INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe

Politics

Society

Multimedia: Urumqi's vigil in Hong Kong

Demonstrators gathered in Central at around 7 pm to mourn the victims of a fire accident in Urumqi amid strict lockdown in mainland China. Mainlanders from provinces including Shanghai and cities like Guangzhou and Chengdu held blank sheets to protest against the COVID-19 measures, and chanted slogans to oust Chinese president Xi Jinping since last Saturday. After the ten mainland Chinese students mourned at the University of Hong Kong last Sunday, protestors in Central held blank papers and sent flowers to pay tribute to the ongoing protests in mainland China despite the police’s social distancing checks.  Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/03HI_DwUHzY  

Society

Commemoration held in Central for victims of Urumqi's fire

More than 100 people in Central mourned the fatal Urumqi fire last Thursday, following the unprecedented backlash against the rigorous zero-COVID measures in mainland China. Participants held white papers to resemble the “A4 revolution” that went viral in the mainland, expressing their discontent with the censorship on state-controlled social media with a blank white paper, alongside chrysanthemums tied with white ribbons for commemoration.  “I need to support mainlanders who are speaking and fighting for their basic living rights,” said Ying who speaks on condition of anonymity. “The containment has gone too far that has affected the grassroots too much.”  At around 8:15 pm, activist Alexandra Wong Fung Yiu, known as Grandma Wong, fell on the ground when her yellow umbrella was grabbed by an unidentified man. She has been sent to hospital and the man has been arrested by the police. Last Thursday night, a fire broke out in a residential building in Urumqi, causing 10 deaths and 9 injuries. Chinese netizens said the victims in the building were unable to leave due to COVID-19 restrictions, while the entrance door was locked and firefighters were blocked by the barriers set for pandemic prevention when they wanted to enter the building. But it has been denied by the city officials in the press conference held on Nov 25, who said that residents could go outside but lacked safety knowledge and the parked vehicles had blocked firefighters' access to the burning building. “None of the unit doors was locked and all the blockade images circulating online are fake news,” the spokesman said at the press conference. Snap lockdowns perpetuated in China, sparks anger across the country.  As of yesterday, protests erupted across 51 universities in China including Tsinghua University and the Communication University of China, Nanjing, according to Hong Kong media Ming …

Politics

Creativity inside the red lines: Hong Kong artists adapt to National Security Law

Ng Kap-chuen, a cartoonist who goes by his artist name Ah To, left his native Hong Kong for the United Kingdom in April this year for fear of being jailed for his art.  Ng, 39, is known for being critical of Beijing and the Hong Kong government. He has produced a number of artworks since 2014 expressing discontent over controversial issues, such as the National Security Law, social unrest, and COVID-19 measures.   Some artists, including illustrators and cartoonists such as Ng, whose works tend to challenge and criticise the government in a satirical and controversial manner said they fear being accused of violating the NSL, implemented in 2020 after anti-government protests broke out across the city in 2019. The NSL aims to prevent, stop and punish subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, with critics warning it could silence dissent and erode freedom in the city. “The immense pressure, terror, and uncertainty of not knowing when I would be arrested really tortured me mentally and made it hard for me to be in a good mood for creation,” said Ng, a pro-democracy artist who still draws cartoons about Hong Kong’s social issues and politics from the UK. “I don’t feel comfortable if I can only make artwork that doesn’t express all my feelings. Self-censorship is not my way,” said Ng. “I am working on some sensitive topics that other artists in Hong Kong avoid talking about. They draw about local policies while I focus on sensitive political issues.” While no artists in Hong Kong have been arrested under the NSL, in September, five speech therapists were sentenced to 19 months in prison for conspiring to write and distribute books with seditious intent. The case involves a series of illustrated cartoon books about wolves and sheep, symbolising Chinese authority …

