(v4.0)

[This is a collection of information on the Occupy Central movement/revolution (also known as the Umbrella movement/revolution) in Hong Kong. This is not comprehensive coverage by any means. Many perspectives are already available in abundance in English (see, for example, Reddit on Umbrella Revolution), so there is no need for me to duplicate them here. Instead, the focus here is on popular Chinese-language materials that are not otherwise available in English. Most of the information is gathered from mainstream media, social media (Facebook, YouTube, discussion forums (mainly Hong Kong Discussion Forum, Hong Kong Golden Forum, HKGalden, Uwants and Baby Kingdom), blogs and polling data). The YouTube/Facebook videos have people speaking in the Cantonese dialect and the discussion forums often use uniquely Hong Kong Internet language that is not even comprehensible to mainland Chinese citizens. My contribution is to compile and translate into English these otherwise unknown materials to provide a fuller view of the Occupy Central movement.]

(Hong Kong Free Press) December 8, 2016.

A letter containing a death threat and a blade has been sent to Youngspiration politician Baggio Leung Chung-hang. Leung wrote that “I have seen this on TV a lot, but I have never expected that this would happen to me one day.”

The letter, which was poorly rendered in simplified Chinese, read: “Ask your parents to cook you something good, you will not have long to live – whomever is anti-communist, [we] will kill you, you must die!” It was signed by an “underground party red army warrior.”

Leung wrote on Facebook asking the sender to “please write in clearer handwriting and do not use simplified characters, otherwise the one you are threatening will not be able to understand your threat.” Leung said he was concerned for himself and his family, asking those who were threatening him to target him only, and not his family.

The last line of the letter read: “You must report this to the police.” Leung wrote that he was still considering whether to do so or not.

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po) December 9, 2016.

- He has no remaining value left. Who is going to something that is valueless?

- Frankly, what value do you have such that someone would threaten you? ... You are a wastrel already, so it makes no sense! The razor was wasted.

- Please, you animal, citizens won't waste the money on the razor and stamp on you. STOP PLAY-ACTING ANYMORE!

- You don't want to file a police report, because filing a false report is a felony.

- In Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian at least hired someone to shoot at him in order to gain the public sympathy to win the presidential election. In Hong Kong, you already took $930,000 in salary and subsidies from the Legislative Council but all you want to spend is for a razor, an envelop, a piece of paper and a stamp?

- Why would Leung Chung-hang fear someone coming at him with a razor. At the Sai Wan demonstration, he showed us that he can outsprint all other demonstrators plus the Special Tactical Unit of the Hong Kong Police to grab a taxi and leave the scene. http://news.tvb.com/local/581f7e066db28cb3572f497a. So if someone comes at him with a razor, he is going to run away easily. So there is nothing to worry about here.

- Dear Baggio Sixtus "Taxi" Leung Chung-hang, your credibility has reached the bottom of the pit. Whether this letter is real or not, you won't be able to derive any political benefits. You can help yourself best by going into the hiding and not remind people that you ever existed.

- Oy vay! Once again, we have the existential dilemma of whether to file a police report or not. If you believe that the Hong Kong Police are the poodles running errands for the Chinese Communist grandpas, then it is a waste of time. If you believe that the Hong Kong Police are serving to protect citizens and properties, then why are you throwing bricks at them?

- You're upset with a threatening letter with a razor blade? Where were you when these other incidents took place:

- (SCMP) August 6, 2016.

The fallout from the disqualification of a localist leader seeking to run in next month’s Legislative Council elections took a worrying turn on Saturday when the returning officer responsible for it got a threatening letter with a razor blade enclosed.

The force did not name the election officer targeted in the letter with the blade, only confirming that a woman reported receiving the threat at her Sha Tin office on Sheung Wo Che Road.

That is the address of Cora Ho Lai-sheung, the returning officer who invalidated Hong Kong ­Indigenous member Edward Leung Tin-kei’s candidacy for the polls, to be held on September 4.

“The letter contained words that constitute a threat,” police said, without providing further details. “The case is classified as one of criminal intimidation after a preliminary inquiry. No arrest has been made.

- (The Standard) August 19, 2016.

Two returning officers who disqualified four localists from running in the Legislative Council elections next month have been threatened again - they received threatening letters and "hell money" in their office mail. Cora Ho Lai-sheung for the New Territories East constituency, whose office is on Wo Che Road in Sha Tin, and Alan Lo Ying-ki for New Territories West, on Hing Fong Road in Kwai Chung, received mail containing their pictures with a Chinese character "dead" in red and "hell money."

Police said they received the report and listed the case as "request police assistance." No one has been arrested. Officers from the New Territories South regional crime squad are investigating.

It is the third time Ho has been threatened in two weeks. She disqualified prominent localist and Hong Kong Indigenous spokesman Edward Tin-kei, saying she "did not believe Leung was sincere in changing his political stance." She also disqualified localist James Chan Kwok-keung as a independent Legco candidate.

Ho received a threatening letter with a razor blade enclosed on August 6. Four days later she received a threatening letter with some white powder, claimed to be a mixture of HIV/AIDS, anthrax and semen. Police later confirmed that it was flour.

- (The Standard) September 7, 2016.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong's Elizabeth Quat's office at the Legislative Council complex was sealed off after she received a letter with suspicious white powder. Police sent a bomb squad to Legco.

Quat's office was sealed off for investigation after she received the letter with suspicious white powder. Police said the powder was believed to be flour after preliminary investigation. The case was classified as suspicious object found. The letter contained printed insulting words with no names.

Police received the report at around 3pm yesterday. No arrest had been made and the case is under investigation by the Central Police District. "Hong Kong is a city under rule of law," Quat said. "It is not acceptable for anyone to express opinions through threats."

Hong Kong government officials and pro-establishment politicians receive threatening letters containing razor blades, white powder (alleged to be AIDS/anthrax) and human/canine feces all the time. Do they stop going downstairs to buy a can of soda at the convenience store? Do they call for 24-hours-a-day round-the-clock police protection?

- (Wen Wei Po) December 9, 2016.

... This whole thing is highly suspicious. It is clearly a farce staged by Leung Chung-hang. If it were really so dangerous, then why didn't he file a police report? Why did he only make a post on Facebook? What is the clown most afraid of on stage? That the audience doesn't care or react. Therefore the clown has to keep staging further acts in order to get the audience to laugh. But at this point, not even a White Terror farce is going to change the ending for Leung.

The so-called threatening letter is preposterous in itself. What "Underground Party" is this? What "warrior" is this? It is incomprehensible. A normal person would have tossed away this so-called "threatening letter." In the past, many pro-establishment legislators have received a large number of these "threatening letters" signed by "Democracy warriors", "The Butcher of Hong Kong", Japanese right-wing organizations, etc. This one is nothing extraordinary. Only Leung Chung-hang wants to make it an Internet cause célèbre and declare this to be a grave threat to him and his family.

Why did Leung Chung-hang stage this White Terror farce? Because he wants to reacquire public attention. After the oath brouhaha, he has been completely wiped out. He lost his legislator position, he lost public opinion support, he lost his reputation, he lost everything. His crowdfunding campaign went nowhere. If this continues, he is going to be drained dry. Therefore, he is using this "threatening" letter to gain public sympathy about the plight of him and his family.

- PLEASE! This letter was written shoddily. Leung Chung-hang made the point that the letter was written in the simplified Chinese characters used in mainland China, thus implying that he is being threatened by mainlanders. For example, the word "party" is written in the simplified character "" as opposed to the traditional character "".

In truth, the letter contains a mix of simplified and traditional characters. For example, the word for 'several' is written in the traditional character "" and not the simplified character "". This would support the theory that the letter was written by someone who knows only how to write a few simplified characters but not completely versed in the system. You know have to a police investigator to figure out this much.

Even when you give them what you think is a simple exercise, they always find a way to bungle it up.

(Wen Wei Po) December 9, 2016.

Previously, Leung Chung-hang read his Legco oath of office in English and pronounced "China" as "Shina (Chee-na)." He gave the excuse that this was due to his Ap Lei Chau accent. To date, he has not apologized.

A 40-second video has been posted onto the Internet. In the video, Leung Chung-hang is walking down the street wearing a grey hoodie with the hood over his head. Several middle-aged men and women shouted "Real running dog" at him. "Do you think that you look suave?" They clapped and said: "You are not longer a Legislator." They demanded that he refund the money that he has taken so far. During the whole time, Leung played with his mobile phone and did not respond to these people.

In response to media inquiries, Leung Chung-hang said that the incident took place two weeks ago shortly after the oath of office.

(Video) (Video) Leung Chung-hang is surrounded by a bunch of aunties shouting: "Shina dog! Real running dog!"

Internet comments:

- This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time. Here is an earlier incident:

(Oriental Daily with video) November 2, 2016.

This video taken by some aunties went viral on the Internet. The aunties followed Leung Chung-hang down the street, shouting: "Hey, hey, Shina! Turn yourself around, Shina!" When Leung turned around, the auntie said: "We welcome you, Shina boy!" Leung replied, "How are you?" Then he ignored the auntie and lowered his head to fiddle with his mobile telephone. The auntie proceeded to curse him: "Despicable!" "Running dog!" "Bastard", "Pok gai", "Inhuman", etc.

Soon the aunties were joined by other people around the scene. "Oh, he is the one who called us Shina!" "Pok gai!" Leung said: "Go ahead and scold!" He almost ended up in a physical fight with those present. But since he was outnumbered, he turned around and ran. But he raised his middle finger in order to claim moral victory.

- Unfortunately for Leung Chung-hang, his ugly face is easily identifiable in public. As soon as he appears, everybody is going to know that it's HIM. He could have to undergo major cosmetic surgery to avoid recognition. Meanwhile, his partner-in-crime Yau Wai-ching has the Mong Kok look of thousands of other young women. So it is harder to detect her presence in public.

- Edward Leung is also readily identifiable because of his weirdo hairstyle, with or without the recent bloating of his body.

- Leung Chung-hang is a young man, so we should all back off and take it easy on him.

- But did he ever back off and take it easy on the people of Hong Kong? Why did he do all these things to push Hong Kong into the abyss?

- The court is lenient when the defendant shows remorse. Have Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching shown any sign of remorse over saying "Re-fucking of Shina"?

- It is time for the American/British/Japanese/Australian/Canadian/German consulates to step forth and defend the freedom of speech of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching!

- It is time for the people of Hong Kong to step forth and defend the freedom of speech of the uncles and aunties shown in the videos!

(SCMP) December 2, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying launched an all-out legal offensive against the pro-democracy camp on Friday, moving to have four more of its lawmakers disqualified over improper oath-taking.

His latest targets accused Leung of “staging a coup” to overturn election results and “score” with Beijing for a possible second term, but the justice minister insisted the bid to have them kicked out of the Legislative Council was “free of political consideration”.

Their supporters marched from Legco to the Chief Executive’s Office last night to protest, while civic groups are planning a bigger rally on New Year’s Day.

The government announced on Friday that it had “commenced legal proceedings” against veteran activist “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, former Occupy student leader Nathan Law Kwun-chung, academic Edward Yiu Chung-yim and lecturer Lau Siu-lai, asking the High Court to declare their oaths invalid and their Legco seats vacant. None of them have advocated Hong Kong independence, although Law and Lau have called for self-determination.

The government’s move came two days after an appeal court upheld the lower court’s decision to disqualify pro-independence lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, applying Beijing’s controversial interpretation of the Basic Law to require oaths to be taken sincerely and accurately.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung denied any political persecution behind the new wave of civil suits and judicial reviews against the four, saying his department had consulted with senior counsel from outside and the government respected the fact that the lawmakers were democratically elected.

“That is an important factor,” Yuen said. “However, it is equally important that all Legco members … should act in accordance with the law. The legal action has absolutely nothing to do with overthrowing or overturning the intention and wishes of the voters.”

The government also issued a statement stressing it had the duty to implement the city’s mini-constitution and check if lawmakers complied with its oath-taking requirements.

The Justice Department’s representatives submitted their application to the High Court in Admiralty just 10 minutes before it closed for the day.

In the writs, the government accused the four lawmakers of turning their swearing-in ceremony on October 12 into a “political tool” to display their own agenda, thereby “declining” to take the oath. It took reference from the first oath-taking court case, involving Yau and Baggio Leung, to argue the court would be bound by the Beijing interpretation which required immediate disqualification in case of non-compliance with oath-taking requirements.

Leung Kwok-hung said the government was mounting “a coup d’état as it seeks to change the people’s political choice”. He said he would have to resort to crowdfunding to pay his legal bill.

Law accused the chief executive of waging “total war against all democrats and all voters supporting democracy”. Lau and Yiu were worried the lawsuit would have a chilling effect on other opposition lawmakers, adding that the chief executive was trying to please Beijing and seek a second term.

Leung Kwok-hung, Law and Lau, along with disqualified pair Yau and Baggio Leung, won a combined 183,236 votes in September’s elections in the geographical constituency. Yiu, who represents the architectural and surveying functional constituency, bagged 2,491 votes.

If all three lost their seats, their camp would no longer keep its 17-16 majority in the constituency, which is necessary for them to vote down motions they oppose.

At the swearing-in session, Leung Kwok-hung took his oath holding a yellow umbrella – an Occupy symbol – and chanted slogans such as “We need no approval from the Chinese Communist Party!” He also tore up a copy of the controversial political reform framework decreed by Beijing on August 31, 2014.

Law raised his intonation when saying the word “Republic” in “People’s Republic of China”, as if asking a question.

Yiu inserted this sentence in his oath: “I will uphold procedural justice in Hong Kong, fight for genuine universal suffrage and serve the city’s sustainable development”.

Lau paused for six seconds between every word of her oath. She later wrote on Facebook that she had meant to render the statement “meaningless”.

(Wen Wei Po) December 2, 2016.

Lau Siu-lai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4peDyPJixk

On October 12, 2016, Lau Siu-lai preceded her oath with these words: "I, Lau Siu-lai, promise that when I go from the streets into the Legislative Council, I will continue with the spirit of self-determination in the Umbrella Movement to walk with the people of Hong Kong. I will unite with those inside and outside the Legislative Council to oppose the authoritarian regime. We will live in honesty and openness; we will break through coldness and indifference and create the road to democratic self-determination. We will topple the tall wall, determine our own fates and make ourselves strong."

Then she proceeded to read out the oath of office at the slow speed of six seconds per word. Her oath lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards, she said: "Fight for universal pension; implement the policies for marketplaces; defend the dignity in the lives of the people of Hong Kong." She took up a total of 13 minutes for the entire process. At the time, the Legislative Council secretary-general Chan Wai-On who administered the oath did not react.

Afterwards, Lau Siu-lai posted on Facebook under the title: <Slow reading was used to show the absurdity of the oath>: "I read the official oath word by word. The oath became more than 90 unconnected words without any coherence, relationship or meaning. The audience cannot grasp any sentence or tone. In this way, the audience can determine their own meaning based upon their subjective speculations. This is done in order to show the hypocrisy of business-as-usual ... the fluent articulated oath is hypocritical, the harmonious legislature is also hypocritical." She added: ""What I said before the oath is the more honest version."

After receiving complaints and reviewing the video recording, Legco president Andrew Leung declared the oath to be invalid and administered the oath again on November 2. On that occasion, Lau Siu-lai read the oath at a normal pace.

Yiu Chung-yim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea8UsHmnVho

On October 12, Yiu Chung-yim read the oath until he completed the part of pledging allegiance to the People's Republic of China. At that point, he inserted "I will supoport the Hong Kong system, fight for genuine universal suffrage and serve towards sustainable development in Hong Kong." Afterwards the Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on said that Yiu had altered the oath and demanded Yiu to retake his oath.

Yiu then proceeded to read the oath. Upon completing the oath, he added: "I will supoport the Hong Kong system, fight for genuine universal suffrage and serve towards sustainable development in Hong Kong." At the time, Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on said that Yiu had altered the oath and told him to return to his seat. Later Legco president Andrew Leung rules that Yiu's oath was invalid. At Yiu's request, the oath was administered again on October 19.

Leung Kwok-hung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLn6JIUEfbs

At the oath ceremony, Leung Kwok-hung wore a shirt for "civil disobedience." He held an umbrella with slogans such as "End one-party tyranny" and a prop that represents the August 31st decision of the National People's Congress. As he proceeded, he shouted slogans such as "Umbrella Movement, no yielding, no concessions," "I want double universal suffrage" and "Down with CY Leung" etc.

His oath was broken up with 29 pauses that averaged 2 seconds each, including a pause between "the Chinese People's" and "Republic" as well as racing through another "People's Republic of China." After the oath, he shouted: "Rescind the National People's Congress August 31st resolution, I want double universal suffrage, the people will determine their own futures without needing the permission of the Chinese Communists." He tore up his paper prop that represents the August 31st decision of the National People's Congress and littered the pieces onto the ground.

At the time, the Legco secretary-general Chan Wai-on did not react. Later Legco president Andrew Leung did not address the matter.

Nathan Law Kwun-chung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4OnNgspWjs

Before reading out the oath on October 12, Nathan Law aid that the English term for the oath was "affirmation" whose Latin meaning was being more firm and resolute. He said that the oath is a solemn rite, but the rite has "degenerated into a tool for the authorities" "that compels the popularly elected representatives to bend under the system and its authoritarianism." He said that he had to complete this required procedure, "but it does not mean that I submit myself to authoritarianism." He said that he "will not pledge allegiance to a regime that murders its own people" and that "change begins with resistance."

During his reading of the oath, he read "pledge allegiance to the People's Republic of China(?)" in the tone of a question as opposed to a statement. After reading the oath, he shouted: "Power to the people, tyranny will persih!" At the time, the Legislative Council Chan Wai-On did not react. Afterwards, Legco president Andrew Leung ruled that Nathan Law's oath was valid.

Internet comments:

- SCMP reported: "Their supporters marched from Legco to the Chief Executive’s Office last night to protest." How many were there? Hundreds of thousands?

(Wen Wei Po) The opposition camp gathered outside the Legislative Council building tonight to protest the government's judicial review against Lau Siu-lai, Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law and Yiu Chung-yim. Only 100 citizens showed up. Lau Siu-lai told them that she is not the only victim, that the four legislators are not the only victims, but that the people of Hong Kong are the victims.

Yes, all 100 of them, including their own Legco aides.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) The government’s purge of the legislature is appalling – Hong Kong’s courts must stand firm. By Kent Ewing. December 5, 2016.

Here goes, although this may not seem the ideal time to express renewed hope and faith in the resiliency of Hong Kong and the “one country, two systems” mantra that is supposed to protect our special status in China until 2047.

After all, two duly elected legislators just got tossed out of the Legislative Council for insulting the mainland, and the positions of four others are now threatened by fresh legal action taken last week by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung.

Recall that the chief executive and his justice minister were also the source of an earlier judicial review that resulted in the ouster of the Youngspiration duo, Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, after they deliberately botched their oaths during last month’s LegCo swearing-in ceremony. Now the Leung administration—thanks to another noxious “interpretation” of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress that has turned oath-taking into a test of patriotism encompassing the oath-taker’s pace, tone and any accompanying props—is licking its chops in hopes of catching out other troublesome pan-democratic lawmakers for their stunts of protest, even though their oaths (unlike those of the Youngspiration pair) were accepted by LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen.

The latest targets, with perhaps more to come, are newly elected lawmakers Lau Siu-lai, Dr Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Nathan Law Kwun-Chung as well as that longstanding government nemesis and protester extraordinaire, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung.

With six pan-dem seats vacated by court order, pro-government lawmakers would rule the roost and the Leung administration—and, by extension, the powers-that-be in Beijing—could have their way in Hong Kong’s legislature. Moreover, if Leung is successful in this legislative coup, it’s hard to imagine how he wouldn’t be Beijing’s favoured candidate in next March’s small-circle CE election by committee. Thus, in addition to witnessing the purge of its legislature, the city could also quite possibly see the singularly divisive, widely reviled purger reinstated for five more years.

Yes, this is a nightmare scenario for everyone who cares about free speech, democracy and judicial independence in Hong Kong. Indeed, it would mark the end of any meaningful system of checks and balances in Hong Kong politics.

Awful. Horrible. Appalling.

Which makes it all the more important to keep the faith and to neither give up nor give in to apathy or despair. This is not the time to write off Hong Kong.

History has shown again and again that, in a crisis, the people of this city rise to the challenge. First there was the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that sealed their fate under the future sovereignty of a communist dictatorship; five years later came the gut-wrenching shock of the June 4, Tiananmen Square massacre, which made that historic deal look like the kiss of death.

But then the handover came and the handover went— Hong Kong adapted and persevered.

Remember the Asian financial crisis, bird flu, Sars and bird flu again? Hong Kong not only survived—it prevailed.

Before Leung became CE, we suffered through the lacklustre examples of Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen as post-handover leaders—but the city’s vibrant pulse kept beating.

If there is one thing Hong Kong has proven since the handover 19 years ago, it’s that the people of this city are far stronger and better than their purported leaders. And therein you can place your hope and faith in the future. Given all that Hong Kong has overcome in the past, surely it can survive the lupine leadership of CY Leung and the shambolic Youngspiration debacle.

As events push forward, however, we must hope the city’s courts—which were standing on solid legal ground in denying LegCo seats to the Youngspiration pair after they transformed their oaths into a histrionic pro-independence performance—will not go that dangerous step beyond and invalidate any oath imbued with an improvisational protest.

While the NPC Standing Committee’s interpretation may allow for such a punitive approach, let’s count on independent Hong Kong judges not to take the bait.

If they do, of course, it’s time to hit the streets again—and in bigger-than-ever numbers.

Occupy Everywhere.

- (SCMP) December 7, 2016.

The oath-taking fiasco leading to the disqualification of two pro-independence lawmakers has intensified. Just when the legislature is struggling to restore order and stability following the saga, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung have again asked the court to remove another four opposition members on the grounds that they had failed to take their oaths of office according to the law.

The government may think that it is only fair to oust those who have not sworn themselves in properly, especially after the state’s top legislative body stepped in with an interpretation of the relevant provision in the Basic Law. But the move to unseat more pro-democracy lawmakers has raised the stakes even higher, so much so that it may backfire and fuel more uncertainty. Speculation has been growing ever since as many as 15 lawmakers were deemed by Beijing as having failed to swear in properly under the law. Instead of invalidating them in one fell swoop, the judicial review only targeted Edward Yiu Chung-yim of the architectural sector and three directly elected members, Lau Siu-lai, Leung Kwok-hung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung.

The government must have thoroughly considered the legal merits and the possible consequences before taking such a controversial step. According to the writ, the four should be disqualified as they had made political statements or showed insincerity when taking their oaths. The justice secretary stresses that the move is not politically motivated, but critics see it as the chief executive’s plot to drum up support for a possible re-election bid. They also warned that the opposition bloc could lose its critical presence in Legco that keeps the government in check.

Leung’s step is in line with the hawkish approach adopted by Beijing on the oath-taking saga. But it risks upsetting the 130,000 voters who returned the four members. Confusion arose on Monday after the finance chief declared that the government would not answer questions from the four for the time being. The statement even surprised the pro-Beijing camp, which feared that it would fuel more tension in Legco. The government made a U-turn hours later, saying their questions would be answered.

Whether the four should be thrown out is now a matter for the court to decide. We trust our judges will rule according to the law. The Court of Appeal has expounded the legal principles when upholding the lower court’s ruling to remove the two lawmakers. It is to be hoped that the new lawsuit can clarify what sort of behaviour is unacceptable during swearings-in for public office.

- (SCMP) Hong Kong courts are the proper place to hear government’s case against lawmakers, whatever the pan-democrats think. By John Chan. December 8, 2016.

The Chinese term pang men zuo dao (旁門左道) is often used to describe the dirty tricks or unorthodox means employed to meet a goal. Speaking on the government’s move to file judicial reviews against four lawmakers, asking the court to declare their oaths invalid and their Legislative Council seats vacant, veteran lawmaker and senior solicitor James To Kun-sun described it as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s pang men zuo dao.

This stupid comment is typical of the many pan-democratic legislators and supporters who are all but blinded by their hatred of Leung and their instinctive opposition to the government.

To’s comment has smeared a proper and legal manoeuvre and, in doing so, insulted the judiciary and the rule of law. Judicial reviews are a legitimate tool available to everyone to redress the wrongdoings of those in power. It is up to our independent judiciary to decide who’s right and who’s wrong. No one has the right to criticise a citizen, including the chief executive, for exercising such a right.

Many pan-democrats appear to believe that judicial reviews are a legal tool for the exclusive use of the pan-democrats in such causes as delaying the progress of the bridge linking Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau.

