The Consul Generals of the UK and US, and also the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison have separately given their messages wishing Hong Kong people a happy Lunar New Year.

Caroline Wilson, British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, dressed up in a traditional Cantonese Opera costume and wore make-up, portraying a monkey.

YouTube video

“2016 is the Year of the Monkey. The monkey is ingenious, sharp and clever – That’s good. We certainly need to have our wits about us this year in Hong Kong,” she said in a Lunar New Year message.

“A year that should not be about monkey business, but about an intelligent approach to the business of the day.”

Caroline Wilson wearing make-up, portraying a monkey.
Caroline Wilson wearing make-up, portraying a monkey. Photo: YouTube Screenshot.

“Nearly 20 years after the handover, I can assure you that Britain is clear on its lasting commitments to Hong Kong,” Wilson added.

She said the UK will pursue those, while strengthening relationships with Hong Kong and China.

Aside from the English version, Wilson also made a similar speech entirely in Cantonese in another video. It has been the fourth consecutive year she has done so.

YouTube video

Meanwhile, US Consul General Clifford Hart, who is commonly known as “Clifford BB” by Hong Kong netizens, took an entirely different approach.

He appeared in a video, speaking completely in Cantonese, which he embarked on a journey to find three followers to complete a mission, as in the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West.

It turned out that the mission for him and his followers was to wish his staff members at the consulate a happy year of the monkey.

“I wish you all Happy Year of the Monkey; Kung Hei Fat Choi,” Hart said.

The People's Liberation Army
The People’s Liberation Army. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

‘Belt and Road’ opportunity 

The People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison also gave a new year message in Chinese through the Hong Kong government.

The Garrison’s Commander Tan Benhong and Political commissar Yue Shixin said in a joint statement that Hong Kong has overcome many difficulties and challenges in the last year but have made improvements in different fields, which they were proud of, and congratulated Hong Kong people.

The joint statement also thanked the Hong Kong government and the public for supporting the work of the garrison.

“In the new year, we believe that, under the unity and leadership of the SAR government, Hong Kong will grab the historic development opportunity brought by the country’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and the ’13th Five-Year Plan’,” Tan and Yue said, wishing Hong Kong a better future.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is also expected to give a new year message soon.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.