between the two groups. Some people cursed the police as "Evil Police."

Chan said that he saw defendant #4 Sung Kwun-wo standing on a railing. Sung wore a green jacket, blue jeans, had short hair which was "Gel'd very high." Sung cursed the police: "May the whole families of the Evil Police die!" Then Sung got off the railing and threw a brick at the police. He missed. Chan pointed at Sung and told him not to throw any bricks.

Police officers charged to disperse the crowd. Chan followed them. At the intersection of Sai Yee Street and Soy Street, Sung was subdued by several police officers. He broke free at one point, ran a few steps and was quickly subdued again. Chan went up to offer assistance. At first, Sung was face down on the ground. Then he sat up with blood streaming down his face. Chan believed that Sung was injured in the back of his head. Chan arrested Sung.

On cross-examination, Chan said that the testimony of Chan (namely, shouting "May the whole families of the Evil Police die", Sung throwing a brick when the police advanced and Chan telling Sung not to throw bricks) was not supported by the videos taken by the police. Chan admitted that the videos did not show these details, but he denied that he lied.

The defense said that Chan's notebook, the oral statement and the court testimony contained discrepancies. Chan corrected and said: Before the police pushed forward to disperse the crowd, defendant #4 did throw a brick once. Afterwards defendant #4 was seen carrying a brick in his hand, but Chan did not see him throw it. After the police advanced, the defendant #4 threw another brick.

The defense said that defendant #4 was beaten by 6 to 7 police officers while being subdued. Chan said that his vision angle allowed to see only one police officer hit defendant #4 once. Chan is not sure how many police officers took part.

(Oriental Daily) May 17, 2017.

Senior inspector Lee Ka-chun testified that he was on the police line at Soy Street/Tung Choi Street at 7am. The police charged at the crowd at the intersection of Soy Street and Fa Yuen Street. He observed defendant #5 in red clothes throwing a brick at  him, so he gave chase and caught defendant #5 after 30 meters or so. He pushed defendant #5 on the ground, and asked another police officer to take custody of the arrestee while he himself moved forward to disperse the crow.

(Oriental Daily) May 18, 2017.

Sergeant Cheng Ming-fung testified today that on the morning of February 5, defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat was subdued by Senior Inspector Lee Ka-chun and arrested by Cheng Ming-fung. Under caution, defendant #4 said: "I came here after 4am. I saw other people throwing rocks. So I followed." Cheng took defendant #5  onto the bus to the Sau Mo Ping Police Station. While waiting to meet the officer on duty, Cheng took a written statement for defendant #5.

The defence said that after defendant #5 was subdued, he was punched and kicked by many police officers for 2 to 3 minutes. When defendant #5 got on the bus, he saw defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo being hit in the face. Cheng allegedly yelled at defendant #5 and others: "This is none of your business!" Cheung told Lin to lower his head and not look at others. At the police station, Cheng told Lin that his charge won't be serious, so if Lin admits to brick throwing, he will be quickly bailed out. Cheng denied that he said so.

(Oriental Daily) May 26, 2017.

Today, the court ruled that the evidence exists against the five defendants. The defendants can decided whether to testify themselves on May 29.

(Oriental Daily) May 29, 2017.

Defendant #3 Chan Siu-kwan testified on his own behalf. He said that he has not been working in recent years because he has to take care of children. Chan explained that he was influenced by Benny Tai's Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Occasionally he takes pictures at incidents related to social activism. He said that he takes videos in order to help those who are falsely accused by the police.

At around 2am on February 2, he went to film in Mong Kok. At around 7am, he was at the intersection of Fa Yuen Street and Soy Street. He was ready to leave to go home to take care of the children when his wife goes to work. But his wife told him that she didn't have to go to work. Therefore Chan stayed on. At 712am, the police pushed forward. Chan ran towards Sai Yee Street. After 20 to 30 meters, he was pushed down on the ground the police, hit several times on his right leg and arrested.

Chan said that he took 18 video segments that day. He emphasized that he did not throw any bricks. His lawyer said that Chan was a "fly on the wall".

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

The prosecution said that there is no evidence that the first two defendants engaged in violence, but they were holding glass bottles in their hands. The other three defendants threw bricks. The prosecution said that even if the court is unsure whether the defendants #3 and #4 threw bricks, the charge of unlawful assembly should be considered instead.

The defence said that there is no conclusive evidence that the defendants #1 and #2 are the two men in the screen captures. The defence said that there is a convenience store in the screen captures, and it is an everyday occurrence for people to hold glass bottles in front of convenience stores. Defendant #2 may have left the scene already before the police took action.

The lawyer for the defendant #4 said that the police testimonies are inconsistent with the video. Furthermore the proposal for the alternate charge of unlawful assembly was brought up for the first time today, and it should be rejected in consideration of procedural justice.

The lawyer for the defendant #3 said that presence at the scene does not equate participation, which requires a common purpose as well as the use of force. Defendant #3 was said to be there only to film as an observer. During his testimony, defendant #3 said that he did not chant "Evil Police" that day, but he may just do so in future after being falsely charged this time.

(Oriental Daily) June 7, 2017.

Summation continued today. The second defendant Law Ho-yin was late by 10 minutes. His lawyer explained that he felt uncomfortable when he got up this morning, took medicine and rested. The judge confiscated half of his $1,000 bail.

The lawyer for the fifth defendant Lin Yun-fat said that the prosecution must prove that the defendant and the other participants share the same purpose. The television videos showed that a policeman fired twice into the air and then pointed his gun at the demonstrators. Therefore the court should consider whether the defendants were merely defending themselves. The judge pointed out that the two shots were fired at 1am on Argyle Street whereas the defendants were arrested at 7am on Soy Street/Sai Yee Street, so the time and location are sufficiently different. The defence said that the police first told the demonstrators to leave peacefully then they sent out the Special Tactical Unit a minute later to arrest people. Therefore the judge should consider whether the defendant was defending himself as opposed to participating in a riot.

(Hong Kong Free Press) July 17, 2017.

The District Court has convicted three people and acquitted two others on Monday of rioting during last Februarys Mong Kok clashes, bringing the total number of rioting convictions related to the protest to eight.