Last month, Hong Kong’s last British governor, Chris Patten, said bluntly to a roomful of current and former pan-democratic lawmakers and supporters, as well as pro-independence supporters, that advocating independence for Hong Kong undermines the moral high ground gained in the democracy movement. He said it gives Beijing an excuse to label a push for democracy “separatist”. He said self-determination is little different from independence and attempting to differentiate the two is just playing with words.

It was no surprise that Patten launched an all-out attack on pro-independent undertakings. What did embarrass the pan-democrats was that, as a champion of democracy and rule of law, Patten made no comment on the recent move by Beijing to interpret the Basic Law, or the Hong Kong government’s application for judicial review proceedings against the two localist lawmakers-elect.

Instead, Patten criticised the behaviour of Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, saying that oath-taking should not be taken lightly. Patten knows well that Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law and the judicial reviews against lawmakers who did not take oaths sincerely have a solid constitutional and legal basis.

To’s dislike of the chief executive does not alter the fact that such moves are proper.

- As usual, the whole thing is being presented as part of the re-election campaign of CY Leung. If so, his campaign co-opted Lau Siu-lai, Yiu Chung-yim, Leung Kwok-hung and Nathan Law to play their parts according to the written script. If CY Leung can pull that off, he could have done a whole lot more of other things.

The real point here is that these four people brought it all upon themselves. They think that the Legislative Council is a place for performance art, they went too far and now they may have to pay the price. That is the whole story.

- If they want to blame someone, it is going to be Rita Fan and Jasper Tsang who were the two previous Legco presidents. Fan and Tsang allowed shenanigans during the oath of office to go unpunished. At first, the transgressions were truly petty such as coughing at critical points. As time goes by, the legislators felt that they have to outdo others in order to get on television news. Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching said that they had reviewed past videos before embarking on their groundbreaking actions. But they misjudged the consequences, and caused a global backlash by insulting all persons of Chinese descent.

- Everything is about timing and sequencing. If the only case was one of these four legislators, nothing much would come out of it. The legislator would be made to re-take the oath. That's all. Unfortunately the situation here began with Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching who caused a global backlash that led to a National People's Congress Standing Committee interpretation of Basic Law Article 104. The matter can no longer be swept under the rug. Once Leung and Yau were ousted in court, the actions of the others come under microscopic scrutiny. Under Common Law, precedents mean everything. Once the precedent was set, everything else follows automatically. Case closed.

(EJ Insight) November 30, 2016.

Localist Edward Leung said he would be going to Harvard University in January as a research assistant and continue his studies for a postgraduate program if possible.

Leung, a member of Hong Kong Indigenous party, said he hopes he can explore more opportunities in the United States before his judicial review in January 2018 on his disqualification to run for the legislature in September, standnews.com reports.

In a webcast Tuesday, Leung said he has not made a public appearance since the oath-taking fiasco involving Youngspiration’s Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. He denied being behind Sixtus Leung and Yau as a “puppet master” during their swearing-in saga but said they should have the freedom to make their own decisions.

On Monday, Edward Leung clashed with former governor Chris Patten during a University of Hong Kong forum in which the latter said independence is not the answer to Hong Kong’s problems. Leung said there’s a need for persuasive tactics in pushing a political concept, especially when most Hong Kong people are liberal rather than radical.

As to the disqualified duo, Leung said he is “very sympathetic” toward their status, regardless of what others say. He said that now there is no clear timeline for a revolution or a framework for making Hong Kong a country. Hong Kong Indigenous as a group has no clear direction either, he said.

Leung said his Harvard research topic will be a comparison between Hong Kong and Taiwan’s nativist movements and independence activities as a tool to revolt against the government.

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 29, 2016.

Chris Patten, the last colonial governor of Hong Kong, said on Monday that independence advocates are “deluding” themselves and “fractioning” support for the city’s democracy movement.

“Hong Kong is a great city; it’s not a nation-state. As a great city, you probably have a more intimate and explicit sense of citizenship than pretty well anywhere else in Asia,” Patten said. “But as soon as the argument moves from suffrage to independence, you start to lose support. You start to lose support internationally, and you start to lose support at home.”

Patten made the remarks at a forum with around 500 student audience members at the University of Hong Kong about the territory’s future.

HKU alum and localist politician Edward Leung of Hong Kong Indigenous asked Patten at the forum: “If we are going to give up our sincere political views just to pacify the dictatorship, are we trying to form another kind of ‘controlocracy’ in Hong Kong?”

The term “controlocracy” is used by Oxford scholar Stein Ringen in his new book The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century to describe the sophisticated dictatorship of China based on control.

Calling Leung “dead wrong,” Patten said: “I’m not sure what exactly your plan is for overthrowing the Communist Party in China, but let me tell you what my view is of China: I’m a huge admirer of China, of Chinese culture, of Chinese history, of Chinese art… I’m not a great fan of Leninism and the Chinese Communist Party.”

He said the China Liaison Office – Beijing’s organ in Hong Kong – often confuses Chinese civilisation and leadership in its statements.

“If you think that here in Hong Kong, in the next [two to five years], you can overthrow the Chinese Communist Party, and that Hong Kong can become independent, I just think you’re deluding yourself,” Patten said. “You may be deluding yourself for good reasons, it may be very easy to make good and very eloquent, fiery speeches – and which understandably get applause – but I don’t think you’re giving your colleagues very smart advice.”

The ex-governor said he wanted to hear localists say things which would “ensure that people around the world continue to admire” Hong Kong’s democracy movement as they did during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. It is important to know when to “cash in your moral chips,” he said.

Patten criticised the independence-leaning camp for “fractioning and minimising” support for Hong Kong while “risking what you want to achieve ending calamitously.”

“I’d be sad – genuinely sad – if the argument about democracy was diverted into another stream where I think it would simply run away into the sand,” he said.

Patten added: “I’m not saying this because I’m a wimp. I’m not saying this because my support for democracy in Hong Kong has weakened. I’m saying this because I don’t want to see the case of democracy weakened by introducing another element into the whole debate which I just don’t think is going to take off. So I respect the strength of your convictions, but I just happen to think you are wrong.”

(Kinliu) December 6, 2016.

In August this year, Edward Leung's nomination in the New Territories East Legco election was nullified by the Returning Election Officer who was not convinced that he would uphold the Basic Law. Edward Leung immediately announced Plan B whereupon his group Hong Kong Indigenous would ally with Youngspration to field Leung Chung-hang in New Territories East district and Yau Wai-ching in Kowloon West election.

Youngspiration does not have any local precinct captains to get the vote out. If they had gone their own way, they may find it hard to get into the Legislative Council because their sole credential is being novices. Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching stated publicly that, if elected, they will share the Legco resources with Hong Kong Indigenous, including the salaries and operational allowances. They also promised to hire Hong Kong Indigenous members as their Legco aides. As the Shadow Warrior (Kagemusha) for Edward Leung, Leung Chung-hang thanked "Brother Kei" for his assistance during the campaign.

But after Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching got elected to the Legislative Council, all the promises got tossed away. Before they moved into the Legco offices, they had announced that they would knock down the office walls to have one big room with no designated seating in order to work as one group. But once reality sunk in, they decided that they could do everything as Yougnspiration without any help from outsiders.

Edward Leung declared that he would have no part in the actual legislative work because he needed to spend more time to prepare for graduate studies. He said that he would only act as an advisor. This arrangement was different from what Youngspiration and Hong Kong Indigenous had agreed upon before the election. But since the world was now focused on Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, nobody paid too much attention to this subtle shift.

In early October, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching began to think about what to do at the Legco oath of office ceremony.  They wanted to use the opportunity to promote Hong Kong independence in the Legislative Council. Based upon the prior examples of Leung Kwok-hung and others, they believe that even if their oaths were not immediately affirmed, there will be always be a second opportunity. Since the cost is zero, they can go as far as they can to justify their election to their supporters. Since they are already elected, they don't have to worry about the Returning Election Officers nullifying their nominations anymore.

Previously Ray Wong of Hong Kong Indigenous said on Internet radio that they recommended to Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching to use the oath of office to promote Hong Kong independence. But they did not expect that Yau Wai-ching would accept the recommendation of her aides to say the "People's Re-fucking of Shina" in the oath. In the end, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching went too far. Ray Wong implied that Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching acted on their own and failed to follow the recommendation from Hong Kong Indigenous exactly. Thus, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching have only themselves to blame.

But the outside world has no way of knowing whether someone else made that recommendation and, once it blew up, shifted the blame upon certain unidentified legislative council aides.

As the advisor of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, Edward Leung curiously maintained total silence as the storm swirled. As the traditional pan-democrats and even the localist self-determination groups turned against the two, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching failed to recognize the trouble that they are in. On October 22, they decided to issue a call for action to demonstrate about "defending the separation of the three powers, and restoring dignity to the legislative branch" outside the Legislative Council. They wanted to show the world that they still have huge support out there. But only 20 to 30 people showed up, fewer than the number of reporters present. The demonstrators were from other post-Umbrella groups and also some regular demonstrators. Hong Kong Indigenous did not mobilize their supporters to go.

Faced with this situation, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching finally woke up. They asked the spectator Edward Leung for mobilize Hong Kong Indigenous and other pro-independence groups to help, but their calls went unheeded.

Actually, while this was going on, Edward Leung was traveling overseas to study for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (United Kingdom) in order to prepare himself for a masters degree and/or research. No wonder Edward Leung was absent during the three incidents (1) the demonstration at the Legislative Council after the first oath ceremony; (2) the intrusion into the Legislative Council to take the second "oath" on their own; (3) the assault on the China Liaison Office to oppose the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpretation of Basic Law Article 104. Only Ray Wong showed upon at the third incident and perched on an electrical box to issue orders at zero cost.

The "submergence" of Edward Leung was duly noted by supporters and fellow travelers. Many Internet users asked Edward Leung to re-emerge and lead everybody to carry out the "Generational Revolution." Hong Kong Resurgence Order's Wan Chin threw a watermelon in the ocean (because the Chinese believe that if a person is missing at sea, they can induce the body to re-surface by tossing a watermelon into the sea).

Actually, the watermelon trick worked because the Hong Kong University SPACE Student Union suddenly announced that Edward Leung will make an appearance at a discussion forum on December 5 about youth participation in politics.

When Edward Leung came back to Hong Kong, he had gained one size in body weight. Apart from attending the talk given by former governor Chris Patten, he also appeared on his own Channel-I Internet program to discuss the oath incident with Ray Wong. Edward Leung said that the consequences of the oath incident were unexpected. He said that he was "sorry" that he did not stay in Hong Kong to help Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching. He said that he did not manipulate the two legislators in the capacity of the boss behind the scenes.  He said that that Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching are autonomous beings in front of the curtain.

During the programme, Edward Leung said that Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching have a huge legal bill to pay and may end up bankrupt. They have sacrificed themselves in the pro-independence movement, in a way that is "quite sad" and "irreversible." An audience member called in to accuse Edward Leung of being irresponsible for killing off the Localism while using the need to study as an excuse. Edward Leung laughed and said that when the Localists kicked tourists' suitcases and make children cry, "did they ever have any good image to speak of"?

Edward Leung said that he is preparing to take the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which was established in 1986 to replace the GCE O Level. This is the joint exam for secondary school students in the United Kingdom. Previously, Edward Leung studied philosophy at the Hong Kong University but apparently he did not get his degree. So how is the GCSE going to get him into a masters program at an overseas university? So far Edward Leung has only stated that he plans to become a "researcher" at Harvard University come January next year and possibly in a masters program related to politics.

(NOW TV) December 3, 2016. Also https://www.facebook.com/1556368111346483/videos/1709245042725455/

Hong Kong Indigenous spokesperson Edward Leung spoke to us about the Legco oath incident and the Basic Law Article 104 interpretation. Leung apologized several times to his supporters about Youngpsiration losing their two Legco seats so quickly. Leung said that he has no plans to enter any by-election or to offer his support to any candidates.

After the election, Leung acted an advisor to Youngspiration, but he was unaware about how Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching planned to do with their oaths.

Internet comments:

- Which one of these sayings of Edward Leung do you find to be the funniest?

(1) I have already given up thoughts about life and death.

(2) I am merely a fresh grad.

(3) I am cowardly and I don't want to go back into the detention centre

(4) Resistance requires having no bottom line.

(5) Revolution is our duty.

(6) If someday I am no longer being myself, you should take me down.

- Famous last words:

Edward Leung, you have already apologized on your program. I and my friends will continue to support you.
Baggio Leung Chung-hang, you are already thirty years old. You need to accept responsibility for the extras that you added in your oath.
 

- This screen capture was given the hashtag #StupidCunt.

- Hey, is this the same guy who posted 信天琦,撐青政("Trust Edward Leung and support Youngspiration") months ago?

- Wan Chin's Facebook

In Chinese and western societies, a guarantor must be reputable and responsible ... the guarantor must monitor and guarantee that his subject does not get into trouble. Once things go wrong, he must act immediately to put a stop to it. The guarantor may be putting his own life and wealth a risk.

Edward Leung guaranteed two Youngspiration candidates to run. After they got into trouble, Leung hid in the background. Even after the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpreted the Basic Law and destroyed constitutional rule in Hong Kong, he pretended that nothing has happened. After the appeal of Youngspiration was rejected, he finally trotted out to say that he is a fresh grad, that he intends to study at Harvard and that he has nothing to do with any of this. This type of immoral person is the shame of Hong Kong. We must reflect on why Hong Kong is hell on earth for producing such young people and having so many people sympathizing with such young people.

- I just finished watching Edward Leung and Ray Wong on Channel-I, and I have these questions:

When so many things have happened in Hong Kong,

(1) You need to study in preparation for taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and therefore you can't even find the time to record a few video clips to state your response?

(2) You have to file applications to masters programs as well as take care of a few thousand other things, which is why you can't find the time. I would like to know where the Hong Kong Revolution that you propose ranks in your scheme of things? #1? #7? #463?

(3)  You said that you are merely a university graduate, so we should not be asking you about strategies of nation-building ... so when you fucking criticized other people's strategies of nation-building before, you actually didn't know shit?

(4) You say that the people of Hong Kong only want to watch the show and therefore they don't genuinely support Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching. That's very funny! It is okay for you to be busy with your studies. Meanwhile the people of Hong Kong are known for being very busy -- they can only attend demonstrations on Sunday, assemblies must be held after 8pm, etc and that is why they can't come out to support Leung/Yau ... they are exactly like you!!!

- First, we thought that Plan B (Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching) was a mess. Now we learn that Plan A (Edward Leung Tin-kei) was fucked up!

- During the election, we heard about the Generational Revolution: "Can't say it. Don't ask. Just believe." But today Edward Leung came back to us with a broad smile on his face: "Does anyone have a roadmap to genuine universal suffrage?" "I am merely a fresh university grad. Just twenty fucking something years old. You ask me for nation-building strategies? Sorry, I am not able to do it." "Study some more. Begin to do research. Let me see if I can write something."

- At the HKU SPACE forum on December 5th, an audience member asked Edward Leung: "You endorsed Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching for the Legislative Council. Afterwards they created the oath incident and the NPCSC interpretation. Do you feel that you have any responsibility?" Edward Leung replied: "I feel that after those two got into the Legislative Council, I should not control them." Hahaha! Edward Leung spoke as if he has nothing whatsoever to do with Leung/Yau. As Internet users say, "Heads I win, tails you lose."

- At the HKU SPACE forum, Edward Leung said: "I have no plans for the future of Hong Kong. I want to concentrate on studying. To a certain extent, I am trying to escape reality ... therefore I am going to study." The other discussant Tim Kwai asked Leung: "How come we have to ask the outsider Chris Patten about Hong Kong independence?" Leung became quiet.

- NOW TV

"I feel that I am very much useless. A lot of time I give empty talk. I don't really have any solid theoretical foundations underneath. Therefore I choose to go study."

Now you tell us that everything about "Generational Revolution" was empty talk that is not grounded in any theoretical basis.

- Election campaign poster of Edward Leung

No matter how strong our opponents may be
As long as we are not cowardly anymore
We will bravely challenge authoritarianism
And then Hong Kong will ultimately become a place that belongs to Hongkongers

- And when authoritarianism became reality, he said: "To resist the National People's Congress Standing Committee interpreting the Basic Law ... I don't know how to get to the very front. I chose to say nothing ... I am cowardly, I don't want to be sent back to the detention centre now."

Bravely challenge authoritarianism? It is either that or else go to study at Harvard University.

- Edward Leung speaks, during the election campaign for the February 2016 by-election


The fruits of democracy are fed not with water but by blood and sweat
Therefore I am psychologically prepared
To give up any consideration of life versus death.

- Edward Leung spoke at a Hong Kong National Party rally several months ago. Those were fine words back then, but now he says that he has no idea what he was talking about.

- Poster: When tyranny becomes reality, I will apply to study at Harvard

- Edward Leung said: "When I advocate now, I am unable to go in the very front. This is different from how I used to do things. So this becomes a case of telling others to do what I won't do. I don't want it to be like this. That is why I choose to say nothing at all."

Ray Wong: "I am currently out of bail for the riot charge. If I should get re-arrested, I will be remanded to custody until the riot trial begins in 2018. Even if I cannot be on the frontline, there are different posts at the scene, such as transmitting information from the front line to get material supplies from the rear. Different people can play different roles at different times. Right now I am unable to be at the frontline, but I still want to do what I can. This newspaper report said that Ray Wong is telling others to charge but won't do so himself."

 In fewer words, we can quote Edward Leung to summarize what Ray Wong is doing: "Ray Wong told others to do what he won't do himself." PERIOD.

- Chau Yau Luan's Facebook

Before the election, he used the term "Generational Revolution." He said that voting for Leung Chung-hang was the same as voting for Edward Leung because he has known Youngspiration for a long time, and the Key Opinion Leaders (KOL's) said that the trust can be transferred across accounts. After the election, they thought that they were in heaven. And then "Re-fucking Shina" set fire to the powder keg. As soon as things went awry, he dove deep under the water. After a while, he re-surfaced as fat as a floating corpse. "How to carry out the Generational Revolution? I haven't figure out the answer yet. I must study first. Leung/Yau messed  up? I did not anticipate it. It is none of my business."

It is the grand project of the people of Hong Kong to let fucking assholes like these and other KOL's gain power.

- Do Chan's Facebook

I have never regretted having supported Edward Leung. I am glad that I stopped supporting him after 2/28. When Edward Leung went from revolutionary martyr back to an ordinary choice, it was his choice. I do not have the right to make him to continue to do whatever. But before he retires, he needs to do two things: (1) issue a formal apology; (2) announce his retirement and decline all future interviews. Right now, he is just sharing his cowardice with the media. This is irresponsible and lowly. However, Hongkongers seem to buy into it. You jump in, you bail out and all you have to say is "I'm a coward."

Is sharing his cowardice the same as apologizing? Fuck! You don't even fucking know what an apology is. Has he apologized? Has he acknowledged his errors? Who did he apologize to? No. He did not apologize to anyone. He is only selling his own personal tragedy when he confesses to cowardice.

Compared to the political celebrities in the eye of the storm, I detest the Key Opinion Leaders even more. If they did not lend support to spin spin spin, Leung-Leung-Yau would have moved on leaving a space after they screwed up. But now, the KOL's help them with all sorts of excuses. At this point, even admitting your own defects has become a virtue. You see, the people of Hong Kong are just trash. The fact is, when you screw up, you should stand still and accept your punishment. There is no need to make a big deal out of it.

For example, your company holds a group meeting. That punk on their team made a presentation that contains numerous mistakes. But you praise him for the beautiful font styles in his presentation and his clear articulation of the sentences. Well, you should have toss that team member out and feed him to the dogs. As another example, your mother manages to travel from her place to yours by bus, and you praise her for such a marvelous accomplishment. Are you fucking stupid?

- Sau Wai Chan's Facebook


Frankly, it is cool to be prosecuted for rioting and still be able to go overseas to study.
If you want to scoot and seek political asylum, please say so honestly. A lot of people will understand.
What theory are you talking about? Everybody is waiting for your Generational Revolution. Nobody is waiting for you to become a theoretician.

Back then, you said with conviction that the permanent continuation of the Basic Law would not work? Now it turns about that you are just a fresh grad? And even you feel that you don't know anything? So why did you say it before? There is no option left in Hong Kong except for Revolution, and therefore you want to go to study overseas? You sound bold and forthright to abandon the mess that you leave behind?

Which of you scolded Raymond Wong for picking on Edward Leung? All of you should commit seppuku and die.

Is Hong Kong going to rely on your people to bring in the Generational Revolution?

- Chun Man's Facebook

For most of the year before the elections, I held great hopes for the generation that is younger than I am, because I saw that they were willing to fight for the future of Hong Kong unlike my generation.
Most of my generation say not to cause trouble, having food and lodging is enough, and politics is none of their business.

During and after the elections, I saw every single one of them saying that they are willing to sacrifice for Hong Kong.
After the election, all I saw were traitors, or those who vanished from view, or those who make fun of the election losers.
But when they got into trouble themselves, they refuse to acknowledge their own mistakes.

I have no more hope for the new generation. Perhaps only a small number of Hongkongers are left with no slavish DNA. At this time in Hong Kong, the Legislative Council is useless.

Since I have no ability, I can only take care of my own self. When I have time, I will play some computer games. It is useless to feel bad. I have lived half of my life already. I don't have any children. The next generation of Hongkongers can go on supporting those people who stand around and chant slogans without doing anything else. I am better off watching from the sideline.

- When unemployment becomes real, it becomes your duty to gain weight.


New looks for Yau Wai-ching (Youngspiration) and Edward Leung Tin-kei (Hong Kong Indigenous)

- In Chinese culture, your appearance reflects your state of mind.

Top row: Edward Leung after and before selling out
Bottom row: Chinese student leader Wu'er Kaixi before and after going into exile

- Cheng Kam-mun (Civic Passion)

Two years ago, I was arrested during the clearance of Argyle Street (Mong Kok). I got bailed out with an order not to go to Mong Kok. That same night I went back to Mong Kok to continue the action. I also went to Admiralty to lay siege to the Government Headquarters. On Christmas Eve, I went down to Mong Kok to stir things up. I spend Christmas and New Year's Day in the detention centre.

Thereafter, I continued to carry bail. During the Restore Movement, I was arrested almost every time. But I continued to come back out and fight.

Occupy, Resistance, Election. Each one is a fight to the death with losses. My psychological state is a mess as I am burned out.

I want to leave, but I am still here.

Fuck your mother, full steam ahead!

- Andy Kwong's Facebook

On one hand, Cheng Kam-mun gave up his overseas studies in order to join the resistance in Hong Kong.
On the other hand, Edward went away to study in Canada after speaking about Generational Revolutionary.
And then the people of Hong Kong feel that Edward Leung is a heroic leader
whereas Cheng Kam-mun is a lousy bastard.

- Keyvin Wong's Facebook

Under a tyranny, all resisters are in danger. If anyone should be persecuted to any degree, all others should mourn. But some people like to boast about their own own charges in order to raise themselves above others for the sake of political capital.

Edward Leung's riot case will be tried in January 2018. If he should be sent back into the detention centre, he will have to serve more than a year of imprisonment. His potential jail term is far more than the usual illegal assembly charge. Although there are plenty of big talkers, very few of them are facing problems of the same magnitude. This is simple to understand, but certain shameless people are covering it up.

- Keyvin Wong has totally missed the point. We are not comparing the relative severity of Edward Leung's rioting charge against Wong Yeung-tat (Civic Passion)'s 59 counts of illegal assembly. A charge is not a medal. So what if your potential sentence is heavier or lighter?

The point of emphasis is that Edward Leung previously talked about being ready to give his life up and thus got all the glory (and votes). But when he actually has to go into the battlefield on behalf of Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching, he says: "I am afraid of going to prison, I am cowardly" and then he scoots off to study oversea! If he is so gutless, he should have told us so before. Why did he steal our support by pretending to be a revolutionary? Edward Leung brought us Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching. Therefore nobody else is more responsible for what those two did than Edward Leung. Cowardice is no excuse!

- Chris Wat Wing-yin's column

Seeing how Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching went from the acme of glory deep into the abyss of ignominy, Edward Leung stayed low until the past couple of days. Edward Leung was interviewed by NOW TV. He apologized to his supporters, admitted that he is useless and afraid of going to prison, and he will be studying for a masters degree at Harvard University next year.

