The government’s target for completing the Hong Kong portion of the Hong Kong–Zuhai-Macau bridge by December 2017 is looking increasingly unconvincing. The project which includes an artificial island to house the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) has been fraught with delays. But there are now fresh doubts over the Dec 2017 target following the recent application by the Highways Department for an extension of the use of the land which accommodates the HKBCF site office, for another four and half years. Continue reading
This year’s budget was notable for the Financial Secretary’s hand-wringing over events in Mong Kok, calling them shocking and an assault on Hong Kong’s core values.
John Tsang’s solution: “As long as everyone is willing to set aside short-term political considerations in favour of the long-term overall interests of Hong Kong, we shall have a chance to return to rationality.” While it is tempting to suggest he tells that to the Chinese Communist Party it has won him newspaper headlines for having ‘heart’ and being more in touch with Hong Kong’s problems than other senior government officials.
But leaving aside Tsang’s bromide political observations, his latest effort was much the same as previous budgets in that his main problem was to hide the extent of Hong Kong’s embarrassment of riches. Continue reading
Discussions into the reasons for the Mong Kok riot are now well underway. HowardWinnReports.com views it as another bleak expression of frustration with the current social and political conditions in Hong Kong and should have come as no great surprise. Indeed, a threat assessment in October 2014 by the specialist risk consultancy, Steve Vickers and Associates, noted the possibility of, “Some small scale violent actions may possibly be taken by splinter groups….” Continue reading
Hong Kong approaches 2016 with most of the same issues that preoccupied it in 2015. There is a looming conjuncture of global and domestic circumstances that suggests 2016 is likely to be as gloomy and ill-tempered as last year, if not more so. Continue reading
The decision by the Council of the University of Hong Kong not to appoint Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun to the position of pro-vice chancellor is alarming for both the university and Hong Kong generally.
Professor Chan is a highly regarded academic in his field both in Hong Kong and overseas and was the unanimous choice of the university’s search committee. Efforts by certain members of the council to belittle his academic record are contemptuous and unworthy of the institution. These members of the council deserve to be embarrassed by having their remarks made public. Continue reading
Unsurprisingly the comments by Zhang Xiaoming, the head of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, have set off ripples of alarm and unease in the SAR. Again we have a senior mainland official apparently undermining one of the key elements that distinguishes Hong Kong from the mainland – its rule of law. Zhang reportedly said that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive is above the law. Continue reading
The striking rhetoric and pageantry surrounding China’s military parade last week was clearly supposed to fulfil a number of purposes. It was a boost to national pride and patriotic sentiment. It sent a message to foreign powers particularly the US and Japan, that in contrast to previous years in its history, China has now reached a point where humiliation at the hands of foreigners is now a thing of the past. Continue reading
Our chief executive has been speaking about constitutional reform again. He is reported to have said that all universal suffrage systems in the world can be regarded as “genuine” if they are designed in accordance with the law. Clearly constitutional law is not his strong point. Continue reading