Chris Yung Tsz-hin, 18, Law Ho-yin, 20, and Lin Yun-faat, 25, were jointly charged with one count of rioting. They were convicted of the charge. Meanwhile, Leo Chan Siu-kwan, 47, and Sung Kwan-wo, 27, were each acquitted of one count of rioting.

Upon hearing the acquittal, some audience members clapped inside the courtroom. They then gathered outside the room and congratulated Chan and Sung.

Chan said after the hearing that he would have lost everything had he been convicted of rioting. He said he has two young sons, and is responsible for looking after his family members.

All defendants denied the allegation earlier, contending that they were not present during the clashes or that the event did not constitute a riot.

Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che held Monday that Yung, Law and Lin jointly participated in a riot.

The court heard that Yung and Law were filmed holding two glass bottles near the front of the crowd. But the defence lawyers questioned whether the footage was sufficient for identification purposes, as the persons in the footage were wearing surgical masks and the prosecution relied only on clothing to make its argument.

Judge Yiu held that the pair were the ones filmed in the footage, as they wore the same shirts, trousers and sneakers when they were arrested together an hour after the act was filmed. He said it is difficult to imagine such a coincidence. Meanwhile, Lin was accused of throwing bricks at police officers. He denied he was involved in a riot, but Judge Yiu held that Lin was undoubtedly participating in a riot on the basis that he was filmed among some 100 people at a standoff for around 10 minutes.

The three defendants were remanded in custody, awaiting a sentencing hearing scheduled for August 7.

Meanwhile, Judge Yiu said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Chan and Sung took part in a riot. During the trial, the prosecution relied on police testimonies saying that Sung and Chan threw bricks at police, though video footage did not capture the action.

Chan said he was only documenting the clashes as a citizen journalist. The founder of Resistance Live Media told the court earlier that his platform had posted Chans footage on numerous occasions, and that he had never seen Chan interfere in protests, according to Ming Pao. Judge Yiu said the testimony given by a police officer that Chan was holding a mobile phone and a brick as he ran away was not impossible but not easy. He said Chan would have thrown the brick earlier if he intended to do so.

The judge said he had to weigh the evidence carefully as the prosecution only relied on the testimony of one officer. Hence, he said, while it was unwise for Chan to run away from officers, the prosecution did not provide strong evidence that he was involved in a riot.

Meanwhile, Sung was arrested hours after the alleged offence. He was photographed being arrested with blood on his face. During the trial, the prosecution and defence showed footage of Sung during his arrest, but none of him appearing to be involved in the clashes. Sungs lawyer argued earlier that police officers used excessive force when arresting Sung. He said news footage from Now TV showed four to five offers appearing to hit Sung on his head, back and limbs with their batons. A sergeant involved in the arrest denied the allegation. Judge Yiu acquitted Sung on the basis that there was no footage to support the charge.

(South China Morning Post) July 17, 2017.

Two men accused of taking part in the Mong Kok riot last year that shook the popular shopping district walked free on Monday as prosecutors failed to prove they were involved.

They were the first people charged with rioting over the Lunar New Year violence to be acquitted. But three other defendants in the District Court case faced possible jail time after judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che found they had carried glass bottles and hurled bricks at police during what he described as a rather intimidating scene. Applause erupted in the packed courtroom, with some people in the public gallery shouting yes when the acquittals were announced.

Mitigation submissions and sentencing for the three were adjourned until August 7, pending reports. Rioting is punishable by 10 years imprisonment. Three men and a woman were previously jailed for between 36 and 57 months for taking part in the same riot, which escalated from a hawker control operation gone wrong and ended with more than 100 police officers injured.

The present case centred on clashes between police and 100 protesters at the junction of Soy Street and Fa Yuen Street at about 6.45am on February 9, where the two sides were separated by burning objects. All five men were arrested on site. While delivery workers Chris Yung Tsz-hin, 18, and Law Ho-yin, 21, had argued it was a case of mistaken identity, the judge found they were properly identified in footage of the frontline of the stand-off, with glass bottles in their hands as if they were ready to strike.

Yiu also found that worker Lin Yun-faat, 25, was without doubt a participant when he threw bricks at officers. Lin himself had admitted hurling bricks four or five times during a police interview that he failed to strike out from evidence. Yiu said there was a substantive breach of peace that morning and the scene amounted to a riot, with the men sharing a collective aim of defying police officers in their attempt to restore order. Together the three men were convicted of a joint rioting charge.

But the judge sided with the defence in acquitting Leo Chan Siu-kwan, 47, who is unemployed, and travel agent Sung Kwan-wo, 27, of rioting because he could not ascertain their roles and behaviour in the protest.

Chan, who was arrested after he ran away during a police chase, claimed he was filming events. He had testified that since the Occupy pro-democracy protests in 2014 he had recorded more than 200 public order events as a citizen journalist. In January, a wedding photographer was similarly acquitted of assaulting police during the riot after a lower court found the police might have misidentified the attacker.

Outside court, Chan said he might lodge a complaint against the sergeant who testified against him. Id like to ask [the sergeant], how can you face your family and children after committing such despicable behaviour? he told reporters. Do you have a conscience? Chan also said he did not feel the verdict had brought him justice, given the impact of the prosecution on his future. But he said he would not be deterred from filming again. I wont stop because of the risk, he said. I wont run away from police any more.

Internet comments:

- Here is the on.cc video that was submitted into evidence. A screen capture from that video shows some people holding glass bottles in their hands.

- Here are some photos from the on.cc news report. Was there an unlawful gathering or not? Was there a riot or not? What do your lying eyes tell you?

- The argument is not to deny that there was a riot somewhere sometime that night. The argument is whether there was a riot at the precise moment when the defendant was arrested. A short while before that, glass bottles were raining on the police and fires were ablaze in Fa Yuen Street. There was a riot. Then came a short lull. The police organized, charged and arrested certain individuals. Was there a riot anymore?

- (Oriental Daily) Sergeant Chiu Cheuk-wai testified that at around 7am, he took part to break apart the crowd. Chiu and his colleagues charged from the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street down Soy Street. People threw bricks and glass bottles at them. Chiu saw defendant #3 wearing black cap and grey-colored checkered jacket,  throwing a brick in the direction of a police officer to the right of Chiu and then fleeing into Sai Yee Street. However, defendant #3 was tripped by another person. So Chiu went up to subdue defendant #3. At the time, defendant #3 said: "I have nothing to do with this. I only came here to watch." The defendant's lawyer said that when the brick-throwing man turned into Sai Yee Street, he would have been out of Chiu's line-of-sight. Chiu disagreed. He said that there was a low concrete curb with a bamboo screen on top at the corner and his line-of-sight was never obstructed.