Mong Kok riot co-leader Ray Wong announced earlier that he has been accepted by Oxford University for a two-year diploma course in philosophy. This is not a degree program, but it is inspiring to see a secondary school graduate who could not even qualify for university can attend Oxford right after throwing bricks in a riot. Meanwhile Occupy Central leader and former Hong Kong Federation of Students secretary-general Alex Chow is also studying for a masters degree at the London School of Economics. Among the trouble-makers, only Joshua Wong couldn't get into any famous university. Nevertheless Wong has been traveling around Europe and America, giving interviews and garnering fame.

When the leaders are fleeing, will the Valiant Ones finally wake up? Let me tell you some old history lessons ...

You like to talk about June 4th. Every year you go down to Victoria Park to light candles. But did Lee Cheuk-yan tell you what happened to the student leaders of that era? What happened to them afterwards? After Wang Dan and Wu'er Kai-xi left China, they went to study at Harvard. Wang Dan even got a doctorate degree. Chai Ling escaped to France and even studied for a masters at Princeton University and Harvard University. She married a foreigner and became a company president. Everything that happened after leaving China had nothing to do with the Chinese democracy movement.

The Victoria Park candlelight vigil will not be showing the American documentary <Tiananmen Square>, because Chai Ling told the truth: "We were hoping for bloodshed ... when blood flows like a river on Tiananmen Square, the people of China will truly open their eyes." As you have said before: you can never wake someone up if they are pretending to be asleep. But the reality is now in front of your eyes: Edward Leung is going to study at Harvard. What about you? You may still be out on bail, but a cell has been reserved for you at Stanley Prison. Did Harvard give you an offer? Wake up! If you continue to sacrifice and act silly, you will only make for someone else's perfect story.

- (Ming Pao) December 7, 2016.

Edward Leung said: "The Mong Kok clash on Lunar New Year's Day caused Localists to become famous. The blood had not been shed in vain."

Is he still as "valiant" as before? He said: "I don't know. Hard to say." He said: "I should not be afraid of being sent back to the detention centre. I should have charged ahead. But if I was really that valiant, is that kind of valor ill-considered? Is it stupid? Isn't the more urgent thing to move more hearts and minds to gain more support for our side? If I charge gloriously ahead and get detained until the Mong Kok riot trial is held in January 2018, will that enable us to win over the majority of the population? I don't think so, and I don't think that this can achieve something such as overturning Basic Law interpretation such as the August 31st resolution."

- Edward Leung's skin is thicker than that of a dinosaur! In February, he sid that "resistance has no bottom line." Today he says that he is a coward whose bottom line is: "Do not be remanded into custody!" In other words, he will only look after his own hide.

Fuck  you! Do you think that revolutionaries bask in the glory without ever having to pay a price? As the father of the Generational Revolution, you find it convenient to go into hiding when everybody expects you to lead the troops. Chan Pak-yeung (Civic Passion) is in custody pending appeal of a 9-month jail sentence for his part in the Mong Kok riot. If you are so scared, then why did you talk about not caring about matters of life/death.

The worst part is when Edward Leung tells us that the blood was not shed in vain in Mong Kok, because the Localists became famous. Hey, how dare you say that? On February 8, you became the Father of the Generational Revolution. But you did not put the rising fame of the Localists to good use. Instead, you endorsed the two pieces of garbage known as Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching and you derailed the Civic Passion/Proletariat Political Institute/Hong Kong Resurgence Order de facto referendum  plan. After Leung/Yau got into trouble, you remained in hiding. Today, the cause of Localists is almost completely ruined. And you dare to tell me that the blood was not shed in vain?

- (Wen Wei Po) December 9, 2016.

On the latest episode of the Channel-I program of Hong Kong Indigenous, Edward Leung said: "Two years ago, many of us came out to 'Occupy'. How long did we 'Occupy'? 79 days! We were unable to shake the August 31st resolution of the National People's Congress Standing Committee by even a fraction of an inch. Today, the NPCSC has issued another executive order (in the form of the Interpretation of Basic Law Article 104) with the full support of the state apparatus ... so we must have an even larger mobilization than last time in order to shake this Interpretatoin."

Leung said that he stayed away because he deemed that it would be impossible to mobilize like "Occupy Central" two years ago, much less something bigger. Therefore he chose to stay quiet and did not come back to lead an 'insurrection.' "I could have recorded some videos between my studies to call on people to resist, to tell them that they should not blame the victims, to unite and fight the Interpretation. But I am on bail with three charges against me. When I cannot stand at the very front, I don't want to do it."

Leung said: "If someone carrying bail on multiple charges is willing to charge in the very front, I respect him. But the darker side of my inner self is my cowardice. I don't mind telling you, because I am not Superman."

Leung told people not to give up. He said that the history of Taiwan provides a good example for Hong Kong. "After the Formosa incident, Taiwan went through seven years of silence under oppression before the democracy/independence movement continued. We must spread the idea of independence into various sectors of society, so that it becomes the chemical agent for many more possibilities."

Therefore it is premature to declare Hong Kong independence as a failure just because of a temporary setback. "The Mong Kok riot occurred less than a year ago. We cannot say that it was a failure eight or nine months later. If so, we would have declared the Zhongli incident a failure too, because no large-scale demonstration took place within the next eight or nine months. Hong Kong is the same. It would be naive that the Chinese Communists would collapse in one swoop with a single demonstration or a single clash."

(SCMP) November 30, 2016.

The two pro-independence lawmakers who were kicked out of Hong Kong’s legislature for failing to take their oaths properly lost their appeal against disqualification on Wednesday and appeared hesitant about taking their case to the city’s top court.

In quashing the appeal by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, who swore allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” when taking their oaths last month, the three Court of Appeal judges unanimously confirmed the applicability of Beijing’s “true and proper” interpretation of the Basic Law.

“[The Basic Law] must mean that taking the oath is a prerequisite and precondition to the assumption of office,” the judgment read. “All this is now put beyond doubt by the interpretation.”

The ruling is a political victory for both the Hong Kong and Beijing governments, which have stepped up their rhetoric against advocates of Hong Kong’s independence from China since the pair were elected in September.

The court also conceded it had no jurisdiction over how broad Beijing’s say might be when interpreting the city’s mini-constitution. It also ordered the pair to pay the full legal costs.

Speaking outside court, Leung and Yau reframed their earlier vow to fight all the way to the Court of Final Appeal. They said they were “actively considering” their ultimate appeal and had already written to the appellate court to inform the judges, who were originally expecting to hear their case on Thursday, that they reserved the right to appeal for now.

Leung said he was worried their final appeal might touch upon legal arguments that could prompt the judges to seek a further interpretation from Beijing. He was also worried about having to foot a “seven-digit” security bill for a final court challenge.

(The Stand News)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL CIVIL APPEAL NO 224 OF 2016 (ON APPEAL FROM HCAL 185/2016)

____________

BETWEEN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HONG KONG  1st Applicant

SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE 2nd Applicant

and

THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Respondent

and

SIXTUS LEUNG CHUNG HANG 1st Interested Party

YAU WAI CHING 2nd Interested Party

_______________

AND

CACV 225/2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL CIVIL APPEAL NO 225 OF 2016 (ON APPEAL FROM HCAL 185/2016)

____________

BETWEEN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HONG KONG  1st Applicant

SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE 2nd Applicant

and

THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Respondent

and

SIXTUS LEUNG CHUNG HANG 1st Interested Party

YAU WAI CHING 2nd Interested Party

_______________

AND

CACV 226/2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL APPEAL NO 226 OF 2016(ON APPEAL FROM HCMP 2819/2016)

____________

BETWEEN

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HKSAR  1st Plaintiff

SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE 2nd Plaintiff

and

YAU WAI CHING 1st Defendant

SIXTUS LEUNG CHUNG HANG 2nd Defendant

PRESIDENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL  3rd Defendant

_______________

AND

CACV 227/2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL CIVIL APPEAL NO 227 OF 2016 (ON APPEAL FROM HCMP 2819/2016)

____________

BETWEEN

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HKSAR  1st Plaintiff

SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE 2nd Plaintiff

and

YAU WAI CHING 1st Defendant

SIXTUS LEUNG CHUNG HANG 2nd Defendant

PRESIDENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL  3rd Defendant

_______________

(Heard Together)

Before: Hon Cheung CJHC, Lam VP and Poon JA in Court

Dates of Hearing: 24 & 25 November 2016

Date of Judgment: 30 November 2016 

_____________

JUDGMENT
_____________

Hon Cheung CJHC:

The facts

1. These appeals are from the judgment of Au J dated 15 November 2016.

2. The controversy leading to these appeals is so great and so widely reported that it is unnecessary, particularly in view of the urgency of the matter, to give any detailed account of the facts.  Suffice it to say, Sixtus Leung Chung Hang (“Leung”) and Yau Wai Ching (”Yau”) were elected in their respective geographical constituencies in the general election for the Legislative Council (“LegCo”) held in September this year.  Their terms of office as members of the LegCo started on 1 October 2016.

3. As stipulated in section 19 of the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance (Cap 11) (“the Ordinance”):

“ A member of the Legislative Council shall, as soon as possible after the commencement of his term of office, take the Legislative Council Oath which –

if taken at the first sitting of the session of the Legislative Council immediately after a general election of all members of the Council and before the election of the President of the Council, shall be administered by the Clerk to the Council;

if taken at any other sitting of the Council, shall be administered by the President of the Council or any member acting in his place.”

4. Section 16(d) and Schedule 2, Part IV of the Ordinance require the LegCo Oath to be in the following terms:

“ I swear that, being a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity.”

5. The first meeting of the LegCo was held on 12 October 2016.  On that day, both Leung and Yau were duly requested to take the LegCo Oath before the Clerk to the LegCo, as the election of the President of the Council had yet to take place.  Both Leung and Yau purported to do so, but in ways and manners, detailed in paragraph 5 of the judgment below, which departed substantially from the statutory contents of the LegCo Oath, and evinced objectively an intention on their respective parts not to be bound by it.

6. In particular, it is plain, as the learned judge below analysed in paragraphs 45 and 46 of his judgment, that neither Leung nor Yau intended to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, or bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.  Both elements are mandatory parts of the LegCo Oath.  But not only that – they actually constitute the core substantive requirement of article 104 of the Basic Law:

“ When assuming office, the Chief Executive, principal officials, members of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, judges of the courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.”

7. On 18 October 2016, the President of the LegCo (elected to his office after the oath taking incident described above) gave a written “ruling”, after obtaining senior counsel’s advice, that “[Leung and Yau] could not be serious about their oath and were unwilling to be bound by it” (paragraph 6), and their oaths were invalid.  Nonetheless, he said he was “prepared to allow Mr LEUNG and Ms YAU to take their oath afresh at a Council meeting if they put forward their requests in writing” (paragraph 7), which requests Leung and Yau immediately made on the same day.

8. As is only too well-known, these events triggered the urgent commencement by the Chief Executive and the Secretary of Justice of two sets of proceedings below on 18 October 2016, which were described in some detail in paragraphs 9 to 12 of the judgment below, as well as an interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (“NPCSC”), pursuant to article 67(4) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and article 158(1) of the Basic Law, of the true meaning of article 104 on 7 November 2016 (“the Interpretation”).

9. The judgment below

After an expedited hearing, the judge concluded in his judgment that what Leung and Yau did amounted to their respectively declining or “wilfully” omitting to take the LegCo Oath when duly requested to do so.  The consequence of what they did, the judge decided, is governed by section 21 of the Ordinance:

“ Any person who declines or neglects to take an oath duly requested which he is required to take by this Part, shall-

(a) if he has already entered on his office, vacate it, and
(b) if he has not entered on his office, be disqualified from entering on it.”

10. Rejecting an argument to the contrary, the judge decided that once a person declines or neglects to take the relevant oath when duly requested to do so, he is automatically regarded as having vacated his office in question under section 21.  In other words, what Leung and Yau did on 12 October 2016 led automatically, by operation of law under section 21, to the vacation of their respective offices as Legislative Councillor.

11. In those circumstances, the judge agreed with the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice that contrary to his ruling dated 18 October 2016, the President of the LegCo had no power to give Leung and Yau a second chance to take the LegCo Oath again.  The judge rejected various arguments raised by Leung and Yau, including their main argument based on the non-intervention principle, and decided the proceedings in favour of the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice by granting declaratory and other relief against the President, “on the basis that Mr Leung and Ms Yau have already vacated the office as a member of the LegCo, and are not entitled to act as a member of the LegCo” (paragraph 130(2)(a)).  In other words, Leung and Yau have lost their seats in the LegCo, their offices are vacant and there will be by-elections.

The arguments on appeal

12. Aggrieved by the judge’s decision, Leung and Yau appealed.  Mr Hectar Pun SC (Mr Anson YY Wong with him), for Leung, essentially argued that the principle of non-intervention applied to the present case so that the judge was wrong to interfere with the internal workings or business of the LegCo, that is, the taking or the retaking of the LegCo Oath by Leung.  Mr Pun accepted that the principle of nonintervention as applied in Hong Kong “is subject to the constitutional requirements of the [Basic Law]” (paragraph 12(1) of his skeleton arguments), but he emphasised that in the present case, the constitutional requirement under article 104 of the Basic Law was simply “not engaged” because the dispute here was not about whether his client had taken the LegCo Oath – he had not.  Rather, the issue was about the consequence of his failure to do so, which turned on whether Leung had declined or neglected to take the LegCo Oath – in which case section 21 of the Ordinance would be triggered and his client would be obliged to vacate his seat.  Mr Pun submitted that section 21 does not form part of the constitutional requirement under article 104.  He argued that the present case was not distinguishable from the English case of Bradlaugh v Gossett (1884) 12 QBD 271, where the English court refused to interfere with an oath taking dispute between Parliament and one of its members.

13. Mr Pun further argued neither the Clerk nor the President had determined that Leung had declined or neglected to take the LegCo Oath on 12 October 2016, whereas Leung had indicated in evidence that he had been “ready, prepared and willing” to take the Oath afresh at the next meeting on 19 October 2016 and had not “declined” or “neglected” to do so.  Furthermore, the President had indicated in his capacity as the oath administrator that he was prepared to allow Leung to take the Oath afresh on 19 October 2016.  All these matters were internal business of the LegCo in which the courts cannot intervene.

14. Mr Pun took the further point, relying on Makucha v Sydney Water Corporation [2013] NSWCA 177, that even if a LegCo member had declined or neglected to take the LegCo Oath, there was to be no automatic vacation of office.  Rather, section 21 merely requires the member to vacate it.  Mr Pun submitted that the member had to resign or the President could make a declaration, pursuant to article 79(1) of the Basic Law, that the member was “no longer qualified for the office” as he or she had “[lost] the ability to discharge his or her duties as a result of … [section 21]”.

15. Mr Pun also submitted that section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap 542), based on which one set of proceedings below was commenced, does not confer any jurisdiction on the court to determine matters such as whether a LegCo member has been disqualified from being a member or has ceased to be one, and does not therefore provide a bypass to the non-intervention principle.  He argued that as Leung had not been “disqualified” under section 21 of the Ordinance, section 73(1) simply had no application.  Section 73(1) is only applicable after a declaration under article 79(1) of the Basic Law has been made by the President as described above.  In any event, section 73(1) does not give the Chief Executive any locus to sue.

16. Mr Pun further argued that the judge was wrong in usurping the fact-finding function of the President regarding whether Leung had declined or neglected to take the LegCo Oath.

17. Insofar as may be necessary but not otherwise, Mr Pun relied on the Interpretation, particularly paragraph 2(3) and (4) to say that whether an oath taker has fallen foul of section 21 by declining to take the LegCo Oath is a matter for the Clerk or President, but not the court to decide.  However, insofar as the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice sought to make a case against his appeals based on the Interpretation, Mr Pun raised the issues of whether the Interpretation has retrospective effect in the sense that it covers the present case now before the court, and whether it is truly an interpretation falling within the meaning of article 158 of the Basic Law (or merely an interpretation in name but an amendment of the Basic Law in substance).

18. Finally, in written submissions, Mr Pun also prayed in aid article 77 of the Basic Law regarding members of the LegCo’s immunity from suit, and argued that the immunity covered the oath taking event in the present case.

19. Mr Philip Dykes SC (Mr Jeffrey Tam with him), for Yau, also relied on the principle of non-intervention.  Essentially, Mr Dykes submitted that oath taking is an internal business of the LegCo.  Primarily, it is for the Clerk or the President to determine whether an oath has been validly taken, and in particular, whether the member has declined or neglected to take the oath.  Mr Dykes accepted that once a decision has been made by the Clerk or the President, the court has the jurisdiction to decide whether article 104 of the Basic Law has been complied with.  However, Mr Dykes submitted, neither the Clerk nor the President has made any such decision.  It is simply premature for the court to intervene in the matter.

20. Likewise, counsel submitted, an application made under section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance is, except in the case of a member’s resignation, predicated on a declaration by the President under article 79 of the Basic Law.  In the present case, the President has made no such declaration.

21. As Mr Benjamin Yu SC (Mr Johnny Mok SC, Mr Jimmy Ma and Mr Jenkin Suen with him) for the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice submitted, the applicants’ arguments essentially raised several subject matters, that is, the non-intervention principle; the role of the oath administrator; whether vacation of the office is automatic under section 21 of the Ordinance; the scope of application of section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance; and the immunity from suit under article 77 of the Basic Law.  Counsel submitted that the appellants’ arguments were unsustainable.

The principle of non-intervention

22. The principle of nonintervention has been dealt with by the courts in recent years: Leung Kwok Hung v President of Legislative Council [2007] 1 HKLRD 387; Cheng Kar Shun v Li Fung Ying [2011] 2 HKLRD 555; Leung Kwok Hung v President of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, CACV 123/2012, 1 February 2013 (CA); affirmed on appeal: (2014) 17 HKCFAR 689 (CFA).  It is an established principle of common law which is of seminal importance and high constitutional significance.  Historically, it was derived from or justified by historical development, functional necessity, the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and (in the United Kingdom) the sovereignty of Parliament.  The preferred view in a jurisdiction like Hong Kong now is to justify it on the common law principle of separation of powers.  The principle makes good constitutional as well as practical sense.  Under it, the court respects and recognises the exclusive authority of the legislature in managing its own internal processes in the conduct of its business.  The court will not intervene to rule on the regularity or irregularity of the internal processes of the legislature but will leave it to determine exclusively for itself matters of this kind.  On a practical level, this principle allows the legislature to be left freely to manage and to resolve its internal affairs, free from intervention by the courts and from the possible disruption, delays and uncertainties which could result from such intervention.  Freedom from these problems is both desirable and necessary in the interest of the orderly, efficient and fair disposition of the legislature’s business.  Leung Kwok Hung (CFA), paragraphs 27 to 30.

23. In the United Kingdom where Parliament (or more precisely, the Queen in Parliament), replacing the absolute monarchy in old times, is supreme and sovereign, a further explanation for this principle of non-intervention is that it gives effect to Parliament’s supremacy and sovereignty.  In the context of Parliament’s law making function, the court’s role there is confined to interpreting and applying what Parliament has enacted.  When an enactment is passed there is finality unless and until it is amended or repealed by Parliament:  The Bahamas District of the Methodist Church v Symonette [2000] 5 LRC 196, 207h208a.

24. However, in a jurisdiction like Hong Kong where a written constitution (that is, the Basic Law), rather than the legislature, is supreme, where the rule of law reigns and where the courts are given under the constitution the independent power of adjudication, this principle of non-intervention has its own inherent limit.

25. First and foremost, the supremacy of the Basic Law means that no one – the legislature included – is above the Basic Law.  In other words, where a constitutional requirement under the Basic Law is in issue, even the legislature cannot act contrary to that requirement under the Basic Law.  Secondly, given that the courts are given under the constitution the independent power of adjudication of the Special Administrative Region, the question of whether that constitutional requirement has been complied with or breached is a matter which it is both the power and responsibility of the courts to decide.  As the Court of Final Appeal importantly pointed out in Leung Kwok Hung, paragraph 32:

Article 104 is a constitutional requirement

26. In the present case, there cannot be any doubt that article 104 of the Basic Law lays down a constitutional requirement.  Article 104 is found in Chapter IV of the Basic Law setting out the political structure of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  It contains six sections, dealing respectively with the Chief Executive, the Executive Authorities, the Legislature, the Judiciary, District Organizations and lastly, Public Servants.  In essence, it covers everyone who is empowered to and charged with the responsibility for running the Special Administrative Region.  At the very end of this long chapter, one finds article 104, which expressly requires that when assuming office, the Chief Executive, principal officials, members of the Executive Council and of the LegCo, judges of the courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary to, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Special Administrative Region.

27. As the judge correctly explained (paragraphs 31 to 33), the taking of an oath and pledging of allegiance are serious matters.  When taking an oath, no less a promissory oath such as the LegCo Oath, both the form and the substance matter greatly.  The requirement under article 104 is plainly designed to secure the genuine, solemn and sincere declaration and pledge by the holders of the important offices mentioned in that article to do their utmost, in accordance with the Basic Law, to discharge the high responsibilities entrusted to them in running the Special Administrative Region in their respective roles assigned under the Basic Law.  Article 104 clearly lays down a constitutional requirement that an oath must be taken in accordance with what is required under that article.  Moreover, it says “when assuming office”, the oath must be taken.  It must mean that taking the oath is a prerequisite and precondition to the assumption of office.

28. All this is now put beyond doubt by the Interpretation.

Consequence of noncompliance is part of the constitutional requirement

29. The Interpretation gives the true meaning of article 104.  Paragraph 2(3) of the Interpretation specifically sets out the consequence of an oath taker’s declining to take the relevant oath – automatic disqualification, as part of the true meaning of article 104.  It conclusively defeats Mr Pun’s argument that the consequence of a failure to take the relevant oath as required by article 104 does not form part of the constitutional requirement, so that the principle of nonintervention applies.

30. Furthermore, article 104 says the oath must be taken “in accordance with law”.  The relevant provisions in the Ordinance actually predated the drafting of the Basic Law.  When article 104 refers to law, the drafters must have in mind the provisions in the Ordinance.  Section 21(a) of the Ordinance says that if an office holder declines or neglects to take the relevant oath, he shall vacate his office.  That is perfectly consistent with article 104.  Since article 104 specifically refers to the implementing law, it provides another reason for rejecting Mr Pun’s argument that article 104 is not engaged but only section 21(a) of the Ordinance is – and therefore the principle of nonintervention still applies.  It is neither right nor realistic to look at article 104 without looking at its implementing law (in the present case, the relevant provisions in the Ordinance) together, or to look at the statutory provisions without looking at article 104 at the same time, in deciding whether the constitutional requirement under article 104 has been satisfied.

31. Mr Pun argued that “law” in the phrase “in accordance with law” only includes sections 16 and 19 of the Ordinance, but not section 21.  With respect, this is taking far too narrow a reading of article 104.  “Law” in article 104 must be a reference to the whole of the implementing law, including in particular that part of the law which prescribes the consequence of a failure to take the oath in question (that is, section 21).  As Mr Yu submitted, when article 104 lays down a requirement, the consequence of failing to meet that requirement is necessarily part and parcel of the requirement itself.  The principle of nonintervention cannot prevent the court from adjudicating on the consequence of a failure to meet the constitutional requirement.

A matter for the court to decide

32. Since articles 19(1) and (2) and 80 of the Basic Law vest the independent judicial power of the Special Administrative Region in the courts, giving the courts “jurisdiction over all cases in the Region”, and establishing them as the judiciary of the Region, “exercising the judicial power of the Region”, it is for the courts, not anyone else, to determine whether the constitutional requirement described above has been satisfied.

33. This disposes of three arguments mounted on behalf of Leung and Yau.  First, as mentioned, the courts cannot shrink from their constitutional duty to adjudicate on the question of whether the constitutional requirement under article 104 has been satisfied by not intervening in the present dispute in the name of the principle of non-intervention or separation of powers.  The Basic Law, not the legislature, is supreme.  Secondly, it also disposes of the further argument that it is for the oath administrator (that is, the Clerk or the President) to determine whether Leung and Yau have respectively taken a valid oath, and if not, whether they have respectively declined or neglected to take the oath.  Thirdly, it also disposes of the more limited argument raised by Mr Dykes that before the oath administrator makes a decision on the issues just described, it is premature to invite the court to intervene.  Plainly, section 21 says none of these.  Nor does the principle of nonintervention require any such interpretation be put on section 21, as the principle simply has no application given that a constitutional requirement is involved.

