Throughout a tumultuous 2017, HKFP closely followed issues including the legal debate that followed the ousting of lawmakers and sentencing of activists and the discussion about free speech on campuses triggered by the emergence of pro-independence banners. Here are our favourite interviews from this year.
1. During times of political anxiety in Hong Kong, internet memes featuring the words of the city’s ex-colonial governor are often shared across social media. HKFP asks Chris Patten what he thinks of them.
2. As the independence debate rocked university campuses in September, HKFP spoke to Hong Kong National Party convener Andy Chan about free speech, his “enemy of the state” status and why he thinks Hong Kong ought to emulate Israel in becoming independent.
3. HKFP interviewed “king of judicial review” Kwok Cheuk-kin, who has taken the government to court more than 20 times over the past decade, though he has only won once.
4. HKFP spoke to QT, the woman who successfully fought the Hong Kong government, establishing a landmark precedent for gay equality in Hong Kong. The government appealed the decision later in the year.
5. What makes Tong tick? HKFP caught up with former lawmaker Ronny Tong in January, right before it was announced that he will become an adviser to incoming Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.
6. Law professor Johannes Chan tells HKFP that Hong Kong’s judiciary is under pressure and China’s ‘interpretations’ of the Basic Law have damaged the rule of law.
7. ‘Hongkongers will never give up’ – HKFP speaks to pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang about his life at Sai Kung’s Pik Uk Prison, his early experiences of police aggression as a social worker, and his political future.
8. Supporters and critics of HKU chief Peter Mathieson agree that he has made gender equality a top institutional priority. But with the surprise announcement that he will leave his post next January, that agenda is thrown into doubt. What will be the future of gender equality at HKU? How does Mathieson view his legacy, and how does he plan for it to endure?
9. To some Macanese, he’s a troublemaker. For the government, he’s a headache. Jason Chao is one of Macau’s few vocal democracy and human rights campaigners. HKFP speaks to him about his arrests, harassment, his journey into activism and why Macanese are slowly beginning to engage more in politics.
10. Conservationist and documentary maker Chloe Lai is fascinated by the elderly Waitau Wa speakers of Lantau’s Shui Hau village, and is seeking to preserve their unique “mountain songs.”