- Unclear? let Google Map help you. You are running down Soy Street chasing after a suspect 30 meters ahead. The suspect reaches the cross street Sai Yee Street and turns left. Do you lose line-of-sight of him?

(SCMP) May 11, 2017.

Hong Kongs annual pro-democracy march on July 1 may be unable to start at Victoria Park because a pro-Beijing group celebrating the 20th anniversary of the citys return to China has been given priority.

Au Nok-hin, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, queried the decision by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which is responsible for allocating the venue.

The front applied for use of the six football pitches at the Causeway Park as it has done since 2004.

A department member of staff called us yesterday telling us that they would allocate the football pitches to another group based on an internal guideline, which said if two groups applied for using the same venue at the same time, consideration would be based on the nature of the organisation, Au said on Wednesday. The department had yet to approve the use of the lawn, which would accommodate a much smaller crowd.

It is widely understood that President Xi Jinping will be in Hong Kong that day to mark the anniversary.

Is the government trying to shut out opposing voices when the state leader is in town? Is it only allowing celebrations but no demonstration? I dont rule out political factors are in play, Au said.

The group given use of the parks six football pitches is the Hong Kong Celebrations Association, which is composed of 40 pro-Beijing groups, including business chambers and the Federation of Trade Unions. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Zhang Xiaoming, director of Beijings liaison office in Hong Kong, are the honorary patrons.

The front has used pitches at the park, which can accommodate tens of thousands of people, as the starting point for marches since 2004.

The pro-democracy marches, which have been held since the 1997 handover, became increasingly significant in 2003 after drawing 500,000 protesters against the introduction of a national security law and in the wake of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The front submitted its application for renting the pitches on the earliest possible date, three months in advance in April. However the department said the association submitted its application to hold a science expo on March 15, before that of the front.

Au said the pro-Beijing association had always leased the pitches in the morning, and the front occupied the area for the march in the afternoon. Now the association has applied to occupy it in the afternoon too obviously they planned to kick us out, Au said.

Tam Yiu-chung, honorary president of the association, said it was reasonable to grant the venue to his group because it was representative. The march can always go elsewhere, he said.

A police insider said the leisure department had sought security advice from the force about the application and there had been no objections. A police spokesman said: Police earlier received a departments request for comments regarding an organisations plan to hold activities at Victoria Park on July 1. Police have already replied to the department.

(Hong Kong Free Press) May 11, 2017.

The organisers of Hong Kongs annual July 1 democracy rally have questioned the governments explanation that the protests starting venue Causeway Bays Victoria Park has already been promised to a pro-Beijing group.

The Civil Human Rights Front announced on Wednesday afternoon that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) rejected its application because the Hong Kong Celebrations Association a charity has priority consideration.

Responding to HKFPs enquiries, an LCSD spokesperson told HKFP that it accepted the Associations request in accordance with its published guidelines, since the Association is a registered charity and the Front is not. The department received an application from the Association on March 15 to hold a science and technology exhibition named Innovation Drives the Achievement of Dreams from late June to early July at Victoria Parks six football pitches. 

The spokesperson said the exhibition is part of a series of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kongs handover to China. She added that the Front applied for use of the six football pitches, the central lawn and the bandstand under the organisation Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union on April 3 but neither the Front nor the Union are registered charities. If the union chooses to stage an activity at the central lawn and bandstand areas of Victoria Park, the department will reconsider its request, she said. [The department] will take into account factors such as the flow of people, traffic and public order, and consult other government departments for their opinions.

At a press conference on Thursday, Front convener Au Nok-hin agreed that charities have priority over regular organisations, but questioned whether the activities described by the LCSD would be related to charity at all.

The purpose of the Associations activity this time is clear: its to celebrate the handover, said Au. How is celebrating the handover related to charity? Is it donating any money to disadvantaged communities? We dont see that at the moment.

The nature of the activity is an innovation and technology exhibition. How is innovation and technology exhibition related to charity? he asked. There is no way [the Front] can use a registered charity to organise the July 1 rally, because charities cannot organise political rallies.

Au also questioned why the Association was allowed to apply as early as March 15, when the Front was prevented from doing so until April. We told the LCSD before our New Years rally that we wanted to apply for July 1, but officials told us not to talk about it so soon, as the LCSD does not consider applications over three months beforehand.

He asked the LCSD to clarify its claim that the Association had booked the Victoria Park football courts in late June. When we speak about a late period in a month, we usually mean after the 20th day. So when you say the LCSD received an application on March 15 for an event on [June] 20, then this will not have fallen within the three-month timeframe for application.

As the park has been the rallys traditional stating point for many years, Au said there could be factors of uncertainty if people went there and discovered it was holding an exhibition. We dont want to add all this trouble to the police and the public, he said. We dont have a clear Plan B.

Au said the Front applied for the use of Victoria Parks central lawn and bandstand areas again on Wednesday. He said he would also reach out to the Association to try and coordinate their activities together.

(Hong Kong Free Press) May 26, 2017.

The organisers of Hong Kongs July 1 democracy rally have been told they can gather on Victoria Parks lawn, two weeks after they revealed that their traditional starting point the football courts had been booked by a pro-Beijing group. However, the police have vetoed the Civil Human Rights Fronts application to gather even more protesters at Causeway Bays Great George Street and on East Point Road.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) told the Front on Wednesday it would also be allowed use of Victoria Parks bandstand but not the area around the water fountains. The parties have not yet agreed on the route of the annual march, said the Front in a press release. The police plan to use the parks water fountain area as a barrier to separate protesters from visitors to the technology exhibition a proposal that the Front said would further complicate crowd movement.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 28, 2017.

The student unions of 12 Hong Kong universities and tertiary institutions will not join this years July 1 democracy march, the unions announced in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Instead, they will hold a discussion forum featuring academics and localist figures on the 20th anniversary of the citys transfer of sovereignty.