34. All these arguments must be rejected.

Paragraph 2(4) of the Interpretation

35. Mr Pun relied on paragraph 2(4) of the Interpretation to back his argument that it is for the oath administrator, rather than the court, to decide whether the LegCo Oath has been validly taken, or whether the (purported) oath taker has declined or neglected to take the oath.  I reject the argument.  Paragraph 2(4) of the Interpretation reads in Chinese:

“宣誓必須在法律規定的監誓人面前進行。監誓人負有確保宣誓合法進行的責任,對符合本解釋和香港特別行政區法律規定的宣誓,應確定為有效宣誓;對不符合本解釋和香港特別行政區法律規定的宣誓,應確定為無效宣誓,並不得重新安排宣誓。”

36. It is clear from the Chinese version, particularly the use of the words “應確定” (which is better rendered as “should confirm/affirm”), that paragraph 2(4) seeks to emphasise the important administrative duty of the oath administrator to ensure that the oath taker has taken the relevant oath properly and validly in full accordance with the Interpretation and the law, and that when the office holder declines to take the oath (paragraph 2(3)), the oath administrator must resolutely say so and refuse to make any administrative arrangement for the retaking of the oath.  What it plainly does not say is it gives the oath administrator any judicial power of the Special Administrative Region to determine whether the oath taken is in accordance with the requirements of the Basic Law and the Ordinance.  Still less does it take away the courts’ judicial power of the Special Administrative Region, granted under the Basic Law, to adjudicate on a dispute.

37. Neither does the Interpretation give the oath administrator any fact-finding role in any judicial sense.  In other words, it does not give the oath administrator a judicial power of the Special Administrative Region to make any finding of fact.  Nor does it constitute the oath administrator as a sort of administrative tribunal of fact (subjecting him thereby to all that standard administrative law requires of such a tribunal of fact to observe by way of procedural fairness etc).  Still less does it exclude the courts’ judicial power, conferred under the Basic Law, to make the relevant findings of fact.

38. If anything, paragraph 4 highlights the absolute importance of full compliance with the oath taking requirements under article 104 and the implementing law.  Indeed, one may ask rhetorically: if the oath administrator is required, as indeed he is under paragraph 2(4), to use his utmost to ensure compliance, how much more are the courts of the Special Administrative Region expected and required to do so?

39. In the final analysis, what is at stake is the compliance of a constitutional requirement of great significance.  In any given set of facts, this can admit of one correct answer only.  There is no room for a court to simply sit back without correcting an answer given by the oath administrator which the court considers to be wrong, at the expense of the constitutional requirement.  What is in issue is squarely a judicial matter which the courts alone are given the judicial power of the Special Administrative Region under the Basic Law to determine.  What is involved is not an ordinary judicial review type of situation where the court only conducts a Wednesbury unreasonableness review.  Rather, there can be only one right answer when the issue of compliance with the constitutional requirement is raised and nothing short of a full merit review will suffice.  The court, according to the Basic Law, is the ordained organ to determine the question.  

40. Of course, what I have said above does not prevent at all a court from, when hearing a dispute on the validity of an oath taken or one regarding whether the oath taker has declined or refused to take the oath when duly requested to do so, receiving evidence from the oath administrator on what his views are and the reasons for those views, insofar as they are relevant and admissible, and according them weight accordingly.

Both Leung and Yau have declined to take the Oath

41. On the facts, there can be no dispute that both Leung and Yau have declined respectively to take the LegCo Oath.  They have put forward no argument to dispute this.  Nor can they.  There can be no innocent explanation for what they uttered and did on 12 October 2016.  What has been done was done deliberately and intentionally.  This conclusion, reached by the judge after careful consideration, is unassailable.

Disqualification forthwith and automatic vacation of office

42. As a matter of law and fact, Leung and Yau have failed the constitutional requirement.  They are caught by paragraph 2(3) of the Interpretation as well as section 21 of the Ordinance which gives effect to the constitutional requirement.  Under the former, they were automatically disqualified forthwith from assuming their offices.  Under the latter, they “shall … vacate [their respective offices].”  There is therefore no question of allowing them to retake the LegCo Oath.

43. That leaves only the question of whether vacation of office under section 21 is automatic.  This is a necessary plank to Mr Pun’s and Mr Dykes’ procedural argument, based on section 15(1)(e) of the Legislative Council Ordinance, that a declaration by the President under article 79(1) of the Basic Law is a prerequisite to any proceedings under section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance.

44. I agree with the judge that vacation of office is automatic.  It simply serves no useful purpose to require a further step to be taken by the person in question to vacate his office.  By definition, this is someone who has declined or wilfully neglected to do the very first and basic thing required of him or her when assuming office, that is, to take the oath when duly requested to do so.  There is simply no point in requiring him or her to take the further step of vacating the office.  To do so would simply invite further dispute as well as create confusion and uncertainties.  The Australian case of Makucha is not binding on this court.  It was dealing with a totally different situation, and the court there was simply expressing an obiter view without any reasoning (paragraph 18).  It is fair to say that the court there was mainly concerned with upholding the judicial acts done by the judge below the validity of whose judicial oath was called into question.

Article 79(1) of the Basic Law

45. I reject the further argument based on article 79(1) of the Basic Law.  With respect, one only needs to read the Chinese text of article 79(1) to see that it plainly does not apply to the present type of situation.  Disqualification under section 21 is miles away from “無力履行職務” (“loses the ability to discharge his or her duties”) in article 79(1).

Section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance

46. In any event, I reject the argument that the scope of application of section 73(1) is limited to those situations set out in section 15 of the Legislative Council Ordinance.  It does not say so.  The fallacy of the argument is to treat section 15 as being exhaustive.  It is not.

47. Given my views above, the arguments over the scope of application of section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance are of little significance so far as the principle of non-intervention is concerned.  It is unnecessary to resort to section 73 to get round, as it were, the principle of nonintervention.  When a constitutional requirement is at stake, this court’s jurisdiction is not founded on the legislature’s voluntary concession of jurisdiction.  This court’s jurisdiction is conferred by the Basic Law, the exercise of which is a matter of constitutional duty, which is not restrained by the common law principle of nonintervention.

48. Section 73 is of significance in the arguments raised in these appeals also for a procedural reason.  It is said that section 73 only gives the Secretary for Justice, but not the Chief Executive, the locus to sue.  Further, it is said that section 73(7) excludes all other forms of proceedings.

49. All I wish to say is this.  I accept that proceedings under section 73 may only be brought by the Secretary for Justice or an elector, but not the Chief Executive in his official capacity as such.  However, I do not agree that apart from section 73, no proceedings can be brought by the Chief Executive.  Given the Chief Executive’s constitutional role under article 48(2) of the Basic Law (to be responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law and other laws), any attempted restriction on the Chief Executive’s right to take steps, including the commencement of court proceedings, to implement the Basic Law must be incompatible with article 48(2) and therefore invalid.  Plainly, section 21J of the High Court Ordinance (Cap 4) entitles the Chief Executive to sue.  On its proper construction, section 73(7) does not prevent the Chief Executive from doing so.

50. In any dispute, one must look at the facts concerned and the relief one seeks to determine whether proceedings should be commenced under section 73 of the Legislative Council Ordinance, or under section 21J of the High Court Ordinance by means of an application for judicial review (section 21K(1)(b) of the High Court Ordinance), or both.

Immunity from suit under article 77

51. Immunity from suit enjoyed by legislators under article 77 of the Basic Law has no relevance in the present dispute.  The article gives members of the LegCo immunity from legal action in respect of their statements at meetings of the Council.  It is neither necessary nor desirable to define the scope of immunity conferred by that article in these appeals.  One thing is clear.  The Basic Law must be read as a whole.  Article 77 must be read together with article 104.  Given the importance of article 104 as explained above, it is simply unarguable that the drafters of the Basic Law intended to permit members of the LegCo – yet not anyone else as article 77 only applies to them – to get round the constitutional requirement on oath taking laid down in article 104 via the backdoor of article 77.  It would make a mockery of article 104 and serve no discernable, meaningful purpose.  Thus analysed, the old English case of Bradlaugh v Gossett, a case heavily relied on by Mr Pun and Mr Dykes, loses much if not all of its relevance in the present debate.  First, the English court there was not faced with a constitutional requirement.  Secondly, Parliament is supreme and sovereign in the United Kingdom.  The English court was simply not in a position to adjudicate on the dispute between Parliament and its member in question.  In any event, the English case is not binding on this court, and insofar as may be necessary, I would, with respect, decline to follow it.

The Interpretation

52. Finally, I turn to Mr Pun’s arguments on the Interpretation.

53. First, the Interpretation, by definition, sets out the true and proper meaning of article 104 from day one.  The question of whether it applies “retrospectively” to any given set of facts whether pending before the court or not therefore cannot and does not arise, save for the situation specifically provided in article 158(3) of the Basic Law, which is not the case here. As the Court of Final Appeal explained in Lau Kong Yung v Director of Immigration (1999) 2 HKCFAR 300, 326D:

“The Interpretation, being an interpretation of the relevant provisions, dates from 1 July 1997 when the Basic Law came into effect.  It declared what the law has always been.”

54. Secondly, regarding Mr Pun’s argument that an interpretation only applies retrospectively if it merely clarifies the law in question but not when it supplements it, this submission has no support from the authorities.  The Court of Final Appeal said in Director of Immigration v Chong Fung Yuen (2001) 4 HKCFAR 211, 222J223C:

“ The Standing Committee’s power to interpret the Basic Law is derived from the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law.  In interpreting the Basic Law, the Standing Committee functions under a system which is different from the system in Hong Kong.  As has been pointed out, under the Mainland system, legislative interpretation by the Standing Committee can clarify or supplement laws.  Where the Standing Committee makes an interpretation of a provision of the Basic Law, whether under art. 158(1) which relates to any provision, or under art. 158(3) which relates to the excluded provisions, the courts in Hong Kong are bound to follow it.  Thus, the authority of the Standing Committee to interpret the Basic Law is fully acknowledged and respected in the Region.  This is the effect of the Basic Law implementing the ‘one country, two systems’ principle as was held by the Court in Lau Kong Yung.  Both systems being within one country, the Standing Committee’s interpretation made in conformity with art. 158 under a different system is binding in and part of the system in the Region.”

55. No distinction is drawn between the two types of situations under discussion.  The suggested distinction by Mr Pun must be rejected.

56. Thirdly, as to the submission that the Interpretation is only an interpretation in name but an amendment of the Basic Law in substance which can only be done by the National People’s Congress in accordance with article 159 of the Basic Law, this argument does not even get off the evidential ground and must be rejected.  Here, as explained in Chong Fung Yuen in the passage cited above, one is in the interface of “one country two systems”, and, in particular, one is concerned with the other system – that is, the civil law system practised on the Mainland, when it comes to an interpretation by the NPCSC.  When the NPCSC interprets the Basic Law, it is operating under the Mainland’s civil law system.

57. In the absence of any evidence to show what, under a civil law system, particularly the civil law system practised on the Mainland, is regarded as the proper scope of an interpretation of the present type, one simply has no material to argue, let alone to conclude, that what has been done has gone outside the permissible scope of an interpretation.  The view of a common law lawyer, untrained in the civil law system, particularly the civil law system practised on the Mainland, is, with respect, simply quite irrelevant.  

58. But more importantly, this present argument raises an a priori question of whether under the Basic Law, the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have ever been vested with the jurisdiction to determine whether an interpretation officially promulgated as such by the NPCSC in accordance with article 67(4) of the Constitution and article 158 of the Basic Law and the procedure therein is invalid on the ground under discussion.  Apart from citing to the court a passage in Ng Ka Ling v Director of Immigration (1999) 2 HKCFAR 4, 26A-B which must be read together with Ng Ka Ling (No 2) (1999) 2 HKCFAR 141, where the Court of Final Appeal clarified in no uncertain terms that the courts in Hong Kong cannot question “the authority of the National People’s Congress or the Standing Committee to do any act which is in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law and the procedure therein” (p 142E), Mr Pun has simply made no submission on this fundamental question of jurisdiction.

59. In my view, the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the issue raised.

Disposal

60. For all these reasons, I would dismiss these appeals with costs.

Hon Lam VP:

61. I respectfully agree with the judgment of the Chief Judge and for the reasons he gave the appeals must be dismissed. In view of the constitutional importance of these appeals and the apparent misapprehension on the scope of the principle of non-intervention, I would add some observations of my own.

62. As accepted by Mr Dykes (but disputed by Mr Pun), in Hong Kong the principle of non-intervention is only a self-restraint imposed by the courts in the exercise of jurisdiction rather than a matter that goes to jurisdiction.

63. The Basic Law is the foundation of all executive, legislative and judicial authorities in Hong Kong.  As my Lord the Chief Judge pointed out, the judicial power of the courts in Hong Kong and the correspondent adjudicative authority are derived from article 80 of the Basic Law. Further, under article 85, the courts shall exercise judicial power independently and free from any interference.  In the exercise of judicial power, judges must adjudicate issues strictly in accordance with laws, and nothing else. The laws, as set out in article 8 are, subject to a very important rider, the common law and statutes.  The rider is that these laws must not contravene the Basic Law.

64. Thus, as explained by the Chief Judge, the LegCo, whilst designated as the legislative authority under the Basic Law, must also be subject to the Basic Law.  In this respect, our LegCo is different from Parliament of the United Kingdom.

65. The Basic Law does not confer any judicial authority on the LegCo.  Hence, in respect of issues arising from disputes concerning compliance with the Basic Law, the LegCo does not have any judicial authority.  Whilst article 79 of the Basic Law does confer authority on the President of the LegCo to declare a member no longer qualified for office in certain specified circumstances, it is not the same as saying that the President has judicial authority to determine all questions relating to membership of the LegCo.  A clear example where membership of LegCo is to be determined by courts through a judicial process is election petition concerning LegCo elections.

66. Since the source of the courts’ judicial power is derived from the Basic Law, a judge has a constitutional duty to consider the constitutionality of legislation passed by the LegCo if it is an issue arising from the facts of a case before him.  Likewise, where there is a complaint as to the non-compliance with a constitutional prerequisite before assumption of office, our courts are duty-bound to examine the same according to law. As explained by the Chief Judge, article 104 is an important constitutional requirement and the courts have a constitutional duty to uphold the same.

67. The exercise of such judicial power should not be perceived as the courts being embroiled in political disputes.  In the judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court in Powell v Mc Cormack (1969) 395 US 486 cited by Mr Dykes, Warren CJ held at pp.548-9 that the determination of a Congressman’s right to sit required no more than an interpretation of the Constitution which fell within the traditional role accorded to courts to interpret the law.  Even if the exercise of such power conflicted with the resolution of the Congress, Warren CJ said these:

“The alleged conflict that such an adjudication may cause cannot justify the courts’ avoiding their constitutional responsibility…. For, as we noted in Baker v Carr … it is the responsibility of this Court to act as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution.”

68. As I have said, in adjudicating on these issues the courts only concern themselves with legal questions, and the issues before us in these appeals are whether the requirement in article 104 has been complied with and if not, what are the consequences. In our deliberations, we address legal arguments advanced before us and apply the law (including the Interpretation, which upon its pronouncement becomes part of our laws) strictly as we find them.  It is for this very reason that the Chief Judge had to stop Mr Yu when counsel at one stage unwittingly treaded beyond the proper scope of legal arguments by quoting from Socrates on abuse of democracy.  It is important that we keep politics out of the judicial process.

69. Nor should the exercise of judicial power in these instances be regarded as the court’s intervention into the internal affairs of the LegCo.  The principle of non-intervention is a principle governing the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction, placing importance on the integrity and efficiency of the legislative process.  Thus, in cases where the intervention of the court would disrupt the legislative process as in Cheng Kar Shun v Li Fung Ying [2011] 1 HKLRD 555 and Leung Kwok Hung v President of the Legislative Council (2014) 17 HKCFAR 689, the court would refrain from intervention.  But the court would not shy away from examining the products of such process as in cases where the courts examined the constitutionality of a piece of legislation. In Leung Kwok Hung, the Court of Final Appeal highlighted at [39] to [43] that in cases where the legislative authority is subject to a written constitution (as in the case of our LegCo), the judicial authority will determine whether the legislature has a particular power, privilege or immunity though it would not exercise jurisdiction to determine the occasion or the manner of the exercise of the same.

70. The Court of Final Appeal expressed the principle of non-intervention in these terms at [28] by reference to the relationship between the legislature and the courts:

“….This relationship includes the principle that the courts will recognise the exclusive authority of the legislature in managing its own internal processes in the conduct of its business …The corollary is the proposition that the courts will not intervene to rule on the regularity or irregularity of the internal processes of the legislature but will leave it to determine exclusively for itself matters of this kind…”

71. The Court of Final Appeal also stressed that the principle of non-intervention is necessarily subject to constitutional requirements, see [32].  This has been consistently regarded by our courts as the limits of that principle, see the decision at first instance in Leung Kwok Hung v President of the Legislative Council [2012] 3 HKLRD 483, at [36]; at the Court of Appeal, in CACV 123 of 2012, 1 Feb 2013, at [24]; Cheng Kar Shun v Li Fung Ying, supra at [220].

72. For the reasons given by the Chief Judge, the non-compliance with the oath-taking prerequisite in article 104 and its consequence are matters of constitutional requirement which the courts have a constitutional duty to examine when it is an issue in a case coming before us.  Compliance with such constitutional requirement is not merely a matter of internal process of the LegCo.  Oath taking is not simply a requirement of LegCo’s internal rules.  Though it took place within the walls of the LegCo Building, it is a matter of immense importance to the whole Hong Kong Special Administrative Region including the Government as well as its general public because the requirement underpins the allegiance owed to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and the sincerity and integrity of the oath taker in upholding the Basic Law.  Without the oath properly taken, the member concerned could not assume office and no authority is conferred upon him or her to act as our lawmaker.

73. As illustrated by election petition cases, membership of LegCo is not an internal matter for the LegCo.  The courts must intervene when non-compliance with article 104 is brought to our attention.

74. The soundness of this analysis is easily borne out by examining a hypothetical case where a member is wrongly ruled by the Clerk or President to have failed to comply with article 104 and disqualified under Section 21 accordingly. It is hard to see why in such circumstances such a member cannot come to court to seek relief notwithstanding that the oath taking took place within the walls of the LegCo Building.  Mr Dykes and Mr Pun readily agreed that the court must intervene in such circumstances.

75. In the converse situation, where a member should have been disqualified but was not so disqualified, electors in the electoral constituency of that member should, as a matter of law, be entitled to have a by-election for the seat and other candidates should also be entitled to run for the same.  Hence, it is impossible to characterise the oath taking as a mere internal affair or a matter in the internal process of the LegCo.  There is no reason why the courts should refrain from intervening in such circumstances.

76. Properly understood, Bradlaugh v Gossett (1884) 12 QBD 271 on which Mr Pun placed great reliance cannot stand in the way of the above analysis.  What was in issue in that case was the resolution of the House of Commons excluding a member from the House until he shall engage not to attempt to take the oath in disregard of the resolution of the House then in force.  What happened was that Mr Bradlaugh was prohibited from taking the oath because he did not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, see AG v Bradlaugh (1885) 14 QBD 667, also the judgment of Stephen J in Bradlaugh v Gossett, supra at p.279. In that case, Mr Bradlaugh sued the Serjeant-at-Arms who excluded him from the House pursuant to the resolution of the House. It was in such context that Lord Coleridge CJ said at p.275: 

“What is said or done within the walls of Parliament cannot be inquired into in a court of law… The jurisdiction of the Houses over their own members, their right to impose discipline within their walls, is absolute and exclusive.”

Coleridge CJ obviously regarded it as a matter of internal discipline as he said at pp.276-277:

“Consistently with all the statements in the claim, it may be that the plaintiff insisted on taking the oath in a manner and under circumstances which the House had a clear right to object to or prevent.”

At p.277 he also agreed with Stephen J’s broader analysis as to why the court should not examine the basis on which the House passed the resolution.  Stephen J proceeded on the assumption that there was inconsistency between the resolution and the Parliamentary Oaths Act and he ruled that the court should not intervene because

(a)The court could not do justice without infringing the dignity and independence of the House as it would necessitate the examination of the reasons for the House’s resolution, see pp.280-281;

(b)In respect of matters of parliamentary privilege in respect of affairs within the House of Commons, even if the House decided the same not in accordance with law, it would be akin to an error by a judge whose decision was not subject to any appeal, see p.284-286.

77. It should be noted that the courts did not hold that they had no jurisdiction to examine if the affirmation adopted by a member of the House was valid.  In earlier proceedings in Clarke v Bradlaugh (1881) 7 QBD 38, the court held that the affirmation by Mr Bradlaugh purportedly under section 4 of the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1870 was invalid as he was not a person falling within the scope of that section.  Though the actual result was overturned on appeal in the House of Lords reported in (1883) 8 App Cas 354 as the court held that the person who brought the proceedings had no locus to do so, the finding on the invalidity of the affirmation was not disturbed. Stephen J accepted that the courts had the power to make such decision in Bradlaugh v Gossett, supra, at pp.281 to 282.  Subsequently in AG v Bradlaugh (1885) 14 QBD 667, in proceedings brought by the Attorney General penalty was imposed by the Divisional Court on account of Mr Bradlaugh’s sitting and voting in the parliament despite his invalid affirmation and it was upheld on appeal to the Court of Appeal.  Thus, the reference to the court’s inability to investigate into what happened within the walls of the Parliament should not be taken too literally.

78. Whatever the position may be in respect of the relationship between the courts and the House of Commons in 19th century England, for the reasons already given, the respective roles of the courts in Hong Kong and the LegCo as prescribed by the Basic Law are different.  As the Chief Judge observed, LegCo is subject to the Basic Law. By reason of article 104, there is no right on the part of any elected member to assume office in LegCo without fulfilling the constitutional requirement under that article and the refusal or neglect to take the oath when duly requested would lead to vacation from office or disqualification.  Hence, it is not a matter of internal discipline.  Nor is it a matter of parliamentary privilege. Instead, it is a constitutional requirement which our courts have the constitutional responsibility to adjudicate on in the same way as the U.S. Supreme Court did in Powell v Mc Cormack, supra.

79. The above analysis also resolves the question as to identity of the decision maker under Section 21.  Though the oath administrator would have the power to administer the oath under Section 19, he is not given any judicial role in the determination if an oath taker has declined or neglected to take the oath.  In this connection, Section 21 does not say that an oath taker would be disqualified if he or she had, in the opinion of the oath administrator, declined or neglected to take the oath.  I agree with the Chief Judge that paragraph 2(4) of the Interpretation does not confer any judicial role upon the oath administrator and any dispute on the application of Section 21 has to be determined by the courts.  It also follows that in the determination of such dispute, the courts must conduct a full merit review with full opportunity for the parties to adduce relevant and admissible evidence on the issues instead of the limited review by way of traditional approach in a judicial review.

80. My analysis also reinforces the conclusion of the Chief Judge that Section 15 of the Legislative Council Ordinance is not exhaustive as to the circumstances in which a member is disqualified.  Though the scope of Section 73 is of little significance in the present appeals (as 2 sets of proceedings have been commenced in respect of each Interested Party), it would be helpful if we can give some guidance on the interface between Section 73 and Section 21J.

81. In my view, these statutory jurisdictions have a common origin in the prerogative writ of quo warranto by which the authority of a person holding a public office could be challenged in courts.  In Hong Kong, the prerogative writ has become obsolete and been largely (if not wholly) overtaken by statutory jurisdictions. Section 21J is a general provision, applicable to any public office created by any enactment whilst Section 73 specifically applies to a person acting or claiming to be entitled to act as a member of LegCo.  Proceedings under Section 21J must be brought by way of judicial review, see Section 21K(1) of the High Court Ordinance and they are subject to the rules governing applications for judicial review.  Leave is therefore required and it is subject to the usual time constraint in applications for judicial review.  On the other hand, Section 73 is to be brought by way of some other form of civil proceedings and leave is not required.  However, the time limit is 6 months: section 73(2) must be construed purposively as referring to 6 months from the date on which the person first acted or claimed to be entitled to act whilst disqualified, otherwise the time limit will be meaningless. Further, Section 73 proceedings can only be brought by an elector or the Secretary for Justice, see Section 73(1). In the case of proceedings by an elector, such proceedings would be stayed pending the payment of security for costs, a sum to be ordered by the court which shall not exceed $20,000 in respect of each member challenged, see Section 73(5) and (6).

82. Section 73(7) provides that proceedings within the scope of that section can only be brought in accordance with that section.  In other words, it would not be open to persons coming within the scope of this section to bring proceedings by other means like an application for judicial review under Section 21J.

