It has a been another rollercoaster year for Hong Kong. Lawmakers have been disqualified, freedom of expression has come under fire and on a lighter note, a fleet of fluffy toy pigs have been deployed to help prepare the government for a possible swine flu outbreak. Hong Kong Free Press has witnessed the shifting landscape of a city and its people, and has had the opportunity to talk to some key figures. Here we list some of the most memorable interviews of 2018.
1. Christine Loh, a former undersecretary for the environment turned scholar, delivers a stark warning after publishing her book No Third Person: Rewriting The Hong Kong Story. She says that Hong Kong must accept China as it is today with all its flaws. Only then can the city protect its own special privileges. HKFP spoke with Loh about the Article 23 national security law and the future of the city.
2. A few months ago, Chinese novelist and scathing China critic Ma Jian was scheduled to speak at a Hong Kong literary festival. Two days before the event, the venue – Central’s Tai Kwun art space – refused to host him, saying that it did not want to “become a platform to promote any individual’s political interests.” HKFP spoke to Ma about censorship and the future of free expression in Hong Kong.
3. HKFP spoke with Pussy Riot in November about restrictions on freedom of expression in Russia, the power of protest art and the recent poisoning of their band member Pyotr Verzilov.
4. Chinese cartoonist Badiucao was set to have his debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong in November as part of HKFP’s Free Expression week before it was cancelled amid safety fears. Ahead of the cancellation, HKFP spoke to the controversial artist about China’s creeping encroachment upon Hong Kong.
5. In October, HKFP spoke to disqualified lawmaker and now spokesperson of a pro-Hong Kong independence group, Baggio Leung, about the case for full separation from China.
6. Before Lau Siu-lai was banned from standing in the Kowloon West by-election, she spoke to HKFP about her journey from lecturer to lawmaker.
7. In HKFP’s first interview with a pro-Beijing lawmaker, Eunice Yung, a newcomer to Hong Kong politics, described her transition from the world of tech to running for office in 2015.
8. HKFP spoke to Cardinal Joseph Zen about his continuing one-man fight inside the Catholic establishment and the Vatican, over who can appoint bishops in the officially atheist country that is China.
9. HKFP spoke to human rights lawyer Chris Ng as he recalled Mong Kok’s night of unrest and pondered the city’s legal future.
10. Though critics called to have him fired, law professor Benny Tai was quite relaxed about his future prospects. However, he remained concerned about Hong Kong’s future ahead of his Umbrella Movement. HKFP caught up with the University of Hong Kong law academic back in April.
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