The 12 universities and institutions are: City University, Hang Seng Management College, Baptist University, the University of Science and Technology, Chu Hai College, the Technological and Higher Education Institute, the Academy for Performing Arts, Education University, the University of Hong Kong, Open University, Shue Yan University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Although representatives of Lingnan Universitys student union attended a joint press conference on Tuesday in which student leaders said they will opt out of the march, it later posted a statement saying that it will in fact attend. Because of an error in communication, we misled the public to believe that all higher institutions will not join the Civil Human Rights Fronts July 1 democracy march.

Explaining the unions collective decision at the press conference, University of Hong Kong student union president Wong Ching-tak said the groups were sceptical about advocating the Basic Law as a way of protecting the city.

The Civil Human Rights Front is still talking about how the Basic Law can protect Hongkongers interests, he said. This is different from what we believe.

In a statement posted Tuesday by the Hong Kong Federation of Students, the 13 unions including Lingnan University also criticised the citys lack of control over mainland Chinese immigration and investment.

Our Hong Kong identity is perpetually suppressed under the attempts to introduce national education to indoctrinate Chinese identity and Putonghua as the medium of instruction to debase Cantonese that is our mother tongue, it read. While we are suffering from such re-colonisation, the Basic Law and the framework of One Country, Two Systems have never been the bastion protecting us.

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po) May 12, 2017.

Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that they have been able to procure the Victoria Park soccer fields as the starting point of their demonstration marches over the years. Thus the rejection of their application this time is unprecedented. He questioned whether the decision was based upon "political considerations" of not wanting citizens to protest against the government. He said: "Only the government officials are allowed to celebrate the handover, but the citizens are not allowed to march."

As long as the Civil Human Rights Front stay within the law, nobody is going to stop them from demonstrating or marching. But the Civil Human Rights Front cannot force the government or other organizations to reserve Victoria Park for their own exclusive use. In this case, the Civil Human Rights Front made procedural mistakes (both in terms of the timing of the application and the identity of the applicant). But they are blaming the government and others for having nefarious purposes.

Actually, why must the Civil Human Rights Front march start off from Victoria Park? Why can't it be Kowloon Park? Tin Shui Wai? Is Victoria Park their exclusive domain? Is the true slogan: "Only the Civil Human Rights Front can march, but nobody else can celebrate the handover"?

The reason why the Civil Human Rights Front seemed so upset is that they want to hype up the July 1st march. At the present time, people are sick of the political fights. Everybody knows that it will be hard to mobilize supporters to come out to march. So instead of reporting five times the number of participants, they might have to report ten times as many. They are using the Victoria Park venue issue to generate the sense of tragedy and mobilize their supporters.

- Demosisto Facebook

First time since the transfer of sovereignty
July 1st march not permitted to assemble in Victoria Park
This year I will definitely march!

- In his press conference, Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that Chief Executive elect Carrie Lam has been talking about a Great Reconciliation on one hand, but she is not letting the Civil Human Rights Front using Victoria Park on the other hand. Therefore Carrie Lam is insincere about the Great Reconciliation.

- Eh, first of all, this supposes that the Chief Executive-elect is already interceding with the Leisure and Cultural Services over the permission to use a sports facility. If so, Carrie Lam must be a very busy beaver with a million things to micro-manage when in fact none of these government departments are reporting to her as yet. She is only the Chief Executive-elect; she is not the Chief Executive.

- If Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam intercedes now and asks Chief Executive CY Leung and the Hong Kong Celebrations Association to let the Civil Human Rights Front use the Victoria Park soccer fields on the afternoon of July 1st, do you think that the Great Reconciliation will be even an inch closer? The nature of the July 1st march is an anti-government demonstration march. Why would Carrie Lam be interested in assisting these people to inflame hate against her incoming administration?

- Why does Au Nok-hin talk as if the Civil Human Rights Front has presumptive rights on the use of a public sports facility? Over the years, the Civil Human Rights Front talk about fighting for democracy, justice and human rights. But it seems that they behave more like a hegemon that everybody else has to bow to.

- Democracy? Cheng Yiu-tong pointed out that more people want to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover than march against Carrie Lam. Justice? Please read the guidelines of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department on booking sports/recreational facilities. Human rights? All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

- (Leisure and Cultural Services Department) Guide to the booking procedure for use of non-fee charging recreation and sports facilities.

Three-month in advance

Recreation and sports facilities may be reserved three months in advance for championships, leagues, and training events promoted or organized in order of priority by

(a) Community Tai Chi Clubs under the LCSD Community Tai Chi Club Scheme at their regular training/practice venues and time.

(b) Subvented non-governmental organisations registered with Social Welfare Department and charitable organisations registered with the Inland Revenue Department.

(c) Affiliated clubs of National Sports Associations, registered with Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Ordinance; or Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance.

(d) Government departments (including trading fund departments), public/statutory bodies organising departmental/public functions.

(e) Bona fide associations and corporations (including government staff clubs/unions) and offices of District Council members, may also apply for use of recreation and sports facilities. To qualify as bona fide associations and corporations, applicants should be registered with Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Ordinance; or Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance.

Bookings shall be made three months in advance (e.g. bookings for sessions in May 2015 should reach the booking office between 1 to 31 January 2015).

- The Hong Kong Celebrations Association is in priority category (b) as a charitable organisation registered with the Inland Revenue Department. The Civil Human Rights Front filed under the Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union which is in priority (e) as a bona fide association with a Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance. (b) has higher priority than (e).

If you upset the priority system and take (e) over (b), then you are destroying rule-of-law.

- How would you choose? The Hong Kong Celebrations Association or the Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union?

The only thing that Ap Lei Chau is famous for is Leung Chung-hang's claim that "republic of China" is pronounced as "re-fucking of Chee-na" in Ap Lei Chau.

- "Bookings shall be made three months in advance (e.g. bookings for sessions in May 2015 should reach the booking office between 1 to 31 January 2015)." That means bookings for July 1 2017 should reach the booking office between 1 and 31 March 2017. The Civil Human Rights Front submitted their application on April 3 2017. That is to say, they were late.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) Au also questioned why the Association was allowed to apply as early as March 15, when the Front was prevented from doing so until April. We told the LCSD before our New Years rally that we wanted to apply for July 1, but officials told us not to talk about it so soon, as the LCSD does not consider applications over three months beforehand.