83. However, the Court of Final Appeal in Albert Ho v Leung Chun Ying v Ho Chun Yan, Albert (2013) 16 HKCFAR 735 held that election petition is not the only means to challenge an election and judicial review is an available alternative for those who are not eligible to bring proceedings under section 33 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance.  By the same token, it may be arguable that Section 73(7) does not preclude someone who is not an elector to commence proceedings under Section 21J in respect of a disqualified legislator.  As the Chief Judge observed, the Chief Executive is not a person who is entitled to proceed under Section 73.  He has to proceed under Section 21J to seek the remedy of declaration and injunction against the Interested Parties in HCAL 185/2016.

84. In any event, given that Section 73 was enacted to protect members of the LegCo against unlimited challenges to their offices (by way of security for costs and time limit for application), I believe even in cases where an applicant is outside the scope of that section and an application is brought by way of judicial review, the court must bear such protection in mind in assessing whether leave should be granted.  In particular, given that judicial review should not be permitted when an alternative remedy by way of Section 73 is available, the court should consider whether an applicant who is not an elector in the constituency of the member concerned should be allowed to make the challenge and enquire whether the Secretary for Justice or any elector is willing to bring proceedings under Section 73.  The court must also examine the locus standi of such an applicant carefully if neither the Secretary for Justice nor any elector in that constituency is willing to bring proceedings under Section 73.

Hon Poon JA:

85. I agree with the judgment of the Chief Judge and the judgment of Lam VP.  I would like to add a few words of my own on the principle of non-intervention in the Hong Kong context.

86. As the Court of Final Appeal pointed out in Leung Kwok Hung, supra, at [32], the common law principle of non-intervention is necessarily subject to the constitutional requirements in the Basic Law.  As our written constitution, the Basic law is supreme.  It binds all organs and branches of the government, including LegCo.  The court is the guardian of the Basic Law.  The court is constitutionally tasked to protect the provisions of the Basic Law and to ensure that all governmental organs and branches, including LegCo, stay within its bounds.

87. Being subject to the Basic Law, LegCo must uphold and abide by its provisions, always acting within its framework and fulfilling its constitutional requirements.  So must all LegCo Members, whether they are elected from functional constituencies or geographical constituencies through direct elections.  When disputes arise as to whether LegCo has acted in breach of the constitutional requirements in the Basic Law, such as passing a law which is contrary to certain provisions of the Basic Law, or whether individual LegCo Members have breached the constitutional requirements as mandated in the Basic Law, such as the present, the court has a constitutional duty to adjudicate and rule on the matters.  In so doing, the court does not seek to undermine the authority or function of LegCo as the legislature or diminish the mandate that the electors gave to the LegCo Members concerned.  Rather the court ensures that LegCo or the Members concerned exercise their powers lawfully in accordance with the constitutional requirements of the Basic Law.  Only thus can the public confidence in LegCo be maintained.  Only thus can the integrity of the very many important acts performed by LegCo be preserved.

Hon Cheung CJHC:

88. Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed with costs to all other parties (including the LegCo President for his costs for the hearing on 17 November 2016) together with a certificate for 3 counsel.  The costs order is made on a nisi basis and any application to vary it shall be dealt with by written submissions only.

89. As indicated at the conclusion of the hearing, we will hear any application for leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal tomorrow at 9:30 am.  All time requirements are abridged accordingly, and we will accept undertakings to file and serve the formal documents in lieu of actual filing or service before the hearing so long as draft documents are made available to the court and the opposite parties in advance.

Mr Benjamin Yu SC, Mr Johnny Mok SC, Mr Jimmy Ma and Mr Jenkin Suen, instructed by the Department of Justice, for the 1st and 2nd applicants in CACV 224 & 225/2016 and the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs in CACV 226 & 227/2016

Mr Hectar Pun SC and Mr Anson Wong Yu Yat, instructed by Ho Tse Wai and Partners, for the 1st interested party in CACV 224 & 225/2016 and the 2nd defendant in CACV 226 & 227/2016

Mr Philip Dykes SC and Mr Jeffrey Tam, instructed by Khoo & Co, for the 2nd interested party in CACV 224 & 225/2016 and the 1st defendant in CACV 226 & 227/2016

Lo & Lo, for the respondent in CACV 224 & 225/2016 and the 3rd defendant in CACV 226 & 227/2016, did not appear

(Nextplus) December 3, 2016.

This afternoon, Hong Kong Indigenous set up a street booth at the intersection of Ap Lei Street and Kwei Lin Street in the Sham Shui Po district. At first, they did not draw much attention. Then they were surrounded by a bunch of middle-aged uncles who expressed dissatisfaction with the four Hong Kong Indigenous members present. Obscenities were flying around as the uncles cursed Hong Kong Indigenous for "causing chaos in Hong Kong". The uncles called the Hong Kong Indigenous people "Chinese traitors" and demanded the removal of the surgical masks worn by the workers.

One uncle said: "Fuck you mother! You call yourself a Hongkonger? Fuck your mother's cunt! You say that you are a Hongkonger? Have you no shame?" Another uncle told the masked Hong Kong Indigenous members: "Take off your masks! Be forthright! If you are forthright, there is no fucking need to wear masks!"

As more and more people clustered around to watch, the police came to maintain order. The police told the uncles to calm down and assisted Hong Kong Indigenous to leave. The police said: "Dear neighbors, please don't cause unnecessary complications! Please make some way!" But the uncles were still riled up, shouting: "Make way for them to crawl away! Leave! Leave! Scram!"

The four Hong Kong Indigenous members maintained their calm and did not quarrel with the uncles. As they left under police escort, an uncle said: "I want to ask you why you don't go to Beijing ... if you hate China so much, you should go to Tiananmen Square! Don't come here! We don't welcome you!"

On Facebook, Hong Kong Indigenous wrote that their volunteers set up street booths in Sham Shui Po, Tai Wai and Sha Tin today to explain to the citizens about the oath of office brouhaha and the implications of the Interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. In Sham Shui Po, their workers were provoked maliciously and pushed around, and some flags and poles were damaged. In consideration of the personal safety of the Hong Kong Indigenous volunteers and the citizens, the Sham Shui Po event was terminated prematurely.

Videos:

Nextplus OccupyCentral_7.htm (obscenities bleeped out)

https://www.facebook.com/chankawairicky/videos/1152070384828323/

https://www.facebook.com/chankawairicky/videos/1152071064828255/

https://www.facebook.com/chankawairicky/videos/1152100428158652/

https://www.facebook.com/WoXiZhongGuoJiXiangGangRen/videos/1266880330035944/

https://www.facebook.com/chuckyboyboy009/videos/1860858284161751/

Internet comments:

- As always, when you need the police to extract you from an angry mob, you call them Uncles. When you don't want the police to block your way, you call them Canines.

- As always, they wear masks while exercising their freedoms of expression and assembly as guaranteed by the Basic Law.

- What exactly are they afraid of such that they have to wear masks? Are they afraid that their parents will see them on television and then withhold their daily allowance money?

- In the video, there is an old man siding with Hong Kong Indigenous.

This man is a celebrity. Previously, he was photographed attending a banquet wearing the t-shirt of the DLLM Orchid (= a homonym of "Fuck Your Mother's Stinking Rotten Cunt") organization. Then he was interviewed on television in the role of the parent of a student at the Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood to express his support the freedom of expression for foul-mouthed teacher Alpais Lam without identifying that they are both with the DLLM Orchid. P.S. The bespectacled woman was also present in the Sham Shui Po video.

- Born In Times of Chaos Facebook: According to tips from Internet users, the four troublemakers are all unemployed welfare recipients who normally hang around the 7/11 Convenience Store on Fuk Wing Street. According to information, they were paid $200 each to cause trouble at the Hong Kong Indigenous street booth today.


(1) "Bespectacled Monster"
(2) "Human Wastrel"
(3) "White-headed Cheung"
(4) "Drug User Ming"

- What is this? Everything is based upon innuendos? Information from anonymous Internet users?

- This is as good as the other innuendo that the DLLM Orchid old man is either the father of foul-mouthed teacher Alpais Lam and/or the former district councilor who lost his post to DAB legislative councilor Chan Kam-lam.

(Wen Wei Po) December 1, 2016.

Yesterday, 49-year-old entertainer William So Wing Hong announced that he and his wife Anita are expecting a baby. He said: "It is a boy. But I don't want the boy to be like me. It is better that he is more like his mother. As Ka-keung said, even if he isn't going to become a model, he can get my musical and fashion talents. But the future is too much to worry about. I don't know what the world will be like when my son grows up. What I need to do is not to create more rebellious persons for society. Simply put, I don't want to raise a Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching. I want thte boy to know right from wrong. You can be rebellious but you cannot reject your ancestry and do things that divides the nation. If he does that, I will personally punish him. Therefore I will learn to bring up my son well just like my elders. Even if the boy does not make a great contribution to society, at least he won't be disrupting social peace."

(Wen Wei Po) December 5, 2016.

William So said: "I noticed that someone said that as a soon-to-be parent, I did not consider the feelings of the parents of those whom I criticized. I want to ask: When those two young people charged into the Legislative Council with the blue banner shouting 'Shina' and 'Hong Kong is not China', did they ever consider the feelings of all the people in China?"

He said: "I am very sorry if what I said caused the parents of the two young persons to be unhappy. But I will not apologize, because those two were really wrong and they did not apologize."

(Wen Wei Po) (Wen Wei Po) December 5, 2016.

Leung Chung-hang quoted William So's song <I don't want to be happy by myself>: "I am unrestrained and I think highly of myself. I don't care if a certain guy doesn't like it."

Leung Chung-hang also wrote: "Although I do not take drugs, I cause my mother to worry all the time. And I am unable to share the family load with her. So I feel ashamed." His supporters agreed, and made comments such as: "Drug abusers tend to really patriotic" etc.

(Wen Wei Po) December 4, 2016.

With respect to the criticisms of his comments on Leung Chung-hang/Yau Wai-ching, William So responded: "First of all, I respect and I thank my fans for stopping and deleting those comments. I told my fans not to bother, because everyone has the freedom of expression. They can say whatever they want, and I am not going to die because of it! But it is pathetic that they they make the same comments ten times in a row. Hey, I am not blind!"

Is he unhappy? He said: "Buddhists learn to forgive people. They have their positions. I accidentally stepped on their idols and it is natural that they should be angry. Someday, they will eventually understand that Hong Kong needs harmony!"

Is he sorry for saying it? He said: "In my life, I have no regrets. I have no regrets! I, William So, am a forthright person. When I am wrong, I will admit it. If I am going to fight, I will stand and fight. I won't bring my team to Sai Wan and then leave in a taxi. This is the right attitude. How else can I teach my son?"

A friend told him that Internet users are bringing up his prior drug offense. He said: "I did it. I was arrested. There is no extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Taiwan, and I can choose not to return to Taiwan. But I went back to accept the legal consequences! Recently I applied for a visa to travel to the United States. I received a telephone call from the immigration officer who told me to do a physical exam. The report showed that I was drug-negative. I ultimately got my visa."

(Lingnan University Public Governance Programme) 1,015 Hong Kong residents aged 18 or over were interviewed by telephone October 3-10, 2016. Telephone numbers were randomly selected from the directory and then the last two digits of each telephone number is randomized. When contact is made with a household, an eligible individual is randomly selected within the household. The response rate was 32.1%.

Q1. How do you rate the legislative efficiency of this Legislative Council compared to the previous one?
2.6%: A lot better
16.9%: Somewhat better
31.8%: About the same
19.1%: Somewhat worse
13.2%: A lot worse
16.1%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused to answer

Q2. How do you rate the relationship between the executive and legislative branches during this Legislative Council term compared to the previous one?
1.9%: A lot better
13.1%: Somewhat better
31.1%: About the same
23.6%: Somewhat worse
14.8%: A lot worse
15.3%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused to answer

Q3. How would rate the monitoring of the government during this Legislative Council term compared to the previous one?
5.0%: A lot better
34.1%: Somewhat better
30.1%: About the same
10.2%: Somewhat worse
7.6%: A lot worse
12.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused to answer

Q4. Some people think that filibustering at the Legislative Council delays the legislative process without any positive use. Other people think that filibustering stops the passage of objectionable legislation.
41.6%: Agree with the first position
42.9%: Agree with the second position
10.2%: Agree with neither position
4.9%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused to answer

Q5. Some people thin that the China Liaison Office engages in mediating legislative election campaigns and therefore violates One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong Ruled By Hong Kong People. Other people think that this only shows that the Central Government cares about the Hong Kong Legco elections.
60.4%: Agree with the first position
22.3%: Agree with the second position
5.6%: Agree with neither position
10.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.9%: Refused to answer

Q6. The recent Legco election had the highest voter turnout in history. What is the main reason?
16.9%: Dissatisfaction with government
11.7%: More young people voted
10.7%: More people care about society/politics
8.4%: Dissatisfaction with the current situation
4.1%: Everybody wants to express their opinions
3.4%: Influence of Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement
2.6%: Dissatisfaction with CY Leung
2.2%: Dissatisfaction with the past Legislative Council term
2.2%: Intervention by the Central Government
1.7%: Increase in civic awareness
1.6%: More young people care about society/politics
1.1%: More voters
1.1%: More young people were candidates
1.0%: Awakening of citizens
0.9%: Citizens want to vote for their favorite legislators
0.8%: More older people voted
0.7%: Dissatisfaction with the pro-establishment camp
0.7%: More election candidates
0.6%: Opposition to filibustering
0.5%: Dissatisfaction with livelihood issues
0.5%: Troublemaking
17.7%: Other reasons
8.6%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused to answer

Q7. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the Hong Kong SAR government?
2.9%: A lot more confident
9.7%: Somewhat more confident
24.0%: Neither more or less
24.0%: Somewhat less confident
35.8%: A lot less confident
3.4%: Don't know/no opinion
0.1%: Refused to answer

Q8. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the Legislative Council?
2.5%: A lot more confident
10.8%: Somewhat more confident
31.2%: Neither more or less
26.3%: Somewhat less confident
22.1%: A lot less confident
7.1%: Don't know/no opinion
0.1%: Refused to answer

Q9. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the courts?
2.5%: A lot more confident
8.3%: Somewhat more confident
49.7%: Neither more or less
20.7%: Somewhat less confident
10.7%: A lot less confident
7.9%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused to answer

Q10. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the Hong Kong Police?
5.8%: A lot more confident
12.6%: Somewhat more confident
32.1%: Neither more or less
21.8%: Somewhat less confident
23.3%: A lot less confident
4.2%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused to answer

Q11. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the Independent Commission Against Corruption?
2.2%: A lot more confident
7.6%: Somewhat more confident
32.2%: Neither more or less
27.9%: Somewhat less confident
24.3%: A lot less confident
5.6%: Don't know/no opinion
0.2%: Refused to answer

Q12. Compared to the period when Donald Tsang was Chief Executive, how much confidence do you have in the Central Government?
5.6%: A lot more confident
7.7%: Somewhat more confident
35.8%: Neither more or less
17.0%: Somewhat less confident
29.7%: A lot less confident
4.0%: Don't know/no opinion
0.1%: Refused to answer

Q13. What do you think the next Chief Executive should give priority to initially?
31.7%: Land/housing problems
14.4%: Livelihood
7.4%: Social harmony/unifying society
4.5%: Economic problems
3.7%: Executive-legislative branch relationship
3.6%: Citizen-government relationship
3.3%: China-Hong Kong relationship
3.0%: Reform of political system
1.9%: Public preferences
1.2%: One County Two Systems/Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong
1.1%: Legislative Council issues
1.0%: Social welfare issues
0.9%: Senior citizen welfare issues
0.8%: Healthcare issues
0.7%: CY Leung's problems
0.7%: Wealth inequality
0.7%: Corruption problems
0.5%: Population problems
11.8%: Don't know/no opinion
6.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.4%: Refused to answer

Q14. Who would you like to see be elected the next Chief Executive?
19.8%: John Tsang
4.9%: CY Leung
3.4%: Carrie Lam
3.2%: Japser Tsang
1.6%: Anthony Leung
1.5%: Andy Lau (actor)
0.9%: Regina Ip
0.8%: Audrey Eu
0.4%: Chow Yun-fat (actor)
0.4%: Rita Fan
0.4%: Raymond Wong
0.3%: Anson Chan
0.3%: Leung Kwok-hung
0.2%: James Tien
0.2%: Joshua Wong
0.2%: Eddie Chu Hoi Dick
1.6%: Anybody but CY Leung
0.3%: No satisfactory person
4.0% Other people
54.2%: Don't know/no opinion
1.3%: Refused to answer

Q15. Some people think that discussion of Hong Kong independence arose because Hongkongers are unfamiliar with China as a country. Other people think that it arose because of the status of One Country Two Systems in Hong Kong in recent years.
23.4%: Agree with the first position
40.4%: Agree with the second position
15.3%: Agree with both positions
13.0%: Disagree with both positions
7.4%: Don't know/no opinion
0.5%: Refused to answer

Q16. Some people think: Hong Kong independence is obviously against the Basic Law, so there is nothing to discuss about it. Therefore, secondary schools should not allow the discussion of Hong Kong independence inside the schools. Other people think: Discussing Hong Kong independence in schools will help increase understanding of Hong Kong independence.
31.3%: Agree with first position
56.9%: Agree with second position
6.8%: Agree with neither position
4.8%: Don't know/no opinion
0.3%: Refused to answer

Q17. Some people think: Hong Kong independence involves national sovereignty. As a matter of principle, the Central Government will not tolerate discussion of Hong Kong independence. We must trust that citizens have the ability to tell right from wrong and therefore the Central Government should allow discussions.
22.8%: Agree with first position
66.7%: Agree with second position
5.6%: Agree with neither position
4.5%: Don't know/no opinion
0.4%: Refused to answer

Q18. Do you think that people who advocate Hong Kong independence should be allowed to become Legislative Councilors?
41.3%: Yes
40.9%: No
17.%: Don't know/no opinion
0.4%: Refused to answer

Internet comments:

- It's all in the wording of the question. Q18 was: "Do you think that people who advocate Hong Kong independence should be allowed to become Legislative Councilors?" and the results were 41.3%: Yes and 40.9% No. Rewrite the question as: "Do you think that people who read 'Republic of China' as 'Re-fucking of Shina' in their oaths of office because of their Ap Lei Chau accents should be allowed to become Legislative Councilors?" and what do you think you will get?

- This poll was fielded October 3-10, 2016 before the National People's Congress Standing Committee issued its Interpretation of Basic Law Article 104.

- (EJ Insight) Does popularity matter in Beijing's CE choice?

Many people agree that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has a face that is hard to read. You can never tell what he is thinking or feeling. It’s not exactly a poker face because a poker face is impassive, without any expression. But Leung’s face is not always expressionless. He sometimes smiles when he meets the media. His face alternates between a smile and impassiveness, nothing else. There is never anger even when he strongly criticizes something or someone in front of the media. He just looks impassively stern, in contrast to US president-elect Donald Trump, who scowls when he is angry and glares at his opponents.

Unlike Leung, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah doesn’t wear his face like a mask. It was easy to tell from his face during the September joint press conference with Leung on the Wang Chau housing controversy that he didn’t want to be there. He wore a constant black look. Even when he said: “You always agree with your boss, no question about that”, you could tell he was mocking Leung.

Leung’s smile was particularly broad last week when he talked to the Hong Kong media in Peru right after his 45-minute meeting with President Xi Jinping. He even chuckled when a reporter asked him if he was disappointed that Xi did not raise the issue of him seeking a second term as chief executive. Since his face is impossible to read, it’s hard to guess the reasons behind his confident smile. It could be that he interpreted Xi’s body language as a sign that Beijing will back him for a second term. Or it could be that Xi’s body language was so neutral that he had to mask his dismay with a smile.

Either way, Hong Kong reporters were totally naïve to expect any clear signal from Xi during the Peru meeting when Leung was accompanied by his assistants, including the director of the chief executive’s office Edward Yau Tang-wah. How could anyone seriously think Xi would discuss the chief executive election or express support for Leung in a setting like that? Just because former president Jiang Zemin made a point of having a high-profile handshake with Tung Chee-hwa to signal Beijing’s choice as Hong Kong’s first post-colonial chief executive, it doesn’t mean such handshakes carry similar weight nowadays. That was 20 years ago under very different circumstances and a different leader.

It should now be clear to all those not swayed by speculative headlines that Beijing has yet to decide who it prefers as the next chief executive. People also need to understand that opinion polls on who is the most popular among the likely candidates are pointless. It is pointless, for example, to compare Leung with retired judge Woo Kwok-hing or Tsang with Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. Such polls only make sense in a one person, one vote election but no sense in an election decided by an Election Committee of 1,200 people, which is heavily influenced by Beijing.

Recent polls have shown Tsang to be the most popular among Hong Kong people, with Leung and the others trailing far behind. But why do over 60 percent of those polled prefer Tsang to all the others? The answer is very simple. People believe he can heal the divisions in society that they believe Leung caused. They believe he can give them the so-called genuine democracy that Leung failed to give them. They believe he will fight for Hong Kong’s interests whereas Leung sucked up to Beijing instead of standing up to it.

Tsang’s 60 percent support comes mostly from the opposition camp and even from localists because he had said he supports localism in the context of local values. Support from this sector could, in a way, be a kiss of death because it is this very sector that Beijing is wary of. Even if Beijing, through the Election Committee, factors in popularity when deciding who to favor as the next leader, Tsang’s high ratings would quickly dissipate once it becomes apparent that he is no more able to deliver the things that Leung failed to deliver.

The opposition camp has made its bottom line very clear. It wants Beijing to withdraw the so-called White Paper policy document on Hong Kong and the August 31, 2014 political reform framework. It wants true democracy with no screening of chief executive candidates, and it wants self-determination in the context that Beijing controls only defense and foreign affairs.

This bottom line was barely possible when Leung became chief executive in 2012 and it is virtually impossible now with the rise of the independence movement. The opposition made it more impossible by siding with independence advocates Yau Wai-ching and Leung Chung-hang in their fight against being disqualified as legislators.

Let’s suppose the election contest is between Leung and Tsang. It is certain Tsang will be bombarded with questions about whether he will ask Beijing to scrap the August 31 framework and allow genuine democracy, whether he will enact Article 23 national security legislation, and whether he supports self-determination. If he doesn’t give the answers the opposition camp wants to hear, his popularity rating will plummet.

In reality, such a contest will not be about policies but personalities. It doesn’t matter even if Leung is proven as a more capable leader. Leung is loathed but Tsang is liked. That’s all that matters in public opinion polls. The opposition loathes Leung because he faces them down but likes Tsang because he is laid-back and easier to handle. But the question is will Beijing want a chief executive who the opposition embraces as one of its own.

(Bastille Post) December 2, 2016.

Before Secretary of Finance John Tsang traveled to Beijing, rumors about about the Central Government giving the red light to Tsang about the Chief Executive election. But then it was rumored that later that while Beijing does not support Tsang's candidacy, it does not bar him either. Thus, Tsang will resign in mid-December.

I asked about and found out the details of the situation. Earlier, it was said that the Central Government "did not encourage" Tsang but those close to Tsang said that it was a "yellow light" as opposed to the "red light" to stop him. Tsang was all set to go ahead with a "yellow light."

My source said that there is no need to debate whether this was a "red light" or a "yellow light." When Tsang got to Beijing, he met with Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong Macau Affairs Office of the State Council. Wang told him that the Central Government does not support his candidacy. Thus, this is a clear NO. There is no room for further interpretation. It is wrong to say that Beijing does not oppose Tsang's candidacy. Beijing opposes it PERIOD.

(SCMP) November 27, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was publicly abused by a teenager using the “f” word during a sharing session with young people on Saturday.

The young man, surnamed Chan, was among hundreds of secondary school and university students invited to the annual Youth Summit organised by the government’s Commission on Youth.

During the one-hour forum, more than a dozen youngsters were given the chance to ask Leung questions. When Chan was picked by the moderator, he took the opportunity to accuse Leung’s administration of cracking down on young people’s participation in social movements such as the Occupy demonstrations and protests against cross-border parallel traders.

“During the Occupy Central movement, how come the government used tear gas on a group of bare-handed teenagers?” he said. Chan said such a move went against calls by the government for teenagers to participate more in social affairs.

At the end of his question section, Chan suddenly became emotional. “I just can’t resist any more, I am so sorry ...” he said, before shouting the “f” word at the chief executive.

Leung did not directly respond to the swearing, but said cases of police intervention during protests in Hong Kong were much fewer than in other countries. “The situation should not be over-generalised. Hong Kong police have been very restrained,” Leung said. He said he encouraged the city’s young people to use any means to express their ideas – as long as it was legal.

