Critical commentary and analysis on Hong Kong, China and Taiwan affairs from HKFP’s community of columnists, experts and advocates.

How China seeks to redefine global norms and keep the West at bay

China was one of the major issues in the US presidential election. No matter what stance we take, we must acknowledge an objective reality: four decades of the US strategy of “peaceful evolution” and engagement with China has failed spectacularly. Drawing on the lessons of the Soviet Union, China has developed a series of ways […]

Why Hong Kong’s rule of law is just as shaky in the lower courts

People trying to assess the health of the rule of law in Hong Kong tend, quite understandably, to look at those high-profile cases in which the government is trying to ensure that by the time Legco elections do come round — a year late — all the plausible opposition candidates will be either in prison, disqualified or both. This will transition […]

Beijing unbound: Hong Kong’s autonomy crumbles as China rewrites the law

By Thomas E. Kellogg It was dramatic political theatre. Just hours after a decision by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress led to the expulsion of four prominent pan-democratic lawmakers, Hong Kong’s remaining 15 pan-dems resigned their seats in protest. Newspapers around the world carried photos of the 19 newly-unemployed lawmakers facing a […]

Hong Kong’s people still have the power to strike back

Global sanctions on Hong Kong’s political leaders will likely deepen and expand following new rules established by Beijing to let the executive disqualify elected legislators almost at will. Not only has the US indicated sweeping new sanctions, the UK and possibly Canada are likely to follow. The EU and Australia, currently considering Magnitsky-style sanctions schemes, […]

Hong Kong’s incredible shrinking legislature is hard to explain away

It seems that no outrage perpetrated on Hong Kong can be allowed to pass without assurances from Beijing’s supporters that this is all normal international practice. Only last week, for example, we were told by one of the regime’s lapdogs that Australia, Canada and some US states had “snitch hotlines”, so complaints about the new […]

Hong Kong’s security law has chilled dissent, but there are ways to keep the spirit of opposition alive

Since the passing of the National Security Law (NSL), the Hong Kong government has used it not only to prosecute and deter protesters and activists, but to generate a diffused sense of fear and anxiety among people uncertain whether they are next in line to be arrested. Over just the last few weeks, student activist […]

Cross currents in politics and history: Hong Kong democrats’ support for Donald Trump

Expressions of shock and dismay flew through cyberspace after Lee Yee, one of Apple Daily’s favourite columnists, published an opinion piece proclaiming his preference for United States President Donald Trump, who at the time was campaigning for a second term.  Apple Daily’s owner, Jimmy Lai, also declared himself unequivocally for Trump, saying that his dealings […]

With Hong Kong’s democrats gone, why not get rid of the rubber-stamp legislature altogether?

Pity the pan-democrats no longer sitting in what has, as of this week, become a rubber-stamp Legislative Council (Legco). When the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam used Covid-19 as an excuse to postpone the September elections – in which pro-establishment lawmakers were poised to take a beating – most of Legco’s 22 pan-dems, despite […]

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