The Front was not prevented from applying until April. They were told in January to apply three months beforehand. Unfortunately, the guy can't even count three months.

The Guide gives the example:

Bookings for May 2015 should be made in January 2015

Let me walk you through how to book for July 1st 2017:

Bookings for May 2017 should be made in January 2017
Bookings for June 2017 should be made in February 2017
Bookings for July 2017 should made in March 2017

I think that this question is too easy even for the Primary 3 Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) test. But Au Nok-hin and the rest of the Civil Human Rights Front leaders think that the answer is April 2017.

- Au Nok-hin knows very well that there is no possible judicial review. The Guide by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department clearly states the timing and the priority scheme.

They could have filed their application on March 1, but it would be harder to move up the priority list. Subvented non-government organisations and charitable organisations cannot engage in political activities.

- Why did they use the Ap Lei Chau Community Union to apply? Because Au Nok-hin is a member of that organization and a Southern District Councilor, and he wants to give the organization as well as himself a boost. Yes, it is known as nepotism.

- Here is the weirdest part: Au Nok-hin started off with questioning what kind of charitable organization the Hong Kong Celebrations Association is. Once he realized that he does not have a Plan B for the July 1st march, he proposed that the Hong Kong Celebrations Association yield the soccer fields to the Civil Human Rights Front on July 1st as a gesture of Love and Peace. Bwaaaahhhhh!

- You said that they were Dark and Evil before, so how are they going to find Love and Peace in their hearts? Given their essential nature, you have just slapped them a minute ago and now you want them to make you happy? An apology and some nice words would be in order first.

- (Ming Pao) Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that if the Hong Kong Celebrations Association refuse to let them use Victoria Park, their march will have starting points that "bloom like flowers everywhere", including East Point Road, Great George Street and the Central Library.

- Au Nok-hin also urged participants not to clash with other persons. This is saying the opposite -- he wants clashes to show that denying the Civil Human Rights Front has bad consequences, so they will get Victoria Park next year.

- (Sing Tao Daily) May 13, 2017. Hong Kong Celebrations Association executive chairman Cheng Yiu-tong refused to lend space to the Civil Human Rights Front, saying that there could be fights between the two groups. Au Nok-hin re-emphasized that they are not using force to use Victoria Park because the Civil Human Rights Front does not have exclusive rights there. They are presently negotiating with the police to use multiple starting points in Causeway Bay. As for Cheng Yiu-tong saying that the science/technology expo of the Hong Kong Celebrations Association includes exhibits of Chinese space technology and performances by robots, Au Nok-hin said that it is sad that the exhibitions are being used as political pawns.

- I believe that the use of the facilities should be awarded to whoever ranks higher on the priority list and applies on time. The Hong Kong Celebrations Association ranks higher on the priority list and applied on time. The Civil Human Rights Front ranked lower on the priority list and applied late. If the Leisure and Cultural Services Department awarded the use of the soccer fields to the Civil Human Rights Front, it would be a clear political decision in which they contravened all the rules and procedures that they announced beforehand.

- The Civil Human Rights Front is asking the Hong Kong Celebrations Association to lend them parts of the soccer fields for their July 1st march. Suppose Au Nok-hin rents a Leisure and Cultural Services badminton court for 60 minutes next Tuesday, but some guy comes along and said that they want to use half of the court. Why? Because FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE UNIVERSAL VALUES. Would Au Nok-hin agree?

- Au Nok-hin felt that it was a political decision to let the Hong Kong Celebrations Association use the soccer fields. The supposition is that the Civil Human Rights Front has always used the Victoria Park soccer fields on July 1st afternoons and therefore any other decision must be political. But what if they were to hold the Homeless World Cup in Victoria Park? Will the Civil Human Rights Front still insist that this was a political decision? Will these homeless people be called political henchmen?

(Hong Kong Free Press) May 8, 2017.

Independent music venue Hidden Agenda was raided on Tuesday night by police, hygiene and land officials, who demanded it to stop operating as a performance venue.

The raid took place during a concert by Canadian and Hong Kong bands Braids and So It Goes. A Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) official posed as a concert-goer, and purchased a ticket as evidence that the venue held performances without a place of public entertainment licence.

The concert went ahead successfully after the disturbance. Not even the police or the so-called government can ruin tonight for us, said So It Goes on Facebook.

Hidden Agenda has only opened at its current Kwun Tong location the fourth in its history since December, following a HK$500,000 public fundraiser. It returned its previous venue to its landlord after receiving multiple warnings from the Lands Department, which said that it had violated the terms of its land lease.

It now operates officially as a takeaway food stall, after successfully obtaining a food factory licence from the FEHD. It does not have a place of public entertainment licence, as it is located in an industrial building.

(Hong Kong Free Press) May 8, 2017.

Hong Kong independent music venue Hidden Agenda was raided on Sunday night, leading to the arrests of a reported seven people including British and American performers and venue founder Hui Chung-wo.

Concert-goers live-streaming the incident said that Immigration Department officials raided the venue after the concert was over under the suspicion that overseas performers did not possess work visas. They demanded to conduct an investigation on the premises. Police later received a report of fighting. Officers with riot shields and police dogs responded.

The evenings concert at the Kwun Tong industrial building venue featured British band This Town Needs Guns and US act Mylets, as well as Hong Kong group Emptybottles.

Hidden Agenda claimed that seven arrests were made: Hui, another venue staffer, a member of the audience, all three members UK outfit This Town Needs Guns, and the sole member of Mylets an American. Police confirmed that Hui and another staffer had been charged with obstructing a police officer, and a third staff member was charged with common assault.

Live-streaming videos showed Hidden Agenda founder Hui dragged out from a crowd of people by several police officers. He later sat down on the floor, demanding to have his injuries examined but was then taken away in a police van.

A police spokesperson told HKFP that they were called to the scene at 11:49pm to attend to a case of fighting involving over 10 people. The spokesperson said that two people were injured, and that there were still some 30 to 40 people at the scene as of 1:00am. Police have the situation under control, she said.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 6, 2017.

Members of British and American bands TTNG and Mylets have been ordered to return to Hong Kong in July after they were arrested for performing without a work visa last month. The four musicians were among seven arrested in a high-profile raid on Kwun Tongs independent live house Hidden Agenda on the night of May 7. The Immigration Department told HKFP they were suspected of breaching their conditions of stay, while venue owner Hui Chung-wo faced four immigration charges including employing illegal workers.