However, when asked by a female student whether he would consider enabling the comments section on his Facebook page to offer a platform for youngsters to voice their views, Leung said he would like to do so “if people could express their opinions rationally”. “Even if they are against me or the SAR government, there is absolutely no problem,” he said.

But the top official said the activities of people on Facebook tended to be “too simple” and therefore had little value. “Even a post of me visiting elderly homes was given thousands of angry faces … I don’t think these kinds of activities have much reference value,” he said.

(Oriental Daily with video) November 27, 2016.

During the Q&A session, a man said that it is a good thing for young people to participate in the Umbrella Movement, but the government suppressed them. The authorities fired tear gas at the demonstrators, and a demonstrator was accused of using her breast to attack the police. The man said: "Fuck your mother" to express his discontent. The workers asked the man to leave. The man left on his own. Leung responded that there are many demonstrations in Hong Kong, but very few of them are stopped by the government.

A male middle-school student said that young people oppose the government because they don't trust the government. He said that legislators don't know how to do screen captures on computers, they don't know how to do live broadcasts and they don't play computer games. However, legislators can vote to pass Internet Article 23!"

A female student said that Leung was deleting comments on his Facebook. She demanded that Leung open up comments again. Leung said that he finds it incomprehensible that photos on his Facebook of a visit to a senior citizen centre should draw several thousand angry faces. Leung said that smooth communication must be held in a civilized and rational manner.

Video transcript: Chan: "And then I wanted to say ... how come the government is not supporting and caring about, but is suppressing instead? Finally I want to say ... I know that I am out of time ... I really cannot hold it back ... I am really sorry ... I fuck your mother!"

(TVB) November 27, 2016.

Chan: "They are oppressing young people, and not caring and supporting. They are oppressing young people. They are not oppressing. For example, like the Umbrella Revolution, a group of unarmed young people were tear-gassed. Finally I really cannot hold back ... I am really sorry ... I fuck your mother!"

Leung: "Hong Kong has a lot of demonstration and marches to express opinions, whether they are outdoors or indoors like our meeting today. It is rare for the government to take the so-called suppression action for the police to control the situation. We absolutely should not be biased about this. The Hong Kong police and the government realizes that traffic is really tight in such a constricted area. The police has been very restrained. I hope that Yu-hin (the speaker) knows this."

Internet comments:

- Whenever something likes this happens to a pro-establishment/pro-China person, the Yellow Ribbon pundits always say that the victim needs to seriously reflect on his failures which led to such verbal/physical attacks.

Whenever something like this happens to a pro-'democracy' person, the Yellow Ribbon pundits say that the police should be called in to the arrest the perpetrator (see, for example, the Shoe Throwing Incident) in order to protect our freedom of speech.

- Mr. Chan asked: “During the Occupy Central movement, how come the government used tear gas on a group of bare-handed teenagers?” Indeed, the whole world saw how the government used tear gas on a group of bare-handed teenagers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfUTqQmF_vU. To date, the government has not been able to provide a reasonable explanation.

Mr. Chan said that the authorities fired tear gas and then accused one demonstrator of using her breast to attack a policeman. This was the case of Ng Lai-ying.

- Actually this is a CHAN SAID LEUNG SAID kind of thing here. We cannot resolve who is right or wrong. We need a neutral referee. Hey, Chris Patten is in town? Let's ask him whether the police can use tear gas against unarmed citizens. P.S. A search for "tear+gas+police" yielded 216,000 results.

- There is no need to respect CY Leung because he doesn't respect the people of Hong Kong.

- I completely agree that if you don't respect others, others should not respect you either. So when the Yellow Ribbons paralyzed Admiralty and Mong Kok, did they respect the people of Hong Kong? When 90% of the people of Hong Kong want them to go away, did they respect this popular will?

- If the Yellow Ribbons want "genuine universal suffrage" and the National People's Congress Standing Committee is standing in the way with the August 31st resolution, then take it up with the NPCSC -- go to Beijing and occupy the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square. Why occupy Mong Kok instead?

- CY Leung doesn't respect the people of Hong Kong? What did he do? Does he say "Fuck your mother" to everyone that he sees?

- It is not that you don't want to listen to what young people want to say. It is just that the stream-of-consciousness rant is incoherent. What was this Chan person trying to say?

- Any Joe can use curse words. But to what purpose? What was this about?

- Any Joe can use curse words. But not all Joe's slur when they speak. So this Joe is especially hard to understand.

- When this generation thinks that something is right or wrong, there can be no IF's, BUT's or OR's. They don't know and they don't care. They just want to have it their way. What is the point of communication if everything is an ULTIMATUM of MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY? If they are incapable of listening, then why should anyone bother to talk to them?

- Mr. Chan probably felt very good after saying "I fuck your mother" to CY Leung. Yes, it was the perfect performance. And then what? If he wants to, he will probably have a good political career as a Legislative Councilor.

- At least this case proves that freedom of expression is alive and well in Hong Kong. But to what purpose?

- It is people like these who elected Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching. What did you expect?

- Why is there so much unhappiness among young people here? Here is the standard litany of reasons:

- I want to travel overseas. In October, I went to Japan. In November, I went to Australia. In December, I want to go to Maldives. But I don't have the money and I don't have any vacation time left. I am so depressed. The government should institute mandatory paid vacations for citizens.

- I am single and I want my own apartment. Why is the waiting list for single-person public housing units so long? I want it now! I don't want to wait!

- I am still using an iPhone 6S. Everybody else has an iPhone 7 already. I feel so out of it! Why doesn't the government have a purchase program for young people?

- I only have two credit cards. Everybody that I know has at least 6. Why aren't the banks giving me more credit cards? The banks should be made to give credit cards to everybody.

- Five years after I graduated from university, I still haven't been able to pay any of my student loans. The government must forgive all outstanding student loans because this is clearly not good for my mental health.

- Everybody I know says that you can get a girl to climb into bed on the first date. Why haven't I been able to do that? I feel miserable. Is there something really wrong with me?

- I am twenty-nine years old. I own nothing significant -- no apartment, no car, no money, no jewelry, no pets. But I do own 59 pairs of special edition athletic shoes. The problem is the most exclusive editions are reserved only for sale in America, Europe and Japan, and our government refuses to do anything about it.

(SCMP) July 7, 2015.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying today dismissed rumours one of his key ministers had got the nod from Beijing to be Hong Kong’s next leader after President Xi Jinping offered an eyebrow-raising handshake to the financial secretary at a key international meeting last month.

Speculation that finance chief John Tsang Chun-wah could be a dark horse for the 2017 chief executive election mounted after Xi approached and wordlessly shook hands with him at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank meeting in Beijing last month, attended by 57 founding member states.

Last month, Tsang laughed off speculation that he was tipped to be the city’s next leader. “The president [Xi] also shook hands with a lot of other people, but those moments were not captured by the television cameras,” Tsang replied when asked if he saw any political signal from Xi’s gesture. But he sidestepped a question about whether he was interested in the top job. Instead, Tsang asked the reporter who posed the question: “Have you asked other people [the same question]?”

(Hong Kong Free Press) September 7, 2016.

Financial Secretary John Tsang has told local media not to look too deeply into his handshake with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Hangzhou. “I think this is a very normal thing,” he said. “I think meeting each other, shaking hands, and making conversation is very normal.” He had previously shaken hands with the Chinese leader last June in Beijing, leading to speculation that Beijing favoured him as the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. “I thanked the president for giving us the chance, inviting us to participate in this conference, and we did not talk about anything else,” said Tsang. He refuted questions over whether they had spoken about the position of Chief Executive.

The speculation stems from historical moments dating back to 1996. Tung Chee-hwa won a handshake from then Chinese president Jiang Zemin while campaigning for Chief Executive elections in January 1996. Tung successfully became the city’s first leader in 1997. After Tung stepped down in 2005, former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen attended a financial forum in Beijing where former president Hu Jintao offered a six-second long handshake.

(SCMP) November 22, 2016.

President Xi Jinping has for the first time sent a “forceful” message to Hong Kong against independence advocacy, urging Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to ensure stability and safeguard national unity.

After their 45-minute meeting on the sidelines on the Apec summit in the Peruvian capital, Leung said on Monday that they did not discuss his possible re-election bid when Hong Kong chooses its leader next March.

Instead, he said Xi was “very concerned” about Hong Kong, but also “very supportive of” the Leung administration’s handling of the row over two pro-independence lawmakers who were disqualified for insulting China while taking their oaths.

“[Xi] fully acknowledged my work and the [government’s] work ... including the recent handling of the Legco oath-taking [controversy],” Leung said.

“Very simply put – and very forcefully – the president said there is no room whatsoever for Hong Kong independence under the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement.”

Professor Lau Siu-kai, a leading Beijing adviser on Hong Kong affairs, said the central government wanted to avoid any room for speculation about its preference for the next chief executive at this critical timing.

“What is noteworthy is that unlike on similar occasions in the past, Xi didn’t give positive comments on Leung’s work before the cameras, and those remarks were only carried in the Xinhua report released subsequently,” Lau said.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that, while fully acknowledging the work of Leung and his government, the president told Leung to lead his team “to continue to implement policies in a comprehensive manner, to build broad social consensus, to focus on boosting economic development and improving the people’s well-being, to safeguard national unity, and to maintain social and political stability”.

Asked if he felt let down that Xi had no made comment on his possible aspirations for a second term as chief executive, Leung replied: “I had no plan to raise any of my personal matters with the president in this meeting today, nor did I expect him to say anything about me standing for re-election or not.”

During the photo opportunity at the start of their meeting in Lima at the hotel where he was staying, the president smiled as he briefly shook hands with Leung.

“It took 20 to 30 hours to fly here, right? It took a total of 27 hours,” Xi said, engaging in small talk with Leung in front of the cameras as the Hong Kong leader compared the difference in travelling time to Lima between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Also watched was the seating arrangement, after Leung’s duty visit to Beijing last year, when Xi sat at the far end of the table with the chief executive on the side to signal the president’s superior status as the head of state. This time the pair sat side by side.

(The Standard) November 21, 2016.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is set to meet President Xi Jinping at 7am today (HK time) during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru. Leung is perceived by many to be seeking reelection in March, though if he does he will likely face challenges from several candidates, including retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

Leung greeted Xi at the airport when the president arrived in Lima on Saturday morning and shook hands with him for 3.5 seconds as they talked and smiled. It was their first handshake since Leung's duty visit to Beijing in December.

Some commentators said the meeting should be closely observed for signals on whether Xi will give his blessing to Leung for a second term in office, although Leung earlier said they will focus on the APEC summit rather than Hong Kong affairs.

There was similar speculation when Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah shook hands with Xi this year and last year. After Tsang shook hands with Xi in the inauguration of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing in June, Leung also greeted Xi at the airport when they attended the APEC meeting in the Philippines.

(Taipei Times) November 22, 2016.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday criticized claims that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) APEC envoy and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) had “met” at the APEC leaders’ summit in Lima, Peru, although it took credit for what it called a “chance encounter.”

KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) told a morning news conference in Taipei that People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) 10-minute conversation with Xi on Saturday was only a chance encounter, nothing like the “formal meetings” that former vice presidents Lien Chan (連戰) and Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) held with Chinese leaders when they attended previous APEC summits as special envoys of the president.

The government should refrain from boasting about the encounter, Hu said.

The lack of a formal meeting between Soong and Xi was due to Tsai’s refusal to acknowledge the so-called “1992 consensus,” a tacit understanding between Beijing and the KMT that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Given that Beijing denied Soong an opportunity to be photographed with Xi and has categorized the pair’s talk as “simple, natural greeting exchanges” rather than a “Soong-Xi meeting,” the PFP founder should not try to “pass off fish eyes for pearls” (魚目混珠), Hu said, using a Chinese idiom meaning to present a fake as something real.

Video:

Formosa English News: Soong and Xi have brief conversation before APEC meeting

Formosa English News: Taiwan's envoy to the APEC leaders' summit in Peru holds meeting with Chinese leader

Formosa English News: Details of APEC envoy James Soong’s encounter with Xi Jinping at APEC summit remain murky

Internet videos:

- Closing ceremony group photo; Peru president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is center of front row, Xi Jinping to his immediate right and Leung Chun-ying to his immediate left. Putin and Obama are in the backrow.

But before attach any significance to the proximity and importance of Xi-Leung, please remember that the arrangement is based upon alphabetical order: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam. As long as APEC has the same 21 Member Economies, China will be the right of the host and Hong Kong to the left of the host in the family photo. In 2008, Hu Jintao to the right and Donald Tsang to the left. So please calm down!

- (Hong Kong Free Press) November 2, 2016.

 Financial Secretary John Tsang has pushed back against rumours that Beijing told him not to run for chief executive. The rumour, written by an anonymous commentator, was first published in pro-Beijing newspaper Sing Tao on Tuesday. Other pro-Beijing newspapers followed suit, saying that after Tsang informed Beijing of his intention to run for Hong Kong’s top job, he received a negative reply. Tsang clarified on Tuesday: “No one has discouraged me [from running].” However, he did not deny or admit to the speculation that he wrote to Beijing indicating his intention to resign and join the race for chief executive.

Veteran commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu told Apple Daily that typically Beijing would not tell a particular contender not to run even if it did not want that person to participate. “If that person becomes bitter and publicises [Beijing’s message], wouldn’t Beijing give the impression that it is directly meddling in Hong Kong’s elections?” Lau said.

(Bastille Post) November 26, 2016.

Over the past couple of days, attention has been drawn once again to John Tsang. It is said that his campaign team is in place, with a former senior government official to serve as the campaign manager.

But once again we are hearing footsteps but somehow nobody actually appears. The key here is the attitude of Beijing. The rumor was that John Tsang had inquired Beijing through a friend in the banking sector. Beijing gave a yellow light, which is neither a red light to oppose or a green light to support. Instead, the yellow light means that Beijing does not encourage John Tsang to enter the race. It is said that John Tsang will go ahead in the presence of yellow light.

This weekend, John Tsang will travel to Beijing to meet with Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It is said that he wanted to inform the Central Government of his intention to resign and enter the election.

According to an informed source, if John Tsang goes to see Wang Guangya, he will be getting the red light instead of a green or yellow light. It is up to John Tsang to decide what to do in the presence of the red light.

This informed source said that no Chief Executive can function without the support of the Central Government. A smart person will know not to proceed against the red light.

- (Kinliu) November 26, 2016.

When John Tsang got a 2.5 second handshake with Xi Jinping, all the pundits proclaimed Tsang to be the next Chief Executive. But now Xi Jinping has met with CY Leung for 45 minutes behind closed doors. All of a sudden, sour grapes are overflowing in the Yellow Ribbon media. If 2.5 seconds makes for an anointment, then what is 45 minutes?

Of course, they can always spin the opposite way -- Xi Jinping spent 45 minutes haranguing CY Leung behind closed doors for failing to do his job! And when CY Leung came out of the meeting seeming to be gloating, it must be because his skin is as thick as dinosaur skin!

(Foreign Correspondents' Club @ YouTube) Christopher Patten - The World After Trump and Brexit. November 25, 2016.

(SCMP) November 25, 2016.

Hong Kong’s last governor has torn into pro-independence activists, saying it would be a tragedy if the “moral high ground” achieved by student leaders in the 2014 Occupy protests was lost because of pro-independence antics.

Chris Patten, who is in the city for a short visit, accused such activists of “diluting support” for democracy in Hong Kong.

However, he also lamented the “slow progress” of democracy since the 1997 handover and suggested the central government should have exercised restraint when considering an interpretation of the Basic Law.

“I still have great admiration for those who campaign for democracy, but not for those whose campaign dilutes support for democracy and makes a mockery of a serious political argument,” he said.

He was speaking amid the ongoing oath-taking saga in the city. On October 12 localist duo Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching pledged allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” and insulted China at a swearing-in ceremony at the Legislative Council. Patten said taking an oath was a serious matter and “not something of a lark”. “In Britain, if you don’t take an oath, you cannot even join a club,” he added.

“It would be dishonest, dishonourable and reckless of somebody like me, to pretend that the case for democracy should be mixed up with an argument about the independence of Hong Kong – something which is not going to happen, something which dilutes support for democracy, and something which has led to all sorts of antics which should not take place in a mature society aiming to be a full democracy.”

In a reference to the Occupy protests, Patten said: “Two years ago, many brave young people in Hong Kong established moral high ground about democracy in governance, and I think it would be a tragedy if that high ground was lost because of a few antics.” Patten also said it would be a “mistake to confuse the way people know the relationship” between their citizenship, freedoms and prosperity “with headline-grabbing remarks about independence”.

Asked what he had to say to young people who supported independence, he replied: “I would far prefer it if Chinese officials were having to discuss an answerable case for greater democracy in Hong Kong, rather than talking about the ... very unwise case of arguing for independence.”

(Financial Times) November 26, 2016.

Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, has lambasted two lawmakers who were recently disqualified for pledging allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation”, arguing that the burgeoning independence movement in the Chinese territory is “completely counter-productive”.

Lord Patten, who is in Hong Kong to give a number of public lectures, told the Financial Times on Friday that taking an oath was a “serious matter” and Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, who were disqualified by a Hong Kong court earlier this month, were wrong to turn it into “a sort of student game”.

More broadly, Lord Patten, who is now chancellor of the University of Oxford, attacked the growing push for independence and self-determination, supporters of which won around 20 per cent of the vote in the legislative council election in September.

“The danger is that they dissipate the enormously strong moral position that they established in 2014 by confusing the argument for a better form of government with the completely counter-productive demands for independence which are bound to provoke a backlash from China,” he said.

He added: “My strong, strong advice is that they should get back to talking about governance and democracy and eschew all this stuff about independence … That is not going to happen and people should recognise the dangers of pretending that it might.”

(Hong Kong Free Press) November 25, 2016.

Chris Patten, the last colonial governor of Hong Kong, has said that the city will not win independence from China and that such a campaign dilutes support for democracy.

“I have great admiration for those who campaign for democracy, but not those whose campaign dilutes support for democracy and makes a mockery of a serious political argument,” he said.

Patten appeared at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on Friday to give a speech on the world after Brexit and election of Donald Trump, but he soon shifted to Hong Kong matters. Patten, who left his leadership post in Hong Kong in 1997, said it was a “bit surprising” that Hong Kong’s democratic progress had not sped up. “It was supposed to take place at a steady rate, but the steady rate seems to be pretty slow.”

He said he supports “sensible” democratic movements in Hong Kong, giving special mention to the Occupy protests of 2014 as a “peaceful and mature campaign for democracy.”

But he referred to his knowledge of the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984, noting that it included a paragraph on China’s national unity and territorial integrity.

“It would be dishonest, dishonourable and reckless of somebody like me to pretend that the case for democracy should be mixed up with an argument about the independence of Hong Kong – something which is not going to happen, something which dilutes support for democracy and something which has led to all sorts of antics which should not take place in a mature society aiming to be a full democracy,” he said.

“I think two years ago many brave young people in Hong Kong established moral high ground about democracy in governance and I think it would be a tragedy if that high ground was lost because of the antics about so-called independence for Hong Kong.”

Patten was firm, saying that pledging allegiance “is a serious business.” “Taking oath isn’t something of a lark,” he said. “You won’t take an oath, you can’t join the club.” Patten is now the chancellor of the Oxford University. He said he took oaths several times as the governor of Hong Kong, as a member of Britain’s parliament, and a member of the House of Lords, among others.

He cited the example of the Sinn Féin party, who would not pledge allegiance to the Queen. They were therefore unable to take their place in parliament. “Simple as that,” said Patten. “And I would guess there are legislatures all over the world which have similar requirements,” he added.

Concluding his speech, he joked that he was “sorry to sound like a headmaster.”

(EJ Insight) Hong Kong’s independence trap. By Chris Patten. December 8, 2016.

Nearly 40 years ago, when I visited Moscow for the first time, my initial reaction was surprise.

The hotels and restaurants were so poorly run that it seemed shocking that the military could be run competently enough to pose a genuine threat to the Soviet Union’s adversaries. Yet we in the West feared the Red Army – and with good reason.

Hong Kong, my favorite city, sends the opposite message.

Its restaurants are run with precision, and it boasts some of the world’s best hotels.

Surely any city that can look after visitors so superbly should have nothing to worry about, except, perhaps, how best to use the proceeds of its competence and entrepreneurial genius.

But, again, things may not be quite what they seem.

Hong Kong’s success partly reflects a fundamental moderation within the culture, a competency and rationality that enables the city – an autonomous Chinese territory – to thrive in a complex context.

But, when I visited Hong Kong last month – my first visit since the momentous but abortive democracy demonstrations of 2014 – people seemed more nervous than they had in some time.

The reason is that a fledgling independence movement is shaking things up in Hong Kong.

It started with characteristically moderate calls for greater democracy.

But menacing noises from China, together with the Hong Kong government’s failure to attempt a sensible dialogue with its critics about governance concerns or economic challenges, have driven many democracy activists to extremism.

This is unwise.

The reality is that Hong Kong is not an incipient nation-state, and it will not become one. China would oppose this idea to the bitter end. It is not a fight Hong Kong would win.

Instead, Hong Kong is a Chinese city with a strong sense of identity as a free, plural, decent, and open society under the rule of law.

This is what democracy activists should be discussing. This is where they are on sound footing and can advance positive goals.

As soon as those activists begin demanding independence, however, they risk splintering their support and losing the moral high ground that they gained with their campaign in 2014.

This plays into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party and its stooges in Hong Kong.

As if demanding independence were not damaging enough to the pro-democracy cause, some independence campaigners are using brash tactics that are guaranteed to backfire.

Most consequential, two young pro-independence campaigners who were elected to the Legislative Council – Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung – chose to make a mockery of their oath of office last September.

Such oaths are common for legislators. In the United Kingdom, for example, you cannot assume your role as an elected representative without taking one.

But Yau and Leung wanted to win publicity for their cause. So they altered the words of the oath; displayed a banner stating that “Hong Kong is not China”; and referred to China using what many consider a slur.

Yau and Leung immediately incurred the wrath of China’s central government.

Although the Hong Kong courts surely could have dealt with the issue themselves – under the “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong is assured an independent court system, in addition to the right to elect its own legislature – an enraged China intervened.

Restraint is not, after all, a Leninist virtue.

In an extraordinary move, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee stepped in to “clarify” Article 104 of the Basic Law, declaring that all oaths taken by office-holders must be “solemn, accurate, complete, and sincere”.

Yau and Leung were barred from taking their seats in the Legislative Council.

To most Hong Kong lawyers, the display of political authority did not represent simply a reinterpretation of old rules, but a move toward making new ones.

And, in fact, Hong Kong’s government is now launching legal challenges against four more legislators – all relatively moderate pro-democracy activists – arguing that their oaths of office were also invalid.

In short, Hong Kong’s democracy may now be more constrained than it was before.

It is depressing to see Hong Kong once more bereft of inclusive leadership and roiled by political grandstanding.

If this situation persists, China’s moves to assert more authority in Hong Kong could well become even more brazen.

That is why it is so important for the people of Hong Kong to ensure that their vision is not clouded by extremism, and to stand up to protect the virtues that comprise their unique identity.

Fortunately, there are many in Hong Kong doing just that.

The legal profession, in particular, continues to show brave leadership in upholding the rule of law, a target of regular criticism by Communist Party officials who either do not understand what it means or know all too well.

Similarly, civil-society organizations such as the Project Citizens Foundation are committed to educating the public on Hong Kong’s rules and rights.

Thanks partly to their efforts, the public tends to be knowledgeable and vigilant about encroachment on Hong Kong’s freedoms, such as the recent abduction of five book publishers by mainland agents.

These are anxious times for Hong Kong. But the problem is not so entrenched that it could not be solved by a bold attempt to forge a consensus between the government and those whom it is supposed to serve.

With enough political will – and level heads – Hong Kong can return to a path leading toward a freer, more open democracy.

Internet comments:

- Historical Laws of Hong Kong Online, (Oaths and Declarations Ordinance) Revised Edition 1986.

19. A member of the Legislative Council shall, as soon as possible after his appointment, or in the case of an elected member after the commencement of his term of office as an elected member, take the Oath of Allegiance or the Legislative Council Oath, which shall be tendered by the Governor, or other member presiding. (Amended, 23 of 1985, s. 3)

Part I [ss. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20] Oath of Allegiance

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law. So help me God.

OR

PART IVA [ss. 16, 19.] Legislative Council Oath

I, swear that I will uphold the law of Hong Kong, and that I will conscientiously and truly serve the people of Hong Kong as a member of the Legislative Council. So help me God.

