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

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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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China Insists That Hong Kong Should Only Have Pro-Beijing Candidates — for National Security

Oiwan Lam | 25 August 2014 | Global Voices Online

As pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong continue to push for a greater say in the election of the city’s leader, top officials in mainland China closed discussion on the matter, claiming any restrictions placed on the vote are done so for national security.

Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, is set to have its first direct vote of the city’s chief executive in 2017, but Beijing says a nominating committee must approve the candidates. Democracy advocates fear Hong Kong will only have pro-Beijing candidates to choose from, defeating the purpose of the election. 

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Beijing diplomat warns UK consul not to ‘meddle’ in Hong Kong politics

Ng Kang-chung | 2 June 2014 | South China Morning Post

The top British envoy in Hong Kong has hit back at Beijing’s warning that London should stay out of Hong Kong’s politics, saying Britain has “a wide range of interests” in the city as a signatory to the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

British Consul General Caroline Wilson also stressed the importance of universal suffrage being on the basis of “a genuine choice”.

Wilson was responding after China’s foreign ministry commissioner in Hong Kong, Song Zhe, issued a statement over the weekend, asking Britain not to poke its nose into Hong Kong’s constitutional reforms.

He said the reforms were Hong Kong’s internal affair and Beijing was firmly against any meddling by “outside forces”.

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The Pulse: Occupy Central Narrows the Field; District Councils “Promote” Constitutional Reform

21 May 2014 | RTHK

1. Benny Tai and Michael Davis discuss results of the Constitutional Reform Deliberation Day.

2. In societies that get to fully elect their government there’s always a bit of a conundrum when the government spends public money to convince the public of a viewpoint it might not share. It gets even more confusing when this activity occurs in the process of a consultation supposedly to assess public views. Hong Kong’s government allocated a total of HKS4.5 million in public money to district councils to promote the idea that proposals for electoral reform should follow the Basic Law, but do the public’s representatives have a right to help determine how that money was spent?

Financial Secretary John Tsang calls for compromise on electoral reform

Jeffie Lam | 5 May 2014 | SCMP

“I always believe the relatively extreme opinions … are only … bargaining tactics in the reform’s negotiation, where different parties would still be willing to make reasonable compromises eventually for the sake of Hong Kong’s democratic progress,”

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has urged lawmakers to agree on a compromise over the terms for electoral reform or risk damaging the city’s economic future.

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China warns U.S. not to meddle in Hong Kong over democratic reform

James Pomfret | 7 April 2014 | Reuters

China has cautioned the United States not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs after Vice President Joseph Biden met two prominent pro-democracy advocates who have warned of Beijing’s tightening control of the territory, state news agency Xinhua said.

A former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, Hong Kong enjoys considerable autonomy and broad freedoms as a capitalist hub.

But it has been locked in a lengthy battle with Beijing’s leaders to push through reforms that could culminate in a direct election of its leader in 2017.

Continue reading…