They had originally been told to return to Hong Kong to report to the Immigration Department this Monday, and set a 5,000 (HK$50,100) crowdfunding goal for travel and other costs. But on Monday, TTNG wrote on Facebook that their bail had been extended to July 17. The airline is allowing us to amend the date of our existing flights, but sadly this has added unforeseen extra costs due to increased ticket prices and change fees, they added. The musicians have crowdfunded a total of 7,470 (HK$75,000) from fans as of Monday afternoon.

Last week, Hidden Agenda owner Hui told the media it may close down in mid-July, after a number of overseas bands cancelled scheduled performances in the wake of the arrests. Hui says he must also pay for over HK$100,000 in losses due to the cancellations, as well as an encumbrance order from the Lands Department.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vNI2xMG99c

Internet comments:

- TTNG Facebook

First of all, we would like to thank our fans for their love and support, Hong Kong Legislators and legal team for their assistance and the media for their concern. After being held in custody for a few hours, we have been released on bail. We will head back to the UK and the USA respectively on Tuesday 9th of May and Wednesday 10th of May, and will be returning to Hong Kong to report back to the Immigration Department on 5th of June.

After last nights event, we have learnt that it is extremely difficult for musicians to thrive in Hong Kong. It requires an incredible amount of strength and passion to persevere. Hong Kong as we know as an international city with freedom and diversity, should give greater room for creative works and performance to flourish.

That said, we shall not be discouraged, instead we will continue to travel and share our music with the world. We sincerely hope that we will be welcomed by more fans and music lovers rather than law enforcers at our possible future performances in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your support! We are so grateful for how helpful and supportive everyone has been to us. We are thankful for the kindness and compassion everyone in Hong Kong has shown to us.

- TTNG, Mylets

- (Discuss.com.hk)

Load of shits. 
No one is privileged! 
Abide by the LAW. Get  the proper visa then do whatever LAW allowed!
Fucking lawless POMs go home!

- Hidden Agenda's Facebook

- (Oriental Daily) Here is a photo from inside the "takeaway food stall":

- Did the police overreact with several vanloads of police officers and even a canine?

 (Oriental Daily) At around 11pm, the Immigration Department officers identified themselves and wanted to take the bands and the organizer named Hui away. There was pushing and shoving. More than 100 audience members were in an uproar. An Immigration Department worker was injured in the back and knee. The Immigration Department workers called the police.

Should the police have just sent two patrolmen down to the scene to see what is going on? What kind of force should they send after a report from Immigration Department workers saying that they are being surrounded and assaulted by a mob of over 100 persons?

- (Passion Times) At around midnight, a 22-year-old woman was robbed by a man of her mobile phone and bank cards by a man on the pedestrian overpass on Kwun Tong Road in Ngau Tau Kok district. She was then taken nearby and raped.

Comment: The police were too busy raiding Hidden Agenda. Therefore the robber/rapist was able to work unimpeded. Therefore it was the police's fault.

- I think that you have the story completely wrong. What happened was that the police had full patrol coverage of the Kwun Tong district including Ngau Tau Kok. Suddenly at 11pm, the HA staff began to assault the Immigration Department workers. All police officers on patrol were dispatched to the scene of a potential riot. As a result, the other areas were not patrolled for a brief period of time. The robber/rapist was able to work unimpeded. Therefore it was HA's fault.

-  First, there was a visit from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. Next, there is a visit from the Immigration Department. Who's coming next? My bet is on the Fire Services Department checking for fire code violations.

- On the afternoon on the next day, two Fire Services Department workers and the Kwun Tong Organized Crime Unit showed up at Hidden Agenda. It is not known what, if anything, they found. Of course, once the public suspects that the venue does not meet the fire code for holding an event with hundreds of participants, the fire department would be delinquent if something bad happens later.

- (SCMP) Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has defended the arrest of several foreign musicians and an indie clubs founder, saying the citys rules on immigration and safety at industrial buildings must not be ignored. He said: Our policy of revitalising industrial buildings has been a success, but our policy does not mean that you can use the industrial buildings however you like. We must consider the safety of the buildings users, for example the bands and the audience they attracted.  He added that the government had stopped other unlawful use of industrial spaces in the past, even in buildings under the revitalisation programme. Under our immigration policy, anyone who comes to Hong Kong must obtain a work visa, he said.

- The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force were very unfair in how they dealt with HA and its guests. They claim that they were enforcing the law. But based upon prior cases in common law, they are selectively lenient here.

(China Post) April 8, 2016.

Hong Kong authorities have sentenced Taiwanese model Cindy (星野優) to two months behind bars for working illegally, Hong Kong's Sing Tao Daily (星島日報) reported on Thursday. Cindy, whose real name is Tang Tzu-han (唐子涵), had appeared in the early episodes of variety show "Blackie's Teenage Club" (我愛黑澀會) and went on to a career in sensual photography.

A court in Hong Kong's Sha Tin District has sentenced Tang to two months in prison for working in Hong Kong without a permit, according to the Sing Tao Daily.

The newspaper reported that Tang, 32, arrived in Hong Kong on April 1 for what she said was a three-day photo shoot. At 7 p.m. the same day, Tang and the Japanese model Tomomi attended an event held by a Hong Kong photography association in a hotel room, the report said. They were apprehended by an undercover border official and sent to authorities for questioning, according to Sing Tao Daily.

According to Hong Kong media, Tang had expected payment of NT$8,000 for participating in the event. Entering Hong Kong to work without a permit is subject to a fine of up to HKD$50,000 (NT$209,000) and up to two years behind bars.

In the case of the three members of TTNG and one member of Mylets, they are clearly illegally working. But they are allowed to continue to travel abroad for their tours while on bail.

- Fact: If these four individuals are mainland Chinese citizens, the standard treatment for working illegally and violating the condition of stay would be two months of jail followed by immediate expulsion with a lifetime ban against re-entry.

- The case has been elevated to government suppression of the culture industry. Let me understand this: when the Immigration Department goes after musicians with no work visas, they are suppressing the culture industry. So when the Immigration Department inspectors go to construction sites to check for illegal workers, they are suppressing the construction industry. When the Immigration Department inspectors go to restaurants to check for illegal dishwashers, they are suppressing the food/beverage catering industry. When the Immigration Department inspectors go to round up mainland prostitutes, they are suppressing sex. Etc etc.