Well, at least the Legislative Councilors of the colonial era had a choice between two forms of oath. This means that they don't have to swear allegiance to the Queen and her heirs. If this is the case, why can't Hong Kong today have two forms of oath as well?

- (Hong Kong National Party)

The response of our Party to media inquiries about the speech of former governor Chris Patten about Hong Kong independence is as follows.

1. Chris Patten said that "we should return to discuss the issues of governance and democracy instead of Hong Kong independence." The Hong Kong National Party reiterates that if the people of Hong Kong do not have sovereignty, then there cannot be any genuine democracy, and governance will be completely controlled by the Chinese government. The pursuit of independence is the realization of the pursuit of democracy, freedom and human rights. No civilized nation can allow the Fascist tumor of the Communist Party to continue to grow.

2. Youngspiration had never advocated Hong Kong independence, but Patten used "student antics" to describe the actions so of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, linking them with all the supporters of Hong Kong independence, including the Hong Kong localist movements or the entire independence movement. The Hong Kong National Party regrets this biased and incomplete position.

3. Patten has been away from Hong Kong for some years already. Occasionally he makes quick trips or attend public events. But everything about democracy and livelihood has deteriorated in Hong Kong society during these 19 years. In addition, Patten spoke "the loss of the moral high ground achieved in 2014." The Hong Kong National Party believes that even if the people of Hong Kong occupy the moral high ground, they cannot dislodge the objective fact of Chinese colonization. Patten is ignoring how the people of Hong Kong are being oppressed under colonialism.

4. The role of China today is like that of Nazi Germany. The people of Hong Kong have moral reasons to break away from authoritarianism. Anti-colonialism is the consensus of all civilized societies in the 21st century. The Hong Kong National Party respects the fact that Patten defended Hong Kong democracy against the Chinese government. If Patten cares about the development of democracy in Hong Kong, he should tell the international community about the colonialism practiced by China in Hong Kong. He should not repeat the historical policy of appeasement.

- Chris Patten has been away from Hong Kong for such a long time that he now knows absolutely nothing about the situation in Hong Kong. He should have cited the Joint Sino-British Declaration to criticize China. Instead, he blamed the resisters. He should scram back to England!

- The way that I read the subliminal message beneath Chris Patten's speech is that Hong Kong is ungovernable under China, so the most practical solution is for China to return Hong Kong to the United Kingdom in order to rebuild an independent Hong Kong Nation.

- I completely agree. It doesn't matter what Patten actually said. I didn't listen and I don't care either. I only know that this has to be the conclusion.

- This is the first time that I was disappointed in Chris Patten. He is now on the enemies' list for me.

- Chris Patten is a one-thousand year sinner against the cause of Hong Kong independence.

- Since Chris Patten was opposed to Brexit, it is not surprising that he does not like Hong Kong independence.

- Chris Patten is an ugly fat bumbling slob who is losing his hair. He should vanish from sight forever.

- Since Chris Patten was opposed to Scottish independence, it is not surprising that he does not like independence.

- Chris Patten is a product that is past its expiry date. He spouts freedom, democracy and human rights all the time, but all he wants is to connive some favors from the Commies. By attacking the two pro-democracy legislators, Patten has shown that he is a fifty-cent ganger.

-  Chris Patten's speech has created plenty of glass shards on the floor as so many fragile glass hearts have been broken. At all the demonstrations, there are always people who show up with the Union Jack on behalf of Hong Kong independence, because they saw independence being achieved in two steps: (1) China hands sovereignty back to the United Kingdom; (2) the United Kingdom will determine how to implement democracy in Hong Kong, either as an independent nation or as part of the United Kingdom.

But how Chris Patten has broken their hearts.

- Chris Patten says that the Oath of Allegiance is a serious matter for the Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Here are some 'antics': Richard Burgon (Labour Party MP) in 2015; Dennis Skinner (Labour Party, MP) in 2010.

- Hong Kong independence is impossible, but Cantonese independence is certainly feasible. The Grand Cantonese Nation (including Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong, Guangxi) is unified by a common language (Cantonese) and they form a huge self-sufficient economic bloc of more than 100 million people with complete infrastructure in place already. The Grand Cantonese Nation can formed a South China Economic Co-Prosperity Sphere with Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines without having to include those backward-thinking northern Chinese.

- What Grand Cantonese Nation? Thanks to Deng Xiao-ping, these uneducated and unskilled natives were able to prosper from the rent collected from their lands.

 - Chris Patten brilliantly touched on the central issue: "Hong Kong independence is diluting the democratic forces." This is exactly what the Communist plot is about -- using the independence talk to stop democracy in Hong Kong. And the whole oath debacle was directed and carried out by CY Leung.

- If CY Leung hadn't talk about Hong Kong independence, it would never have happened. Now that CY Leung has done it, we the people of Hong Kong have no choice but to forge ahead. There is no room to reverse course anymore. We live free or we die!

- Oh, hell, Chris Patten is saying all this today because he has to defend the interests of British businesses in Hong Kong as well as China. The United Kingdom gets nothing from democracy in Hong Kong.

- If Chris Patten was genuinely concerned about the people of Hong Kong, he should get the British government to change the status of all BNO passport holders to full British citizen status with right of abode. But, of course, he won't do that.

- Three messages in Chris Patten speech: (1) 2014 Occupy Central was moral high point; (2) Hong Kong independence is hopeless; (3) No comment on CY Leung and his government.

Here is what it all adds up to: Chris Patten is making this trip to Hong Kong in order to help the traditional pan-democrats.

Firstly, these people nominally supported 2014 Occupy Central. Patten is here to remind people of their moral superiority.

Secondly, they have been losing votes to pro-independence/self-determination localists. Patten is here to slap down the localists.

Thirdly Patten is here is to unify the traditional pan-democrats. Now everyone of them have their pet issues (such as minimum wage, maximum working hours, universal pension, public housing, environmental protection, etc) but there is one issue that will unite all of them: ABC (Anyone But CY Leung). That is why Patten timed his visit to just before the formation of the Election Committee and the Chief Executive election season.

- (1) is absurd. The British cops would have removed any Occupy demonstrators if they threaten to occupy central London for 79 days. For example, (YouTube) London police violently suppressed students demonstrating against tuition fee hikes. Who has moral superiority?

- The reason why the localist/independence forces have been getting so much publicity is that the traditional pan-democrats refuse to denounce them loudly and openly in the manner of Chris Patten. Therefore, the Fat Man is here to show them how. But if a reporter were to ask the traditional pan-democrats for comments on this part of Patten's speech, they will continue to duck.

- (TVB) Chris Patten said that a government must put the citizens in the core, and the Joint Sino-British Declaration guarantees the freedoms, rights and duties of the citizens.

Eh, a 'treaty' is not going to guarantee anything. If treaties are binding, then we should still be enforcing the terms of the Treaty of Nanking. It is the Constitution that guarantees your freedoms, right and duties. In the case of Hong Kong, it is the Basic Law.

- (Apple Daily) November 26, 2016. With respect to Chris Patten characterizing Leung-Yau actions as "student antics" and insisting that Hong Kong democracy must not be mixed up with independence, Leung Chung-hang said that he respects Patten's persons position. Leung said that since the implementation of Basic Law is less than perfect, then the United Kingdom as the party which negotiated with China has the moral obligation to intervene. "In 2016, the people of Hong Kong ran into many difficulties with the implementation of the Joint Sino-British Declaration without any solution. As one side of the contract, shouldn't the United Kingdom have the moral duty to deal with this?"

- The slogans always say "Hong Kong people should determine their futures themselves" and "Hong Kong issues matters should be resolved by Hong Kong people." Great! But when the going gets tough, the proponents of self-determination/independence run to foreign countries for help. What gives?

- Leung Chung-hand said that about 20% of the votes went to self-determination/independence candidates in the September 2016 Legco elections. The problem right now is that their voices in parliament -- namely, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching -- are being silenced. Therefore Chris Patten must do something about this on account of moral duty.

When you hear this, your immediate question will be: Where did this 20% come from? After all, Leung Chung-hang got 7% of the votes in New Territories East and Yau Wai-ching got 6% of the votes in Kowloon West. Leung will tell you that the 20% refers to the total votes for self-determination/independence candidates, and he is going to enumerate how legislators such as Chu Hoi Dick, Lau Siu-lai, Yiu Chung-yim, Cheung Chung-tai, Nathan Law, etc have also expressed such opinions and taken such actions.

At this point, we know for certain that Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching must be Chinese Communist moles. Not only do they want to lose their two Legco seats, they also want to bring the entire bloc down!


Yau Wai-ching writes letter to President Tsai: Pay attention to the issue of sovereignty of New Territories (in Hong Kong)
Liberty Times

To Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China

The People's Republic of China (the government of the Republic of China on mainland China) declared its so-called "Interpretation" on November 7, 2016. Objectively, this was the same was an "law amendment" which severely interferes with Hong Kong self-rule. Without going through the scrutiny of the Hong Kong legislative apparatus, the Chinese Communists have "amended" the local Hong Kong ordinances. This clearly contravenes the Joint Sino-British Declaration made by the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

With respect to his violent interference of the People's Republic of China in judicial independence and self-rule in Hong Kong, I and my party have written to the United Kingdom government. The Chinese Communists have broken Hong Kong Basic Law Articles 22 and 158, which stipulates that they can only interpret concerning affairs which are the responsibility of the Central People's Government, or concerning the relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This recent Interpretation by the People's Republic of China has clearly violated that stipulations of the Basic Law, broken the relevant articles in the Joint Sino-British Declaration and possibly nullified the Joint Sino-British Declaration. That Declaration was a bilateral treaty entered into by the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China, and therefore must follow the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. At present both nations are still signatories of the Convention. So if the People's Republic of China were to reject what the United Kingdom has to say about what happened in Hong Kong, they will have violated the terms of the Joint Sino-British Declaration. Based up on Article 66 of the Vienna Convention, the United Kingdom can seek arbitration at the International Court of Justice on the validity of the Joint Sino-British Declaration and consider reverting the position of Hong Kong's sovereignty back to the status on June 30, 1997.

Under the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (south of Boundary Street) were ceded by the Qing Nation to the United Kingdom in perpetuity. The United Kingdom leased the New Territories from the Qing Nation for 99 years. Therefore the Joint Sino-British Declaration can only cover the issue of sovereignty for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon but not for the New Territories. It is controversial for the Joint Sino-British Declaration to lump the New Territories together with Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. At this time, the People's Republic of China has broken the Joint Sino-British Declaration, which is the sole basis for the Chinese Communist to claim "ownership" of sovereignty in Hong Kong. In addition, the lease for the New Territories ended in 1997. Since then the People's Republic of China has taken illegal possession of the New Territories for 19 years. I hope that President Tsai will become seriously concerned about the sovereignty of the New Territories.

On June 9, 1898, 56 years after Hong Kong Island was ceded by the Qing Nation, the British government and the Qing government in Beijing signed the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories to lead the territory from the north of Boundary Street to south of the Shenzhen River, along with 233 nearby islands for a period of 99 years until June 30, 1997. If the Joint Sino-British Declaration is no longer valid, the Republic of China still retains one of the three treaties concerning the sovereignty of Hong Kong. The Republic of China should make an official position about its view of the place of New Territories within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China. For example, what is the difference between the sovereignty of Hong Kong Island/Kowloon and that of the New Territories? Will President Tsai enter into negotiations with the British government as a result?

I recommend that President Tsai examine this issue and state your position in order to clarify confusions. I request that President Tsai provide me with updates on this matter.

Yau Wai China
Representative of public opinion in Hong Kong as elected legally by democratic election.
November 21, 2016.

(SCMP) November 23, 2016.

Disqualified pro-independence lawmaker Yau Wai-ching apologised for causing a misunderstanding after a Taiwanese newspaper published her proposed letter to Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to call her attention to the recent political turmoil in Hong Kong.

The city’s constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen also weighed in on the matter on Wednesday, saying that “no foreign country, official or authorities from other places should interfere with Hong Kong’s internal affairs”.

Yau wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday that she had planned to write to Tsai over the recent interpretation of the Basic Law initiated by Beijing, but the letter published by Chinese-language daily Liberty Times was just a draft that had already been rejected. It is understood that it had been turned down by Yau’s party, Youngspiration.

The drama over the letter fuels Hong Kong’s ongoing oath-taking controversy, which will see Yau and fellow localist Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang in court on Thursday to appeal against the ruling that barred them from the Legislative Council. The High Court ruled earlier this month that the duo should be disqualified as they had “declined” to take their oaths by pledging allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation” and insulting the country at their swearing-in ceremony on October 12.

Yau argued in the draft letter that the sovereignty of the New Territories did not belong to the mainland according to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which should deal only with the sovereignty of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

That was because the New Territories became part of the British colony of Hong Kong only after London and the Qing empire signed a lease in 1898, which was supposed to expire in 1997. Since the Qing empire was overthrown in 1911, and the lease – together with two treaties concerning the cession of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon – are now kept by Taiwan authorities, Taipei should explain its stance on the “constitutional status” of the New Territories, Yau urged.

She said the New Territories had been “stolen by China for 19 years” after it resumed sovereignty over the city in 1997. Yau also argued that Tsai, who is the leader of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, should show concern over the sovereignty of the New Territories and declare her position on the issue because there were questions over the validity of the Sino-British Joint Declaration after China’s top legislative body issued its interpretation of the Basic Law on November 7.

The ruling, which stated that lawmakers who refused to take their oaths “sincerely” would be disqualified, was described by Yau as an “obvious breach of articles in the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration”.

In Articles 1 and 2 of the Declaration, Beijing declared that “to recover the Hong Kong area (including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, hereinafter referred to as Hong Kong) is the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people”, and London declared that it would “restore Hong Kong” to China on July 1, 1997. Basic Law Article 1 states that Hong Kong is “an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China”.

On Tuesday night, Yau said on her Facebook page that the version of the letter published by the newspaper was just one of the drafts of a letter for Tsai on the recent interpretation of the Basic Law and the “collapse of ‘one country, two systems’,” and that the draft had been rejected. She did not explain how it then appeared in the newspaper.

“I apologise if I have created [any] misunderstanding for the Liberty Times and the public. I reiterate that I attach great importance to my relationship with Taiwan and would not act recklessly.”

Asked about the letter, a spokesman for Taiwan’s presidential office said: “Hong Kong people wanted reform and a choice on the life and system they want. The Chinese government should respond positively and conduct dialogues with patience.”

Yau said last week she had written to London to complain about Beijing’s “meddling” in the former British colony’s affairs.

Beijing-owned Global Times reported on Wednesday that “Taiwan’s presidential office said Yau’s letter would be handled by Taipei’s Mainland Affairs Council”. The tabloid also quoted Shenzhen University’s Hong Kong affairs expert Zhang Dinghuai as saying: “Yau was simply trying to get Taiwan independence forces to back Hong Kong independence and to get media attention. She will not succeed because Hong Kong people will not support such a naïve and laughable cause.”

(SpeakoutHK @ YouTube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6_DbH__6SU

Internet comments:

- Here are the relevant 'treaties':

The Treaty of Nanking or Nanjing was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–42) between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty of China on 29 August 1842. The Qing government agreed to make Hong Kong Island a crown colony, ceding it to the British Queen "in perpetuity", to provide British traders with a harbor where they could unload their goods (the most important of which was opium). A copy of the treaty is kept by the British government while another copy is kept at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The Convention of Peking is an agreement comprising three distinct treaties concluded between the Qing Nation and the United Kingdom, France, and Russia in 1860. Article 6 of the Convention between China and the United Kingdom stipulated that China was to cede the part of Kowloon Peninsula south of present-day Boundary Street, Kowloon, and Hong Kong (including Stonecutters Island) in perpetuity to Britain. The original copy of the Convention is now kept in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories was an unequal treaty signed between Qing China and the United Kingdom in 1898. Under the convention, the territories north of what is now Boundary Street and south of the Sham Chun River, and the surrounding islands, later known as the "New Territories", were leased to the United Kingdom for 99 years rent-free, expiring on 30 June 1997, and became part of the crown colony of Hong Kong. The original copy of the Convention is now kept in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

These are not treaties in the sense of the normal bilateral agreements between nations. These are Unequal Treaties:

Historian Immanuel Hsu explained that the Chinese viewed the treaties they signed with Western powers as unequal "because they were not negotiated by nations treating each other as equals but were imposed on China after a war, and because they encroached upon China's sovereign rights ... which reduced her to semicolonial status". In many cases, China was effectively forced to pay large amounts of reparations, open up ports for trade, cede or lease territories (such as Outer Manchuria and Outer Northwest China to Russian Empire, Hong Kong to Great Britain and Macau to Portugal), and make various other concessions of sovereignty to foreign "spheres of influence", following military defeats.

After World War I, patriotic consciousness in China focused on the treaties, which now became widely known as "unequal treaties". The Nationalist Party and the Communist Party competed to convince the public that their approach would be more effective. Germany was forced to terminate its rights, the Soviet Union ostentatiously surrendered them, and the United States organized the Washington Conference to negotiate them. After Chiang Kai-shek declared a new national government in 1927, the western powers quickly offered diplomatic recognition. The new government declared to the Great Powers that China had been exploited for decades under unequal treaties, and that the time for such treaties was over, demanding they renegotiate all of them on equal terms. Most of China's unequal treaties were abrogated during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The United States Congress ended American extraterritoriality in December 1943. A significant example of unequal treaties with China did outlast World War II: unequal treaties regarding Hong Kong remained in place until Hong Kong's 1997 handover.

This explains why the United Kingdom had no negotiating power in the 1980's over the handover of Hong Kong back to the People's Republic of China. All civilized nations had surrendered decades ago any gains from the unequal treaties with the Qing dynasty. So how was the United Kingdom going to cling on to the spoils from the Opium Wars? That would be morally execrable!

- Is the Joint Sino-British Declaration a treaty between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China? Will the United Nations intercede to insure that the Joint Declaration has been implemented?

(info.gov.hk) December 17, 2014.

Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that "[e]very treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it". The Joint Declaration was registered with the United Nations in order to fulfil the obligation under Article 102 of the Charter. According to the Treaty Handbook prepared by the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat of the United Nations, where an instrument is registered under Article 102 of the Charter, this does not imply a judgement by the United Nations on the nature of the registered instrument, the status of a party, or any similar questions. As such, it certainly does not imply that the United Nations can "monitor" the implementation of a particular instrument on the basis of its registration by the relevant State.

Moreover, Hong Kong affairs are, in the words of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the press briefing on 30 September this year, a "domestic matter". Article 2(7) of the Charter provides that "nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter".

Under the principle of sovereign equality of States as stipulated in Article 2(1) of the Charter, no State shall interfere in the internal affairs of another. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations in Resolution 2625 of the General Assembly (1970) stipulates that "[n]o State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason, whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State", and "[e]very State has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State". The Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States in Resolution 36/103 of the General Assembly (1981) also provides for "[t]he sovereign and inalienable right of a State freely to determine its own political, economic, cultural and social systems, in accordance with the will of its people, without outside intervention, interference, subversion, coercion or threat in any form whatsoever". Non-interference in each other's internal affairs is a basic norm of international relations and a fundamental principle of international law.

- And Article 102(2) of the Charter of the United Nations says: "No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations." That means the United Nations, the European Union, the Republic of China, Tsai Ing-wen, Yau Wai-ching and whoever else cannot bring the subject up before the United Nations.

- At her Hong Kong Legislative Council oath of office, Yau Wai-ching produced a "Hong Kong Is Not China" banner.

But in her letter to Republic of China President Tsai Ing-wen, she seems to agree that China indeed has sovereignty over Hong Kong. Under the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom. In theory, the United Kingdom has permanent ownership and they can do whatever they want. But in 1997, the United Kingdom chose to hand sovereignty of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon to the People's Republic of China.

Under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories, New Territories was leased (but not ceded) by the Qing Dynasty to the United Kingdom for 99 years (1898-1997). At the end of the lease term, the United Kingdom returned New Territories back to the People's Republic of China.

What Yau Wai-ching wants Tsai Ing-wen to do is to produce the original copy of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories from the National Palace Museum in Taipei and claim to be the true owner of New Territories!

- In the 1980's the United Kingdom realized that the status of Hong Kong cannot continue indefinitely. The lease for New Territories was due to terminate. So they entered negotiations. But with whom?

On any matter related to "China", United Nations Resolution 2758 says that the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations. Who else could the United Kingdom negotiate with?

Owning the original copy of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories does not make you the owner if you are not the recognized state entity. The owner is the lawful representatives of China.

- Yau Wai-ching knows that success cannot be achieved by a handful of valiant pro-independence warriors. So she has to get powerful nations to do this. But in realpolitik, the question is: What is in it for me?

Let us suppose that the United Kingdom determines that the People's Republic of China has violated the terms of the 'treaty' known as the Joint Sino-British Declaration and went to the International Court of Justice to obtain a ruling that the status of Hong Kong be returned to that on June 30, 1997: to wit, a British colony.

Guess what? They will find the place completely ungovernable. They will own all the unsolvable problems with none of the previous benefits. There will be demonstrations every day, ranging from pro-independence Youngspiration demonstrations led by the selfsame Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching to pro-unification demonstrations led by Anna Chan and Voice of Loving Hong Kong to pro-agriculture/anti-development demonstrations led by Chu Hoi Dick to pro-unlicensed vendors demonstrations led by Lau Siu-lai to pro-"genuine universal suffrage" demonstrations led by the Civic Human Rights Front. What will they do? Send out the police and apply tear gas to disperse the crowds?

So it will be a quick exit for the born-again colonialists in the form of "democratic elections" with "genuine universal suffrage with one-person-one-vote and civil nomination." Whoever wins the election to form the next government will find Hong Kong to be completely ungovernable. They will own all the unsolvable problems, and they will want the United Kingdom to deal with the mess that was left behind.

So why would the United Kingdom be interested?

Let us suppose that the Republic of China (Taiwan) determines that they are the true owners of New Territories as suggested by Yau Wai-ching. So they produce the original copy of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territories and file for ownership at the International Court of Justice. Guess what? Only States (members of the United Nations) may be parties to contentious cases, and the Republic of China is not a member of the United Nations. Furthermore the Court is competent to entertain a dispute in this situation only if "the States have entered into a special agreement to submit the dispute to the Court." Why would either the United Kingdom or the People's Republic of China agree?

The problem with Taiwan is not even about any international issues. It is about domestic politics, especially since the honeymoon period is over for President Tsai. Hey, if Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party want to count on the support of pro-independence elements in Taiwan, then joining the fray with the standing as the Republic of China over the status of Hong Kong is out of the question. Their slogan is "Taiwan is not China". They may even give a friendly shout of "Hong Kong is not China" in order to irk China. But they won't stick their necks out for Hong Kong because "Hong Kong is not Taiwan" either.

- Actually, it is an intriguing "What If" exercise if we go through with the Republic of China getting the International Court of Justice to grant sovereignty for New Territories. When that happens, New Territories belongs to the Republic of China. The border with Shenzhen stays as is. But Boundary Street becomes the border once more as fences are set up between Kowloon and New Territories. The 3.6 million people who live in the New Territories become Republic of China citizens. Everybody who lives on the one side of the border will need a visa in order to travel to the other side.

- For example, a Hong Kong Islander will need a visa to attend the Jockey Club races in Sha Tin. You cannot walk across the street. You have to go through security screening, immigration control and customs inspection every time.

The Hong Kong International Airport is located in the New Territories, which means that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will no longer have its own airport.

The High Speed Rail from China will stop in Shenzhen, the passengers will exit China and clear ROC customs to enter New Territories, they will re-embark the train, they will disembark at Boundary Street, they will exit ROC and clear Hong Kong customs, they will re-embark the train which will deposit them at the Kowloon Terminal.

The Republic of China government will now have to deal with the 'country squires' (=indigenous inhabitants) and their inherited land rights as guaranteed by Basic Law Article 40. Undoubtedly they will think initially that they can just take those rights away, but they get their sorry asses handed back to them.

The residents of New Territories are now ROC citizens and therefore must perform compulsory military service under the Military Services Act as well as Article 20 of the ROC Constitution ("The people shall have the duty of performing military service in accordance with law").

Will Hong Kong schools continue to be taught in Cantonese? Or do they have to be taught in Mandarin in order to maintain a single standard for the Republic of China? After screaming all these years against education that includes putonghua and national history, what will the Localists now say?

