Civic Party Legislative Councillor Ronny Tong Ka-wah is set to announce the formation of  a new think-tank, “Path of Democracy,” in an inaugural press conference on Tuesday.

Tong will act as the convener of the think-tank, with barrister Jat Sew-tong and former head of the Civil Service Bureau, Joseph Wong serving as honorary advisers. A total of 18 members will preside over the Council of the think-tank, including moderate scholars such as University of Hong Kong Professor Joseph Chan Cho-wai, City University Prof. Ray Yep Kin-man; as well as pro-establishment scholars Professor Sung Yun-wing and Professor Richard Wong Yue-chim. Democratic Party’s Tik Chi-yuen, a rumoured member of the think-tank, was not included.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah
Ronny Tong Ka-wah celebrates founding of think-tank, Path of Democracy. Photo: via Tong Ka Wah, Ronny, 湯家驊 Facebook.

The slogan of the think-tank will be “repair rifts; return onto the path.” Tong says that the move to establish the think-tank is to seek a third path for Hong Kong between giving up on universal suffrage and full scale resistance, in order to promote dialogue and democracy. Tong says that members of the think-tank are all people who are concerned with the future of Hong Kong, who do not wish to see the failure of the current political reform resolution tied with the continued practice of “One Country, Two Systems.”

News of Tong establishing a think-tank could be dated back to February this year. The move is widely seen as demonstrating Tong’s intention to promote centrist politics to promote democracy in the current polarised political environment.

Tong also expressed his determination to veto the upcoming reform resolution and emphasised that the announcement of the think-tank is not a political manoeuvre to offer him an opportunity to switch sides and vote in support for the resolution.

Arthur Lo is an undergraduate student currently on a gap year. During Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement protests, he worked as a fixer, translator and producer for foreign media outlets such as Al-Jazeera.