- (HKG Pao) The Civic Party rushed over to take media attention on this case. First of all, legislator Jeremy Tam showed up at the scene to "provide assistance," made a live broadcast from the scene, questioned whether this was suppression and challenged government policies on industrial building and work visas. Next, legislator and party chief Alvin Yeung wrote on Facebook that the government is suppressing the culture industry. Legislator and barrister Tanya Chan represented some of the arrestees. Tam and Chan also faced the media at the Legislative Council building to challenge what the Immigration Department and Police did.

Based upon what these Civic Party is saying, anyone who is in Hong Kong for cultural reasons does not need to have a work visa. The Immigration Department acted as a result of a tip that HA was hiring musicians without work visas. What the Civic Party is saying that as soon as the Immigration Department realizes that these people are musicians, they should have walked away. Let me put ask another question: The four musicians are British/American; what if they were mainland Chinese musicians? Will the Civic Party be so hot on defending the rights of mainland Chinese musicians coming to play in Hong Kong for pay without work visas?

- According to a Immigration Department investigation director, this was an ordinary law enforcement action. But this one was hijacked by a political party with ulterior motives so that the case is being packaged with politics. The result is the demoralization of the frontline Immigration Department workers, and the destruction of public trust in law enforcement.

This Immigration Department investigation director emphasized that the four foreigners did not have work visas, in clear violation of the Immigration Ordinance. If these foreigners wanted to work, they should apply for work visas from the Immigration Department. The process takes four to six weeks, and there are ways of expediting the process. But in the current case, the arrestees never applied for work visas.

- A question for the Civic Party lawyers. Music has no borders, and therefore musicians should be able to cross borders at will to play their music to audiences in different nations. Does that mean that a Hong Kong band can travel to the United Kingdom or United States and play their music without bothering with things like work visas?

- Here is the UK Border Agency on Entering the UK as an entertainer or an artist. And they haven't even gotten into the small matter of taxes yet.

- On the same day, there was another case of a business being busted by a Customs Department undercover agent. A complaint had been lodged against a certain restaurant for false advertising. An agent went and ordered Abalone Fukien Fried Rice and took a sample back for laboratory analysis. There was no abalone in the food. Today, the restaurant manager faced the press and acknowledged that they broke the law in order to increase profits. The restaurant was fined $5,000.

Why doesn't HA have the courage to admit that they broke the law?

- Are you pretending to be stupid here? The answer is so simple. If you engage in false advertising, you will only be fined a few thousand dollars. If you confess and apologize properly, the publicity would be worth a lot more than the fine. But if an employer hire workers with no work visas, the workers go to jail for 2 months and the employer goes to jail for 3 months. These penalties are unbearable. So this is when rule-of-law goes out of the window/down the toilet.

- If you want the Gold Standard of how to apologize if you must, then the unanimous choice is Leon Lai. No amount of money can buy the goodwill that came out.

- The Immigration Department said that HA had previously applied successfully for work visas for their foreign musicians. So it is not as if this was impossible. But in this case they got lazy and decided to take a chance.

- On next Wednesday, Hidden Agenda has scheduled the Finnish band Insomnium to play. According to the organizers, they are undecided as to whether or not to proceed.

- The case of TTNG/Mylets is worse in that HA never even bothered to apply for work visas. A much better defense would be something like: "We applied in November and we haven't received any response one way or the other." HA just didn't fucking care!

- (Headline Daily) May 11, 2017.

What can HA do? They should not ignore the law and do whatever they want, as in hiring foreign bands without worrying about work visas or holding concerts without worrying about property use restrictions or doing whatever they want because someone is willing to play music and others are willing to pay to listen. What can HA do? Since some legislative councilors support them, they should ask these legislative councilors and other music fans to fight for more public performance space.

As for those legislative councilors who are so sharply critical of the government, they should know the facts first before they speak. How many people were present at the concert? If several hundred people are squeezed into one industrial building unit, are there safety problems? When the government revitalize an industrial buildings, should they ignore all the land use restrictions in the books? Can any and all activities be allowed in these industrial buildings? Legislative councilor Tanya Chan said that "it is hard to say whether the four foreign musicians were working commercially or engaged in cultural exchange", and that the government is trying to eliminate the space of survival for performance arts in industrial buildings. But this concert charges admission fees to the tune of $380 per head, so was it just cultural exchange?

Today, it is the easiest thing in the word to criticize the government. It is cost-free. But if Tanya Chan and Jeremy Tam really want to help local performance groups and musicians, they should not stop with just voicing some support in a single case. They should pressure the government to provide more performance venues for musicians. If HA wants to a space for survival, they should ask these legislators to apply pressure on the government. This is better than hiring illegal workers to hold unlawful concerts.

- Indie music concerts must have low admission prices and therefore not very profitable. The way to make money is to rent improper venues and get expelled. That will allow you to solicit donations in order to locate another (improper) venue and repeat the cycle.

- Well, the Immigration Department is not omnipresent. How would they know that you have foreign visitor-musicians playing for you? Somebody must have lodged a complaint with them. Once the complaint is logged, they must investigate. And if the investigation yields evidence that supports the complaint, they must take action. So who lodged that complaint? People who hate HA? or HA themselves?

- It used to be that an employer hires illegal workers and promises to pay at the end of the month. When the end of the month approaches, the employer gives an anonymous tip to the Immigration Department to arrest the illegal workers and deport them. The now departed workers do not get the money owed them. Employers do so because they are not penalized under the old law. Under the current law, employers face huge penalties. For example, in the case of the Taiwanese/Japanese models, the two girls got 2 months in prison and the two employers got 3 months in prison.

- This event had more than 100 persons in attendance. The entrance fees are $280 (advance booking), $380 (walk-in), $200 (student). This means that Hidden Agenda took in more than $30,000 this night. That may seem a lot to a person, but this is not a lot when divvied up among the organization which has to pay rent, utilities and salaries and the appearance fees for the three bands (TNNG (HK), Mylets (USA), Empty Bottles (HK)).