New Territories is basically a large bedroom community. Four of the pillars of the Hong Kong economy -- finance, tourism, retail and service -- are located in Hong Kong Island/Kowloon. New Territories has the Hong Kong International Airport and Disneyland in Lamma Island and the container port facilities in Kwai Chung. But there are similar or better facilities in Shenzhen already. This means ROC citizens in New Territories will have to apply for work permits in order to keep their jobs in Hong Kong Island/Kowloon. Many more ROC citizens in Taiwan will want to move to the New Territories because of the relatively higher wages.

- Of course, the whole idea is that Taiwan should pay the price to fight for the separation of New Territories from the Republic of China. After that happens, the people of Hong Kong will fight to separate from Taiwan to form the Hong Kong Nation. There is no intention of ever becoming part of Taiwan.

- About those 'country squires', they are not going to like being handed over without ensuring that their rights are protected.

(Wikipedia) New Territories

Before the handover of New Territories to Great Britain in early April of 1899, Captain Superintendent of Police, Francis Henry May and some policemen erected a flagstaff and temporary headquarters at Tai Po and posted the Governor's proclamation of the takeover date. Fearing for their traditional land rights, in the Six-Day War of 1899, a number of clans attempted to resist the British, mobilising clan militias that had been organised and armed to protect against longshore raids by pirates. The militia men attempted a frontal attack against the temporary police station in Tai Po that was main British base but were beaten back by superior force of arms. An attempt by the clansmen at guerilla warfare was put down by the British near Lam Tsuen with over 500 men Chinese killed, and collapsed when British artillery was brought to bear on the walled villages of the clansmen. Most prominent of the villages in the resistance Kat Hing Wai, of the Tang clan, was symbolically disarmed, by having its main gates dismounted and removed. However, in order to prevent future resistance, the British made concessions to the indigenous inhabitants with regards to land use, land inheritance and marriage laws; the majority of which remained in place into the 1960s when polygyny was outlawed. Some of the concessions with regard to land use and inheritance remain in place in Hong Kong to this day and is a source of friction between indigenous inhabitants and other Hong Kong residents.

- Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party responded to the unsent letter at 23:20 that night.

In essence, the DPP says: "It is bad to have family squabbles, so your family should learn to get along and live long and prosperous lives. In any case, your family affairs are none of my business."

- Someone who wants Hong Kong independence/self-determination is actively soliciting the Republic of China to claim sovereignty over Hong Kong?

- The Republic of China does not even have sovereignty over Taiwan. How can they make claims for the New Territories in Hong Kong?

- Yau Wai-ching is setting up Tsai Ing-wen to fail. If the Taiwan government proceeds to claim sovereignty over New Territories, then the Democratic Progressive Party is acting as a pro-Unification/One China party just like the KMT. If the Taiwan government proceeds to declare that Taiwan is Taiwan and they have nothing to do with China (including Hong Kong), then this is a declaration of Taiwan independence. So the only option for Tsai is the current one: The matter has been handed over to the Mainland Affairs Council to study. Since Yau has disavowed the letter, this matter no longer needs to be addressed.

- Plausible deniability:

\

Yau Wai-ching's Facebook:

My response to the report in Liberty Times about my letter to President Tsai Ing-wen:
1. I did consider sending a letter to President Tsai in the hope that she can pay attention to the recent Interpretation affair in Hong Kong and the collapse of One Country Two Systems in Hong Kong.
2. At first, I wanted to bring out the issue of the future of Hong Kong in 2047 in order give the people of Hong Kong more ideas
3. The version published in Liberty Times was one of the draft versions, but it has been rejected.
4. I realized that there was a misunderstanding this afternoon and I have called to put a stop to it.
5. I apologize if this caused any misunderstanding at Liberty Times and with the mass of citizens.
6. I re-emphasize that I place great importance in the relationship with Taiwan and I will not act rashly.

- Yau Wai-ching's 'advisor' Lam Ho-ki was asked: "One of your suggestions?" about the letter. He responded: "None of my business." However, Lam praised Yau as being a brilliant thinker who is way ahead of other Hongkongers. BWAHHHHHHH!

- It is standard operation procedure for Youngspiration to do something and disavow it afterwards as if it had never happened. But this time they blew Liberty Times up as collateral damage.

- Dear Ms. Yau, what the fuck are you up to? I don't mind if you don't have a timetable for Hong Kong independence. I don't mind if you don't have a roadmap for Hong Kong independence. I don't mind if you leave a mess behind you for us to clean up. But why the fuck do you want to mess with Taiwan? If Tsai Ing-wen doesn't respond, Hong Kong would look fucking useless. If Tsai Ing-wen does respond, why can she really do for Hong Kong independence? For God's sake, don't make this a big story in Liberty Times in order that the people of Taiwan can say, "What the fuck are the problems of the people of Hong Kong to us?" We end up fucking worse than ever. #please_fucking_stop.

- Yau Wai-ching apologized to Liberty Times. If Liberty Times had obtained and published the letter without authorization, Yau Wai-ching should be suing them. So if she apologizes, it means that she (or someone in her circle) gave the 'draft' letter to Liberty Times for publication. Originally Yau Wai-ching was supposed to discuss this letter at 5pm via Facebook live coverage, but she canceled that event and issued the disavowal at 8pm. So there must have been internal dissension at Youngspiration to cause the letter be rescinded.

- What was the dissension about? The published letter focused on the sovereignty of the Republic of China over New Territories. The disavowal said that the original intention was to deal with the issue of the future of Hong Kong in 2047. This means that the opposing opinion within Youngspiration is that Republic of China sovereignty is dead-on-arrival.

- Yau Wai-ching is advocating separatism. If she wanted Hong Kong to be free of China before, now she wants New Territories to be free of Hong Kong. Of course, the Localists will react negatively to this destruction of territorial integrity of the Hong Kong Nation by handing half the population to an alien putonghua/minnan/hakka-speaking outside authority.

- The most appealing idea behind Hong Kong independence is self-determination -- the people of Hong Kong should be their own boss and decide what they want for themselves. Therefore, this letter is a cardinal sin, because the unelected Yau Wai-ching wants to cut a private deal with the President of the Republic of China to determine the future of the 3.6 million New Territories residents, without consulting them or holding a referendum.

- If you hold a referendum on the future of New Territories, what are the choices?

1. New Territories is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

2(a). New Territories is part of the People's Republic of China under One Country One System

2(b). New Territories is part of the People's Republic of China under One Country Two Systems

3(a). New Territories is part of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under One Country One System

3(b) New Territories is part of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under One Country Two Systems

My guess is that the distribution of votes among New Territories citizens will be:

1. 2%
2(a). 5%
2(b). 90%
3(a). 0%
3(b). 3%.

- Who gets to vote to decide the future of New Territories? Those who reside in the New Territories obviously should be able to determine their own future. But what about those who live in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon? They have families, properties, businesses and other ties in New Territories, and they should be considered stakeholders. But, alas, this cannot be. Because if you let the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon residents votes, it means that some day you will have to let the 1.4 billion people in mainland Chinese vote on the future of Hong Kong. We cannot allow that, so we must sacrifice the interests of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon residents at this time. Sorry, but that's life.

- Why did the United Kingdom have to agree to hand Hong Kong back over to the People's Repubilc of China? Couldn't they just hand the leased New Territories back while keeping the perpetually ceded Hong Kong Island and Kowloon?

For one thing, Hong Kong's shipping ports (airports and port facilities), reservoirs and other vital installations are located in New Territories. More importantly, it would have been impossible to accommodate those New Territories residents moving to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon before the handover takes effect.

- (Bastille Post) When it came to "6. I re-emphasize that I place great importance in the relationship with Taiwan and I will not act rashly", the immediate reaction is that Tsai Ing-wen is indeed the big boss behind the Localist movement in Hong Kong! This was a pledge of fealty!

- Wan Chin: When the young people of Hong Kong travel to Taiwan and get asked about what Yau Wai-ching did to Liberty Times, they will be extremely embarrassed. As for myself, I can only say: "The people of Hong Kong really let the people of Taiwan down."

- The likely response from Yau Wai-ching:

- Fuck! How the fuck could Liberty Times print a draft letter unless someone in Yau's circle sent them a copy!? Obviously, they panicked after they saw the adverse reaction and decided to control the damage by disavowal.

- Same old song: (Harbour Times) August 23, 2016.

Last week, Youngspiration spokesperson Kenny Wong Chun-kit allegedly leaked Youngspiration’s plan to invite Taiwanese separatist group New Power Party (時代力量) to Hong Kong to Local Press, a localist news outlet in Hong Kong. After Local Press published the interview, Wong denied the plan and accused Local Press of releasing false information. Wong’s reaction was frowned upon by Local Press’s readership, whereas disappointment soon escalated to online outrage, forcing Wong to apologise and resign as Youngspiration’s spokesperson.

- In 2016, we saw the destructiveness of moles. Thus, Youngspiration managed to destroy the entire Localist movement in just a matter of months. During the Legislative Council elections, they worked with Operation ThunderGo to splinter the localists movement into Youngspiration/Hong Kong Indigenous versus Civic Passion/Proletariat Political Institute/Hong Kong Resurgence Order. During the oath of office, they managed to offend the entire Chinese population in the world, weakened rule-of-law, diminished the stature of the Legislative Council and gave up their two Legco seats. Are they going to disappear into the sunset after accomplishing their mission? No, they want to destroy relationships among the worldwide independence movements as well!

- Youngspiration cannot be so naive to think that they have a breakthrough here. But media exposure is decreasing after losing the two Legco seats, so they need some gimmicks. If President Tsai acted on their suggestion and face a powerful response from China (such as the cessation of all trade and travel), they will have achieved immortal fame.

- If we give them the $5,000,000 that they want, will they really promise to go away? Please. Pretty please.

- (SCMP) Spies and conspirators? Beijing needs neither to crush Hong Kong independence. By Michael Chugani. November 22, 2016.

It all began two years ago. Conspirators plotted a script so ingenious it was the stuff of Hollywood. Double agents, deceit, you name it, the plot had it. Every move was so masterful that no one suspected anything until it was too late.

As co-conspirator, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was tasked with putting the plot into play. He used his January 2015 policy speech to attack an obscure student magazine for advocating independence. His aim was not to stifle the voice of independence but to deviously stoke it so he could crack down hard to prove himself as a strong leader Beijing should trust for another term.

As chief conspirator, Beijing bankrolled Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration who posed as champions of independence to win Legislative Council seats. They played their parts perfectly by using their oath-taking to insult China, giving Beijing an excuse to smack the independence movement. It did that with a Machiavellian touch by interpreting the Basic Law in a way that not only excludes independence supporters from the Legislative Council, but also achieves its ulterior aim to dilute one “country, two systems” and Hong Kong’s judicial autonomy.

Who knows? The Youngspiration pair may indeed be gifted actors paid to provide Beijing with a pretext to crack down. I find it far-fetched because the plot is full of holes. But you’d be surprised how many Hongkongers believe this tale of double agents.

Opposition leaders claim Leung Chun-ying fomented, then acted tough against the independence movement to impress Beijing. Surely, if they can see through such a scheme, so can Beijing. And why would Leung need such an elaborate scheme to impress Beijing if he was in on the plot?

Do you really think Beijing needs to go to such lengths to tighten its grip on Hong Kong? We should know by now that if Beijing wanted to clench its fist, it would without hiring double agents to provide a pretext. It shoved a restrictive political reform framework down our throats, interpreted the Basic Law several times, and stood up to the Occupy protest without having to create excuses.

If Leung and Yau are really props, would Beijing give them such free rein? Their youth alone suggests they can’t be trained spies. That would make them risky double agents who could be easily pressured to spill the beans. Is Beijing really that stupid?

- When everything that you touch turns into dust or rust, you either have very bad luck or else you are a saboteur or else you are truly incompetent. Take your pick.

(Tom Cotton, Arkansas Senator) November 16, 2016.

U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), a Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Commissioner, and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Co-Chair of the CECC, today introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, legislation that would renew the United States' historical commitment to freedom and democracy in Hong Kong at a time when its autonomy is increasingly under assault. The legislation also establishes punitive measures against government officials in Hong Kong or mainland China who are responsible for suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, especially in connection with the abduction of certain booksellers.

"The United States must lead the world in ensuring that the Chinese government ceases any repressive acts in Hong Kong and abides by its three-decade-old international commitment to respect the autonomy of Hong Kong," said Cotton. "This bill would empower the president to hold Beijing accountable and send a strong message to Chinese officials that attempts to undermine liberty in Hong Kong and walk away from their promises will not be without consequences. Hong Kong's unique identity and traditions of liberty, rule of law, and a market-based economy can be a model for a China that is a more productive player on the international stage. U.S. foreign policy should encourage those traditions, and strongly warn Beijing against any diminishment of those values."

"When the British handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997, Beijing promised Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy guaranteed under Basic Law," said Rubio. "However, in recent years, Beijing has consistently undermined the ‘one country, two systems' principle and infringed on the democratic freedoms the residents of Hong Kong are supposed to be guaranteed. This was on stark display over the last year with the abduction of the Hong Kong booksellers, the required loyalty oaths in the lead-up to the September LegCo elections, and last week with Beijing's unprecedented intervention in Hong Kong's legal system to block two democratically elected politicians from assuming office. China's assault on democratic institutions and human rights is of central importance to the people of Hong Kong and to its status as a free market, economic powerhouse and hub for international trade and investment.

"The importance of this legislation was again impressed upon me today after meeting with pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who became the face of the Umbrella Movement for many in late 2014," added Rubio. "Joshua is an impressive and thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow activists, represents the future of Hong Kong - a future that must not go the way of Beijing's failed authoritarianism and one-party rule. It is critical in the days ahead that the democratic aspirations of the people of Hong Kong be a vital U.S. interest and foreign policy priority. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms America's support of the people of Hong Kong as they seek to oppose Beijing's efforts to erode democratic institutions."

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would:

Internet comments:

-  Here is the photo of Joshua Wong (Demosisto) meeting with Senator Marco Rubio in Washington DC.

On one hand, Joshua Wong is said to be skinny. On the other hand, Marco Rubio is said to be 5'10" tall when enhanced his three-inch-heeled boots.

Is there any honesty left in politics?

- When Joshua Wong put on his suit, Hong Kong Internet users could only think of the classical saying 沐猴而冠 (MDBG.net: a monkey wearing a hat/worthless person in imposing attire). But was it politically correct to say something like that? Maybe not in the United States, but it is apparently quite alright in Hong Kong where we have genuine freedom of speech.

(Kinliu) In the town of Clay in West Virginia, a development company manager named Pamela Ramsey Taylor posted on Facebook: "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels." Shortly afterwards, Clay mayor Beverly Whaling pressed praise and said: "Just made my day." The ape in heels refers to First Lady Michelle Obama. More than 150,000 signed to demand these two individuals to resign. Within two weeks, these two individuals resigned and apologized. In the process, there were no petitions, judicial reviews or interpretations of the Constitution. The two individuals did not blame their West Virginian accents. After they resigned, they said: "I am genuine sorry for any unhappiness that I may have caused." But under Hong Kong logic, this was "oppressing freedom of speech"! In the United States, 150,000 signatures were enough to bring two people down. In Hong Kong, 600,000 signatures could not get Leung Chung-hand and Yau-ching to resign or even apologize. Instead we need a judicial review backed by an Interpretation of the Basic Law to oust these two people Thus American democracy is even more backwards than ours here in Hong Kong.

- Let's look at the highlights of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the Cotton press release.

- "Reaffirm the principles set forth in the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, including support for democratization, human rights, and the importance of Hong Kong remaining sufficiently autonomous from China to justify different treatment under U.S. law."

- This is just a rehash. Nothing new here.

- "Reinstate the requirement for the Secretary of State to issue a report on conditions in Hong Kong of interest to the United States, including developments related to democratic institutions in Hong Kong, no later than 90 days after enactment and every year through 2023."

- In United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the Secretary of State was required to issue reports on March 31, 1993, March 31, 1995, March 31, 1997, March 31, 1998, March 31, 1999, and March 31, 2000. Paperwork is meaningless unless something in there is actionable. As amended, the Secretary of State submitted reports in 1993, annually from 1995 to 2007 and in 2015.

- "Require the Secretary of State to certify that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous before enacting any new laws or agreements affording Hong Kong different treatment from the People's Republic of China."

- Everybody has the right to choose whom they associate or deal with.

- The problem is about the politician's favorite tool: Triangularization. On one side, there is God's favorite son, the United States of America. On the other side, there is Satan, the People's Republic of China. Which side is Hong Kong closer to? If the United States declare that Hong Kong is in Satan's hands and thus refuse to grant certain favors, who do you think the people of Hong Kong will blame? The Americans, of course. Who would be the happiest to see this outcome? The Chinese Communists, of course.

The winning formula for the United States is to drown Hong Kong with love and affection, while denying all the goodies to the Chinese Communists in order to show "Hong Kong is not China"!

- "Require the President to identify persons responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention, or forced confessions of certain booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong, and other actions suppressing basic freedoms, and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the U.S."

- The Hong Kong and international paparazzi haven't been able to even name the persons responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention or forced confessions of certain booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong. Even the kidnap victims don't seem to know. So good luck to the State Department! This clause does not say what happens if the President can't identify the persons.

- The buck stops at Xi Jinping's desk. So is the POTUS (President of the United States) not allowed to invite him to the United States for a summit meeting?

- And if the President determines that C.Y. Leung is one of those persons who kidnapped the booksellers, what is the substantive impact of freezing his U.S.-based assets (note: he has none; even if he has some assets now, they will have been moved by the time that this Act passes)?

- And if the President determines that Guo Shengkun (Minister of Public Security) is one of those persons who kidnapped the booksellers, what is the substantive impact of banning him from entering the United States (note: as Minister of Public Security in the People's Republic of China, he has no interest of visiting the United States now and forever).

- "Make clear that visa applicants who resided in Hong Kong in 2014 shall not be denied visas on the basis of the applicant's arrest, detention or other adverse government action taken as a result of their participation in the nonviolent protest activities related to Hong Kong's electoral process."

- According to the United States Consulate:

The immigration laws of the United States, in order to protect the health, welfare and security of the United States, prohibit the issuance of a visa to certain applicants. Examples of applicants who must be refused visas are:

  • Persons with certain communicable diseases of public health significance, such as tuberculosis;
  • Persons with a dangerous physical or mental disorder;
  • Persons who are drug addicts;
  • Persons who have committed serious criminal acts, including crimes involving moral turpitude, drug trafficking, and prostitution or procuring;
  • Terrorists, subversives, members of a totalitarian party and former Nazi war criminals;
  • Persons who are likely to become public charges in the United States;
  • Those who have used fraud or other illegal means to enter the United States or help others enter the United States; or
  • Those who are ineligible for citizenship.

Of course, they won't take your word that you have a clean sheet. So they will ask you to apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction from the Hong Kong Police Force. This certificate will be sent directly to the U.S. Consulate General so that you have no opportunity to commit forgery.

So the Act is saying that you cannot be denied a visa because you have a police record showing convictions for unlawful assembly, obstruction of police business, disruption of public order, etc.

But you have to be very careful about the details here.

First of all, this Act covers only those who resided in Hong Kong in 2014.

If 'resided' means 'inhabiting', then if you were studying overseas in 2014 but came back in 2015 to join the fight for democracy, you are out of luck.

If 'resided' means holding the right of abode, you can be overseas in 2014 the whole year and  you will still be covered.

Secondly, you are forgiven for "arrest, detention or other adverse government action" during "your participation in the nonviolent protest activities related to Hong Kong's electoral process."

So the activity must be related to Hong Kong's electoral process. The 2014 Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement/Umbrella Revolution is about "genuine universal suffrage", so it is covered. The 2015 Lunar New Year's riot in Mong Kok is said by some of the leaders to be about the fight for the rights of unlicensed street vendors. So this Fishball Revolution is not covered.

The activity must also be about nonviolent protest. There were a number of violent episodes during the 2014 Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement/Umbrella Revolution. So if you were convicted of resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer in any of the actions, you are not covered. Other leaders of the 2016 Lunar New Year's Day riot in Mong Kok said that it was a rally for Edward Leung's Legislative Council by-election campaign. So that is part of the electoral process. But they ripped bricks from the pavement to throw at the police. So this was a violent activity. Therefore you are not covered.

This is going to be a lot of work for the US Consulate General staff. The Certificate of No Criminal Conviction is simply going to list conviction of "Unlawful Assembly" which took place on a certain date at a certain location, the date of the court trial and the sentence. It won't list whether the activity was violent or not, and it won't say whether this was a protest that was part of the electoral process. The staff will have to do their own investigation.

- Here is a case in which two individuals were convicted by a court "as a result of their participation in the nonviolent protest activities related to Hong Kong's electoral process."

(SCMP) November 21, 2016.

Radical lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung was jailed for seven days on Monday for staging a protest directed at Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor during a school debating event. He was immediately freed on HK$4,000 cash bail, pending appeal. His co-defendant, People Power activist “Fast Beat” Tam Tak-chi, also received a seven-day jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The pair had argued that the charge against them breached their right to express themselves freely during a peaceful assembly in a public place.

But that was rejected in Eastern Court, which found both Leung, 60, and Tam, 44, had intentionally “obstructed, disturbed, interrupted or annoyed” other persons who were lawfully using the Queen Elizabeth Stadium during the 30th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition on May 15 last year.

Acting principal magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing said the protest was staged in a unique environment, unlike street protests where people could just leave if they did not want to be disturbed.

Acting principal magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing said the protest was staged in a unique environment, unlike street protests where people could just leave if they did not want to be disturbed. “This case involved an event that was planned for more than a year,” To said.

He said there was a need to safeguard the constitutional rights of the civic centre’s lawful users – to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression – as the law specifically protected their privileged use of the venue.

Leung and Tam, he said, could have staged their protest on another occasion while the parents and students attending the event had only one opportunity to enjoy their rights on the 30th anniversary of the competition and they had clearly showed their disagreement at the protest. Leung took a deep breath as To delivered the verdict while Tam did not react. Under the Civic Centres Regulation, the offence is punishable by a HK$5,000 fine and one-month imprisonment. Neither defendant took the stand nor called any witnesses in their favour.

The court heard that organisers had begun preparations for the event the summer before. It was attended by 2,424 students, parents, teachers and guests including Lam, former Bar Association chairman Paul Shieh Wing-tai and then-director of information services Patrick Nip Tak-kuen.

Dozens of protesters began shouting, chanting slogans, waving banners and throwing paper balls when Lam was escorted into the venue, and they repeatedly disrupted speeches by Shieh and Nip. Lam’s speech was eventually cancelled and she left the venue early. The commotion lasted for 30 minutes.

Sing Tao reported it to police a few days later and filed a civil suit in June last year, demanding more than HK$1.5 million from the duo and district councillor Mandy Tam Heung-man, also from People Power. The company is also seeking an injunction to bar the trio from its future events

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkVuE5QzVzs

Does the United States want to judge that such behavior is acceptable? In the United States?

- Senator Tom Cotton was quoted in the press release: "Hong Kong's unique identity and traditions of liberty, rule of law, and a market-based economy can be a model for a China that is a more productive player on the international stage." So when a court found these individuals guilty in accordance with the law, the United States want to vacate the verdict for their own purposes. What does that do for rule of law in Hong Kong? Does the United States advocate rule of man with special treatment for "pro-democracy" protestors.

- In the case of Leung Kwok-hung, he has 16 prior convictions involving 27 charges. But Leung merely “obstructed, disturbed, interrupted or annoyed” 2,000+ people in a non-violent manner, so he goes free under the proposed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

- If he did that to an American high school debate competition, he would have been beaten to death by the parents.

- Remember the Mariel boatlift? The American government kept saying that it is the beacon of freedom and democracy for all the suppressed people of Cuba. So the Cuban government announced that any Cuban who wanted to leave could do so by boat from the port of Mariel. Eventually almost 125,000 Cubans left in 1,700 boats which overwhelmed the US Coast Guard. At first, the American government felt elated at this shower of love. The situation changed when it was discovered the Cuban government had taken the opportunity to sending away their hardened criminal-prisoners and mental asylum patients to America. Eventually, 2.2% of the Marielitos were classified as serious or violent criminals under U.S. law and denied citizenship.

As Emma Lazarus wrote:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

So please take our "Mental Patients" In The Umbrella Revolution too!

More at Occupy Central Part 7


More at:
Occupy Central Part 1 (001-100)
Occupy Central Part 2 (101-200)
Occupy Central Part 3 (201-300)
Occupy Central Part 4 (301-400)
Occupy Central Part 5
(401-500)
Occupy Central Part 6
(501-600)
Occupy Central Part 7 (601+)

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