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

How Hong Kong may become just another silenced Chinese city

By Douglas Kong* The common understanding of Hong Kong after the 1997 handover is that it is governed as a Special Administrative Region of China, with a high degree of autonomy under the territory’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law. China may be an authoritarian regime, but under the One Country, Two Systems principle, Hong […]

Why Hong Kong schools – like our city – are no longer safe spaces

Benjamin Franklin may have been the great American sage of the 18th century, but not all of his pearls of wisdom transfer comfortably to 2020 — especially to the disciplinary creed adopted by a Hong Kong middle school that this week chose to discipline a boy for his lack of patriotism. A polymath philosopher and […]

Why Hong Kong activist Nathan Law is my hero

As I had coffee with my friend Nathan Law in London last week, he casually mentioned that he had been voted number one in TIME magazine’s readers’ poll of the top 100 most influential people in the world. At just 27, that is quite something. Nathan is exceptional. At the age of just 23, he […]

Henry Litton’s ‘big picture’ on China has no grounding in history

Henry Litton’s op-ed piece attacking Hong Kong judges for failing to conform to our new constitutional realities has caused something of a stir in the legal community. So I shall leave the legal points raised to them. A hostile view here. What surprised me was the paragraph in which Mr Litton considered what he called “the […]

As China insists on Mandarin for Inner Mongolian schools, is there a lesson in store for Hong Kong?

The ink on my last column about textbook censorship in Hong Kong had barely dried when news broke of China’s plans to impose Mandarin-only classes in its theoretically autonomous region of Inner Mongolia. The change of language and standardisation of textbooks will apply to three crucial humanities subjects: language and literature, politics and history. The […]

Back to the beginning: Is there still space in Hong Kong for a moderate middle way?

The national security law was promulgated by Beijing and went into effect here on June 30.  The demolition of Hong Kong’s democracy movement began soon afterwards, with the political vetting and disqualification of virtually all the top-tier democrats who had planned to contest the Legislative Council election originally scheduled for September 6. Many activists have […]

The Tong Ying-kit bail decision: A hopeful signal for Hong Kong’s human rights and rule of law?

These days, the bad news coming out of Hong Kong seems to arrive on an almost daily basis: Legco elections delayed for a full year. Pan-democratic legislators barred from running for re-election. Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai arrested, along with prominent activist Agnes Chow and several others. Pro-democratic legislators charged with rioting in Yuen Long, […]


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