HJS REPORT LAUNCH: “20 YEARS AFTER HONG KONG’S HANDOVER”
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HJS REPORT LAUNCH: “20 YEARS AFTER HONG KONG’S HANDOVER”
31st October 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Twenty years ago, the United Kingdom and China participated in the Handover of Hong Kong, supposedly closing the door on a “Century of Humiliation”.
Despite its desire to reaffirm the rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation, China has a mixed record in Hong Kong. This report looks back over the history of Sino-UK negotiations, the status of the rule-of-law, and the decline in Hong Kong’s special autonomy.
By kind invitation of Lord Alton of Liverpool, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Dr John Hemmings – Director of our Asia Studies Centre, who will examine the history of Sino-UK negotiations on the 20th anniversary year of the handover of Hong Kong.
Dr John Hemmings is the founding Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has a PhD in international relations at the London School of Economics, where he focused on security issues in the Asia Pacific region. He has authored a number of book chapters, academic journals, and newspaper articles commenting on Asia, contributing the Telegraph, the Diplomat, the lowy Interpreter, and the National Interest.
Dr. Malte Philipp Kaeding is a lecturer (assistant professor) in international politics at the University of Surrey. He got his PhD from Hong Kong Baptist University and Magister from University of Heidelberg. Malte is member of the Hong Kong Transition Project. His research area includes topics such as identity, social movements, elections and democratisation with a regional focus on East Asia and particularly the so-called ‘Greater China area’ with China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Currently he works on emotions in international relations and Hong Kong localism.
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.
Professor Carol Jones e was one of the first academics to study the post-Mao development of the legal profession in China. She has continued to undertake empirical research in China on the legal profession and the Chinese criminal justice system. Her latest book, Lost in China? Law, Culture and Identity in Post-1997 Hong Kong (Cambridge 2015) examines how Hong Kong’s ‘walls of law’ have been damaged by Mainlandisation, and how this has prompted local resistance.
Edward Tin-kei LEUNG is a Hong Kong localist political figure who came in third in the 2016 legislative by-election before being barred from running in 2016 Legislative Council election on the grounds of not respecting the Basic Law, despite publicly renouncing “Hong Kong Independence”. Mr. Leung recently finished a visiting fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School.”
On 31st October 2017, the Henry Jackson Society’s own Dr John Hemmings launched his report, ‘Hong Kong After 20 years: the Rollback of Civil, Human and Legal Rights’, in an event chaired by Lord Alton of Liverpool. Alongside Hemmings, Dr Malte Phillipp Kaeding, Benedict Rogers, and Edward Tin-Kei Lueng all spoke about their own experiences in Hong Kong, their chapters of the report, and their thoughts on the future of Hong Kong’s democracy. Hemmings is the founding Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the HJS and an adjunct fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. He has authored a number of book chapters, academic journals, and newspaper articles commenting on Asia, contributing to the Telegraph, the Diplomat, the Iowy Interpretator, and the National Interest.
The report highlights how human rights in Hong Kong have deteriorated over the last two decades. It finds that China has engaged in direct and indirect ways to subvert the legislative process and judicial system in Hong Kong. As there are no legal means of extradition, Chinese police have resorted to illegal kidnappings of those who pose problems for Chinese leaders. Finally, the UK is torn between its desire for trade relations with Beijing and its moral responsibility to uphold the Joint Declaration. All of which were explored by the speakers during the event.
Dr Keading began by focusing on his chapter of the report. He argued that in order to understand Hong Kong, we need to understand the aftermath of the handover. Keading discussed Beijing’s strong need for control, and the strategies they have used to limit international access to Hong Kong in order to maintain said control.
Following on from Keading, Benedict Rogers, the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, gave a fascinating account of his time living in Hong Kong as a journalist, and his experience of being denied entry to Hong Kong. Rogers gave key insights into the various protests and movements in Hong Kong, including the Umbrella Movement in 2014. He also announced his new organisation, Hong Kong Watch. Which will campaign for Hong Kong and the rights of people there.
Edward Tin-Kei Lueng came in third in the 2016 legislative by-election before being barred from running in the 2016 Legislative Council election. He gave a brilliantly engaging speech about his experiences, what does it mean to be patriotic, and about ruling ideology. Lueng argued that we must understand two narratives in reference to China; civilisation and humiliation, and claimed that Hong Kong plays a vital role in these narratives. He concluded by proclaiming that, striving for democracy in Hong Kong is the only way to survive. Although, he believes that the future looks gloomy, he still believes in mobilisation; that people should show up and speak up.
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