Hong Kong protests bring crisis of confidence for traditional media

Young turn to social media as newspapers and TV stations owned by local tycoons take care not to offend mainland China

The Guardian, Wednesday 29 October 2014

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CY Leung faces more questions about secret HK$50m deal after rival bid is revealed

On the same day that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying signed an undisclosed agreement worth £4 million (HK$50 million) as part of his former company’s sale to listed Australian engineering firm UGL, a second offer arrived to buy the company that exceeded UGL’s bid by £90 million.

The existence of the second bid is likely to raise further questions about Leung’s conduct in 2011 during his final days as a DTZ board member, and in particular, whether he was able to provide impartial advice on the merits of the second offer given that he stood to gain HK$50 million if the sale to UGL went through. Continue reading

Some Chinese Leaders Claim U.S. and Britain Are Behind Hong Kong Protests

HONG KONG — One of the young protesters directing traffic on Friday morning at a street barricade here was wearing a reproduction of British military fatigues, complete with a Union Jack on the shoulder. In any other city, the outfit might have been dismissed as hipster chic. But in Hong Kong, it caused a stir.

An older demonstrator approached and said the uniform was a bad idea because it might suggest foreign influence over the pro-democracy protests, especially given Hong Kong’s status as a former British colony. Then a young woman wearing a blue dress to show support for the police strode by, stuck out her right arm and gave him a thumbs down. Continue reading

Hong Kong protests: Premier Li stresses social stability

China’s Premier Li Keqiang says he is sure social stability can be maintained in Hong Kong, as pro-democracy protests in the region entered a third week.

Mr Li made his comments during his trip to Germany, where he and Chancellor Angela Merkel signed trade agreements.

Thousands of protesters, demanding fully democratic elections, have paralysed parts of Hong Kong. Continue reading

Hong Kong chief executive ‘was paid £4m by Australian company

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, secretly received millions of pounds in payments from an Australian company after he took office, according to media reports.

The engineering company UGL agreed to pay Leung £4m in relation to its acquisition of DTZ Holdings, an insolvent property services firm that had employed Leung as its Asia Pacific director before he took office, Melbourne-based The Age reported on Wednesday.

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Class Boycott Declaration from Secondary School Students

Original in Chinese

We are a group of secondary school students who have been told to be the masters of the future. So we study and learn to be the future of Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong’s future is now manipulated by a small group of people who have taken away our choice of Chief Executive.

Class boycott is not taking a break.
Class boycott is not stop learning.
Class boycott is not for fun.
Class boycott is not a crime.
It is for our future.

We know the consequences and are ready to take any punishments by school. However, we must step forward when some adults choose to remain silent. If we choose to escape today, we won’t have any choice tomorrow. When the minions of tyranny just expect us to go to class, the best resistance is probably boycotting it.

Let’s meet the challenge of the era and complete our historical mission. We must establish ourselves in an era that belongs to us. Let’s shape our hopes and show our vision of the future.

Our future is in our own hands. We will take it back.

Taiwan Backs Democracy Movement in Hong Kong

12 Sept 2014 | Voice of America

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung urged the governments in Hong Kong and Beijing to use tolerance.

She said that with respect to the Hong Kong people’s desire for universal suffrage, her office and every segment of Taiwan expresses a high level of concern and support. Wu said her office hopes the Hong Kong government and leaders in mainland China can use wisdom, tolerance of different opinions and rational dialogue and other peaceful means to reach a consensus.

Lai I-chung, vice president of Taiwan Think Tank, said Hong Kong has lost its appeal for Taiwanese since Communist China took it back from Britain.

“I think they’re now looking at Hong Kong as a place that’s a Chinese territory. Since Taiwan democratized and Hong Kong is reverting back to China, Hong Kong is no longer presented as a new place for hope or place for modernity, not a place Taiwan would like to learn from,” said I-Chung.

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Showdown in Hong Kong

Zoher Abdoolcarim | 11 September 2014 | Time

Beijing must realize that the territory’s openness is what gives it real value to China

To China’s leaders, what’s different about Hong Kong is what makes it dangerous. Some local activists have called for the end to Communist Party rule of the mainland, making them, from Beijing’s standpoint, subversives. Beijing’s harder and more intimidating line toward Hong Kong reflects its harder and more intimidating line at home and toward much of the rest of the world. If powers like the U.S. and Russia are reluctant to challenge China, goes the thinking in Beijing, who is tiny Hong Kong to do so?

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A Chinese Author Takes On China

Steven Thompson | 10 September 2014 | Asia Sentinel

How much did Joe Chung anger the Hong Kong and Beijing establishment, and what were the results?

Chung was one of the most controversial authors on the popular but now-defunct House News, a Hong Kong-based news website and content aggregator founded by former radio personality Tony Tsoi and others to cover covers politics, business, lifestyle, media, and local news.