Politics

Remembrance Day ceremony in Central honors fallen war heroes

Hundreds of people gathered at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Central on Sunday, with government officials, representatives of the Commonwealth countries and embassies, veterans, and their families in attendance. It was November 11 of 1918 when the German Empire surrendered to the Allies, therefore ending World War Ⅰ. Remembrance Day is observed on this day each year to commemorate those who died in both World Wars. The estimated casualties of military and civilians in World War Ⅰ and Ⅱ are at least 16.5 million and 60 million, respectively. This year, a complete format of the ceremony was restored, after having been changed to a simplified rundown because of the pandemic, with the presence of the Police Marching Band. The band played the traditional British piece “Colonel Bogey March,” at the start of the ceremony.  A two-minute silence was observed at 11 am. Government officials and representatives then laid their poppy wreaths beneath the Cenotaph. Ex-serviceman put down donated wreaths on behalf of members of the public. The wreaths will remain in place for three days. Representatives of different religions, including the Catholic church, Taoist and Muslim community led the prayers along with veteran representatives. "This is an annual occasion for me and it is remembering those that went to war and did not come back to their homes," said John T. Siewert, a 98 year-old veteran, who served on the USS Satterlee Destroyer in 1944.  Siewart is believed to be the only one at the ceremony who participated in the war. He steered the Destroyer during the landing of Normandy to break the German defenses. Siewert said that he is fortunate to be able to attend the ceremony, as some of his comrades were sacrificed, and he was able to retire safely from the battlefield. “I have …

Politics

Artists have faith in Hong Kong even after leaving the city

Vawongsir, a Hong Kong artist, has been drawing political comics for three years. Some of his art is critical of government officials. He does not wish to give his full name for the fear of reprisals. "When working in Hong Kong, I would get so nervous if there was any sound of keys hitting or door opening that made me suffer physically and mentally. So leaving Hong Kong is the solution," Vawongsir said. Returning the key to his landlord and moving out of his apartment, Vawongsir has been switching shelters from time to time since then so that he can leave in a hurry should the authorities come after him. In April, he left Hong Kong for good. "I had no choice but to leave," he said. Vawongsir is one of the artists who fled the city to escape the fear and political limitations on art and creation. The enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law in 2020 has set red lines for freedom of expression, shrinking a considerable amount of room for artistic freedom in Hong Kong. Of the 183 people arrested under the NSL since its introduction till Mar 28,2022, one-third have been made for speech crimes including secession and subversion as shown in the statistics of Hong Kong Police Force. The city is facing a severe brain drain with a 3.49% decrease in the labour force over the same period in the second quarter of 2022 according to the Census and Statistic Department. Bernard Charnwut Chan, the chairman of the M+ Museum Board, wrote to the South China Morning Post that the government’s move to require censorship of artworks could risk Hong Kong losing its global reputation. In January 2020, the school where Vawongsir was working for received an anonymous complaint that he was posting political …

Politics

Things you need to know ​about China’s 20th National Congress of CCP​

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Yixin Gao、Jiaxing LiEdited by: Ziyu Bruce Zhao、Summer Li
  • 2022-10-26

The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China came to a close on Oct. 22 after a week-long meeting session in Beijing. 2,379 elected deputies from all over the country attended the conferences, reviewed major issues of the past five years, and outlined the future plan for the world's second-largest economy. A new top governing team was introduced with Xi Jinping securing his third presidential term.  Here are the seven key takeaways you should know about China's historic Communist Party Congress.

Politics

Youth Communication Event promotes Hong Kong young adults’ understanding of the Policy Address

The government created a focus group of those under the 40s to give opinions on policies and promote young people’s participation in public affairs at the “Youth Come Say” communicating event this Sunday. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, said in the 2022 Policy Address that Hong Kong would prosper only when its young people thrive and that the government would attach great importance to education and youth development. The “Youth Come Say” was held after the Policy Address this year was delivered. Its main organiser is the Hong Kong Youth Development Commission, YDC, an organisation which has close ties to the government and aims to support youth groups in various districts. This event is to provide youths from different stages and fields with a platform to show their thoughts about government policies, said Kenneth Leung Yuk-wai, a government councillor and the chairman of the YDC. This was the second time that the YDC held the “Youth Come Say” event, yet the first time to make the discussion core as the Policy Address. “It is a method to supply directions for the government to develop policies for Hong Kong youths. Youths can also broaden their understanding,” said Kelly Li, the emcee of the event. The number of participants was about 50, mainly members of youth organisations from different urban areas, aged between 18 to 40.  All participants were divided into five groups, and each group discussed one topic from the Policy Address. The five main issues were encouraging youths to participate in public affairs, promoting youth employment, learning more about the Greater Bay Area, youth education and youths’ housing issues. “The communication atmosphere was active, and everyone was sensible,” said Vivian Chen, 22, a Yau Tsim Mong area participant.  An issue that has been emphasised was the Greater Bay …

Politics

Policy Address 2022 Key Takeaways: leveraging Hong Kong's unique advantages for economic recovery