- Some dudes were playing music at a private concert. What makes you think that they are 'working'?

CAP 115 Immigration Ordinance

Section 17N Presumption

Any person who is found at a place where employees are in the employment of an employer shall, unless evidence is adduced that he is lawfully employable, be presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary -

(a) to have entered into a contract of employment to be employed by that employer; and
(b) to be an employee of that employer

Section 41 Breach of condition of stay

Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable in conviction to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for 2 years.

Under this ordinance, the prosecutor does not need to have the contracts or the payments in evidence. It is up to the defendants to prove the contrary.

- (Hong Kong Immigration Department) Don't Employ Illegal Workers

Q1. What should an employer do before employing a person?
A. The law requires an employer to take all practical steps to ensure that the job seeker is lawfully employable. If the job seeker is not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card, the law requires an employer to inspect the job seeker's valid travel document.

Q9. Can I employ a visitor?
A: No. You can't.

Q10. How to identify a visitor?
A. They should not have a Hong Kong identity card. The immigration stamp/landing slip on their travel documents has the word 'Visitor'.

Q11. What are the penalties if an employer employs a person not lawfully employable?
A. The employer is liable to a maximum fine of $350,000 and three years' imprisonment.

Q12. What are the penalties if an employer fails to inspect the job seeker's identity card and, if the job seeker does not have a Hong Kong permanent identity card, his/her valid travel document?
A. The employer is liable to a maximum fine of $150,000 and one year imprisonment.

- Of course, nowadays in Hong Kong, the law is optional for pro-democracy activists.

- Time for the United States government, the United Kingdom government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to pay serious attention to the plight of these British and American citizens being politically persecuted in Hong Kong!

- Facebook comments


Huanwai Poon:
  Fuck your mother, government
  You have been busting Hidden Agenda
  as long as the movement to activate industrial buildings has been going on
  You said that they are unlicensed but that was actually a problem with the procedure
  You sent in undercover agents
  Now you want to charge them over working visas
  Fuck, there are plenty of mainlanders in Mong Kok
  They sing their songs with music systems and they set up a tin cup before them
  Why don't you go arrest them?
  They keep busting HA each time
  Any clear-eyed person would know what this is about

Smart Dum
  Brother you are right.
  The entire Sai Yeung Choi Street is filled with mainlanders making money with song and dance
  They block the street
  I don't see the Immigration Department jews stopping them

Trinity Hui
  Agree!

- This is all talk and no action! Why don't you guys call up the Immigration Department and report that there are persons illegally working on the Sai Yeung Choi Street South pedestrian mall? Once the complaint is logged in, the Immigration Department will have to investigate. Perhaps they will arrest all those mainland middle-aged singers and dancers, along with the French jugglers, South American pipe players, Italian opera singers, American rappers, African drummers, etc. Then Mong Kok will be the domain of the "Mental Patients" In The Umbrella Revolution.

- It is said that Hidden Agenda's hidden agenda is the renaissance/revival/revitalization of industrial buildings for civic use. Once upon a time, Hong Kong had a manufacturing industry. After the opening of China, all manufacturing activities have move to mainland China due to the significantly lower costs up there. So industrial buildings in Hong Kong are under-used right now. Hidden Agenda is showing us how to use the industrial buildings to promote local art and culture.

- What kind of excuse is this? How are you different from triad gang lords who rent a floor in an industrial building, convert it into a bar, sell liquor and hire mainland girls (on two-way visitor permits) as 'companions'?

There are gray areas as far as zoning and licensing go. Given the history of HA, you have to know that before this. But when the relevant departments come in, you behave just like triad gangsters. This is not the model example to set in the renaissance/revival/revitalizaitonl of industrial buildings in Hong Kong.

- What about the United States? (Musical America)

A lot of artists and their managers balk at the U.S. visa process for artists. I understand. Its illogical, inane, impractical, unpredictable, arbitrary, and expensiveand those are just the high points. Nonetheless, its the one were stuck with.

The easy answer is simply that its illegal. Artists are not permitted to perform in the U.S. without an artist visa (most often, either an O or P), regardless of whether or not tickets are sold, regardless of whether or not the artist is paid or who pays the artist, regardless of whether or not the performance is for a 501(c)(3), regardless of whether or not the performance constitutes training or is educational, and regardless of just about any scenario you can conceive of. What you are really asking is: what are the consequences for breaking the law and what are the odds of getting caught?

Both United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and United States Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) have been increasingly scrutinizing artists over the last year or so. As a result, artists who have previously managed to perform illegally in the U.S. in the past without the proper artist visa are now being caught with ever greater regularityresulting in significant consequences for both the artists as well as the presenters and venues who allowed them to perform. Last year, a violinist who had been performing in the U.S. for the past five years without a visa was caught and is now banned from the U.S. for three years. I am aware of a conductor who was turned away at the border when the immigration official discovered that he was coming to perform by googling his name. Another artist was advised by his management to enter the U.S. on a visitor visa to perform a promotional tour for a new album, was detained at the airport for 5 hours, and then refused entry. His ESTA/Visa Waiver privileges have been revoked and he must now visit a U.S. Consulate any time he wants to enter the USeven as a visitor. Even more significantly, a management company was caught submitting a fraudulent visa petition to USCIS and is no longer allowed to serve as a petitioner for its own artists visas. Large presenters, venues, and festivals are being audited with increasing regularity to determine whether or not all artists have proper artist visas.

The consequences for employing an artist illegally are the same as for any employer who employs an illegal alien. Theoretically, this can include anything from fines and economic penalties to criminal prosecution. However, from a practical perspective, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice lack the resources to prosecute and investigate every venue or presenter who facilitates an illegal performance. This is why most enforcement tends to be focused on the artist at the time of entry. After the artist has entered the U.S., its much less likely that DHS would discover the performance unless there is an audit or the performance is reported to them. Audits are much more likely to occur either in the case of larger institutions or employers who already employ foreign workers in other capacities or in the case of prominent or significant venues or performances which are more likely to garner media attention.

In short, whenever a venue contemplates employing an artist without a proper visa or an artist contemplates performing with a proper visa, its akin to running a red light. Its illegal under any circumstances. Whether or not you get caught depends on whether or not there is a camera or cop at the intersection. Whether or not its advisable depends on the circumstances and how lucky you feel.

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