19 AUG 2011

Category One Country Two Systems Principle
Issue Vice-Premier Li’s visit to Hong Kong
News Content Vice-Premier Li KeQiang ended his three-day visit with a breakfast with property tycoon and public outcry over police’s tighter security treatment against activists during his stay. The latest example of the police heavy-handed treatment came as Li visited the University of Hong Kong yesterday. Three students were dragged to the ground. One of them was locked up for an hour. 100 protestors led by LSD legislator Leung Kwok-hung was stopped by more than 20 police on a footbridge leading to the new government headquarters at Tamar, Admiralty. A red bamboo coffin was destroyed during the confrontation. It was said between 2,000 and 3,000 police officers were mobilized to protect Li each day. Police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung said the measures taken were necessary to ensure Li’s safety. But the chairman of the legislative council’s security panel, James To said the police were not protecting Li but had tried to prevent him from being embarrassed.
Questions The heavy treatment has hampered the freedom of expression in Hong Kong. The police have to explain why such tight security is made. Without a detailed explanation, the tight security is totally unnecessary, and thus a waste of public money.

18 AUG 2011

Category One Country Two Systems Principle
Issue Vice-Premier Li’s visit to Hong Kong
News Content Visiting Vice-Premier Li KeQiang announced a package for more than 30 measures to boost the local economy by strengthening Hong Kong’s role in the internationalization of the Yuan. One of the key measures is to support the stock market by allowing mainland investors to invest in Hong Kong stocks by launching the index-tracking Exchange Traded Fund backed by a portfolio of Hong Kong stocks. Andrew Fung, the head of treasury and investment at HS Bank, quoted by SCMP, said: ‘China is speeding up its pace of internationalizing the currency by these new measures.’ Johnny Lau, the current affairs commentator familiar with China politics, said Beijing is of the view that if economic issues are not handled properly, they would escalate into political problems.
Questions The key measure announced by Li is yet to solve the city’s deep-rooted conflicts. Without a sound economic and social change, the measure itself only helps widen the rich-poor gap.

17 AUG 2011

Category One Country Two Systems Principle
Issue Vice-Premier Li’s visit to Hong Kong
News Content Visiting vice-premier Li Keqiang met Chief Executive Donald Tsang in Hong Kong yesterday. According to Xinhua, Li told the chief executive and his governing team to maintain good spirit and try the best to resolve or reduce negative factors in society. The government needs to listen to voices from various sectors, and be practical and active in helping grass-roots communities to tackle their difficulties and alleviate pressure they face on their livelihoods. Li told Hong Kong officials that there were certain problems that have to be resolved as the city was facing challenges posed by changing economic situations. He asked the government to be practical and active in solving the economic problems faced by its grass-roots communities.
Questions According to the Basic Law, the central government is responsible for national defense and foreign relations of the SAR. However, the central govt officials have been actively commenting Hong Kong affairs other those two areas, which might leave an impression that the central government is crossing the line, not paying due regard to the principle of ‘one-country-two-systems’ principle. Only doing lip services to the sufferings of the grassroots will not enhance the governance. The Beijing officials should stop paying lip services every time the Beijing officials visit Hong Kong.

15 AUG 2011

Category Press Freedom
Issue Three reporters arrested at new govt headquarter
News Content Police arrested three journalists last Thursday evening after they were stopped by the police at the Chief Executive Office building. Accusing them of attempted break-in, the police took them to the Central Police Station for further investigation. They were released without charge seven hours later. MingPao issued a statement expressing its strong regret that the police had made arrest without any reasonable burglary. One of the journalists arrested was from Mingpao. Chairman of Hong Kong News Executives’ Association, Mr. Chiu Ying-chun said the police should contact the newspapers for clarification when the three stated clearly they were journalists. Secretary for Security Lee Siu-kwong then issued a statement, pledging to protect press freedom.
Questions The police are overacting, putting security concern prior to public access to information. The three journalists should not have been arrested. It is absurd that they were arrested under the accusation of attempted burglary. The police will take all deemed necessary to threaten people from accessing the public property. The government pledge is an empty promise without the legislation of the Freedom of Information Act. Security loophole is exposed and the police just shifted the burden to the media. The common trick we have seen and will be seen in the future.

12 AUG 2011

Category Constitutional Development
Issue Chief Executive Election
News Content Democratic Party, Civic Party and ADPL reached a tentative consensus yesterday, vowing to push forward the pre-election poll, a simulated civic CE election and win as many seats as possible in the election committee election. ‘The abolishment of Functional Constituency in 2016’ should be the campaign agenda. It was suggested by the Civic Party and agreed by the Democrats. And the three parties also agreed the pre-election will be held in Nov or Dec at its earliest.
Questions A Good move indeed. The campaign is getting its shape. But having said that, the campaign should be made as open, transparent and as possible.