Tsoi abruptly killed the site on July 26 despite a readership of 300,000 unique visitors a day. He has been incommunicado since.  However, in a notation on the website, he said he and his family were under pressure and that he was particularly fearful of what he called the White Terror.

Some observers credit Chung’s aggressiveness as one of the factors in the closure. Among other articles, his allegations of academic plagiarism of Xi Jinping’s PhD were believed to have caused House News to be shut down for several days due to hacking allegedly carried out by Chinese hackers.

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“Don’t let the striking students stand alone” – An appeal from and views of a group of teachers and staff at tertiary education institutes

Chinese

The August 31st decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive election stated that the threshold for nomination would be the support of “more than half of Nominating Committee members”, that the number of candidates be limited to two or three, and that the composition of the Nominating Committee be based on the four sectors of the Election Committee. As teachers and as citizens, we are pained and outraged to see the advancement of democracy in Hong Kong stifled and suppressed. Even though it is unlikely that democratic universal suffrage can be realized in the short term, we absolutely must not give up. During these dark days, we must resolutely guard our stations and stand together to shoulder the responsibility of our time.

A new round of protests in the form of class boycotts is currently being discussed and planned in the education sector. When we look back at history, both in China and overseas, we see that student movements have been an important force in pushing for social progress. Our hope in Hong Kong’s future lies in the passion and spirit shown by our young people and their willingness to take up the mantle in the fight for democracy and social justice.

Yet, while the students are pure of heart, they have recently become subject to unreasonable smears and attacks. We appeal to all sectors of society, and particularly to our colleagues in the education field, to cherish the innocent hearts of the students – do not let them stand alone to face the white terror, give them our staunchest support and protection. During the class boycott action, every student should have freedom from fear.

Here follows some specific suggestions for consideration by colleagues:

  1. As citizens of society, tertiary students have the freedom ofassociation and expression; they have the right to express their opinions onpolitical issues and teachers should respect this. Student movements provide great opportunities for civic education. We suggest that teachers discuss issues with students in an interactive way and in an atmosphere of mutual respect; encourage students to care about society and to make independent and rational judgments.
  2. As class boycotts may affect day-to-day teaching, we call on teachers to be understanding of students’ difficulties. While upholding educational principles, we hope teachers can be lenient in dealing with student absences arising from class boycotts. We also suggest that teachers should, as much as possible, avoid setting any important tests or assignments during the period of the class boycott.
  3. We urge teachers to do as much as they can to allow striking students to catch up with their studies. For example, they could provide make-up classes, offer guidance and classroom audio/visual recordings to help students complete their academic requirements smoothly.
  4. Colleagues in the education sector and other sectors of society can show their support to the striking students during the period of the class boycott by wearing yellow ribbons.

Link

UNCRC: An Intenrational Legal Response to Robert Chow on collecting and exposing identifies of students on strike

8 Sept 2014

Robert Chow announced a new campaign targeting students who will be on strike and/or participate in occupy movement

Chow does not seem aware of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Hong Kong and China are both parties and which clearly states that:

Article 15

1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.

2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 16

1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Concerned citizens may file complaints to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Personal Data at complaints@pcpd.org.hk.

China Restricts Voting Reforms for Hong Kong

Chris Buckley and Michael Forsythe | 31 Aug 2014 | New York Times

HONG KONG — China’s legislature laid down strict limits on Sunday to proposed voting reforms in Hong Kong, pushing back against months of rallies calling for free, democratic elections.

Occupy Central says it will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to avoid major disruption. Its organizers have said that they do not plan to plunge into mass protests immediately.

“We’re not making threats, we’re just sending warning signals,” said Mr. Tai, the group’s co-founder. “The house is on fire, something has to be done.”

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Students’ Strike Declaration: The University of Hong Kong Students’ Union

Original

HKU Student Union, Students’ Strike Declaration

1. We insist on Civil Nomination
2. We urge the Legislative Council to veto over a proposal that does not comply with the International Standard
3. We demand a directly elected on all seats of Legislative Council by 2016

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Northern California Hong Kong Club: Call on Pro-democracy Legco Member to Veto NPC Fake Democracy Proposal

Issued on 31 August 2014

On Sept 1, NCHKC sent letters to the following US officials to urge them to speak out for Hong Kong people:

  • Vice President Joe Biden
  • Representative Nancy Peloci, House leader for Democrat,
  • Senator Sherrod Brown, Chairman of Congressional-Executive Commission on China
  • Representative Christopher Smith, Co-chairman of Congressional-Executive Commission on China

We salute the tremendous courage shown by the people of Hong Kong who will be starting a series of peaceful resistance actions in defiance of Beijing’s denial of their democratic rights.

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