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu delivered his maiden policy address yesterday after his swearing-in. His speech this year clocked two hours and 45 minutes, seven minutes longer than the previous chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s longest policy address last year. Using President Xi Jinping's speech on June 1 as a blueprint for the administration of the current government, Lee announced a series of policies to leverage Hong Kong’s unique advantage of “enjoying strong support of the motherland while being closely connected to the world under the ‘One Country, Two Systems.’” Here are key takeaways from his first policy address speech: Wooing talents More than 140,000 workers left the city in the past two years. To attract and retain talents, Lee said the territory will be aggressive in “competing for enterprises” and “competing for talents”. Lee said the Top Talent Pass Scheme will be launched for two years. Eligible applicants, including those who earned at least HK$2.5 million in the past year or graduated from one of the top 100 universities in the world, will be issued a two-year work visa.  Quotas on the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, in which “highly skilled or talented persons” are able to apply for work visas, will be lifted for two years. Stamp duty for property purchased by non-permanent residents, which is 30% of the property price, will be refunded when they become Hong Kong permanent residents.   Increasing housing supply  Lee said solving the housing shortage is his top priority.  Currently, applicants need to wait about six years to live in public housing. Lee said the government will “cap the waiting time immediately” by introducing new “light public housing” and increasing the supply of traditional public units. The government will build at least 30,000 simple light public housing for transitional homes …

Politics

Policy Address 2022: Government to push ahead with transforming Hong Kong into high-tech centre

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Lok Yi CHU、Ho Yi CHEUNG、Kin Hou POONEdited by: Clarice Wu、Hamish CHAN
  • 2022-10-20

The Hong Kong government will invest $10 billion to foster technological innovations in universities and formulate a plan to attract foreign high-tech companies to set up offices and R&D centres in Hong Kong to build it into a global high-tech hub. Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu said that the government will launch the "Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint" to formulate key policies on four development directions. “I&T (Innovation and Technology) provides key impetus for Hong Kong’s high-quality economic development,” said Lee. Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint I&T ecosystem  Talent Pool Smart city International Development  1. Promote commercialisation of research and development outcomes  2. Promote the development of technology industry 3. Press ahead with re-industrialisation 4. Strengthening infrastructure 1. Introduce leading international innovation and technology talents by collaborating 2. Optimising the   existing technology talent plan 3. Increase accommodation support 1. Expand 5G Networks 2. Share database to company in I&T sector 1. Strengthen the cooperation with Shenzhen 2. Attracting enterprises  Under the proposal, the government will set up a $10 billion “Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme” next year to support the development of the technology industry in local universities. Matching funds will be provided to at least 100 research teams in universities, aiming to help them transform their ideas into products. "Although many scientific research teams in colleges and universities can obtain seed funds to start enterprises, they often fail to have further development or even commercialisation because angel investors and venture capital investors are more cautious, " said Shum Yu-yiu, an awardee of HK Tech 300 HK Tech 300 is a program launched by the City University of Hong Kong to help its students who are aspiring entrepreneurs. According to Startmeup HK, a government agency set up to promote startup companies in Hong Kong, …

Politics

Policy Address 2022: Hong Kong to invest HK$30 billion aimed transforming the city into a high-tech centre

Hong Kong is planning to establish investment funds and a talent office to attract foreign technology companies and high-level technical talents, aiming to build the city into a global high-tech hub. A HK$30 billion Co-investment Fund was planned with the aim to invest in potential oversea technology companies to set up their business in Hong Kong. To attract technical talents under a five-year technology blueprint, the government also planned to collaborate with the newly established Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES). The government believes the policies will enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness and create better and newer rooms for economic development in the next five years, said Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu. “In terms of ‘grabbing enterprises’ and ‘grabbing talents’, we hope to increase our competitiveness. There are many practices that we can see are unusual, proactive, and focused,” said Lee at a press conference. The Co-investment fund will target five high-value-added innovation and technology (I&T) industries, including health technology, artificial intelligence, data science, advanced manufacturing, and new energy technology to strengthen Hong Kong’s I&T industry further .   The number of local start-up companies increased by 38% to 3,755 in September 2021, compared to the same period in 2017, according to Start Me Up, a team under Invest Hong Kong to help overseas start-ups in entering the city. Financial technology, biological technology, and the artificial intelligence industry account for over 50% of all start-up industries. Under this approach, OASES will select potential overseas technology companies and invite them to operate in Hong Kong with a tailored investment plan. Lee expects the plan will attract over 100 high-potential I&T enterprises, and at least 20 leading enterprises to Hong Kong, which is expected to bring over HK$10 billion in capital investment. Chan Tik-yuen, chairman of the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Association, …