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VENUE: Committee Room 4, House of Commons,
Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
Campaigner, Daughter of detained Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai
Deputy Chairman, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission
When Hong Kong was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it was agreed that under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong’s basic freedoms, including a free press and freedom of expression, would be protected and a high degree of autonomy respected. In recent years, however, there is increasing evidence that these are being eroded. The abduction of Hong Kong booksellers whose bookshops sold publications critical of China’s President Xi Jinping, attempts to disqualify democratically elected legislators from taking their seats in the legislature, physical assaults on pro-democracy campaigners and interference in academic institutions and the education curriculum are all alarming signs. On February 1st, Xiao Jianhua, a wealthy businessman, was kidnapped from a hotel in Hong Kong. He has subsequently reported on social media that he is not being detained – but has not yet returned to his family.
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with Joshua Wong, Angela Gui and Benedict Rogers. In a recent BBC interview, the former Governor of Hong Kong Lord Patten criticised the United Kingdom for its failure to speak out about these abuses in the former colony, and in an article in the Washington Post last month Joshua Wong claims there is “a brutal assault on our democratic system” and argues that “the autonomy of Hong Kong is clearly at stake”. What is the future of Hong Kong, and what should the international community do?
Joshua Wong is a Hong Kong student activist who serves as Secretary-General of political party Demosistō to fight for the right of self-determination. Internationally known for his prominent role during the anti-brainwashing education movement and the Umbrella Movement, his major influence in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has resulted in his inclusion in TIME’s Most Influential Teens of 2014 and recognition by Fortune as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2015 (10th place).
Angela Gui is a UK-based, Sweden-born grad student and daughter of detained Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai. Since her father’s abduction from Thailand in October 2015, she has actively been campaigning for his release by raising awareness of his situation. In April, she testified at a U.S. Congress hearing on the Long Arm of Beijing, and has been advocating for her father as a guest in TV and radio shows.
Benedict Rogers is the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, and principal author of their report The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016, which includes a chapter on Hong Kong. He is a human rights activist and writer specialising in Asia, particularly China, Burma, Indonesia and North Korea, is the author of six books, and lived in Hong Kong as a journalist from 1997-2002.