25 Years On: Hong Kong and the Suppression of Freedom
- This event has passed.
25 Years On: Hong Kong and the Suppression of Freedom
27th June 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
25 years ago, Hong Kong was transferred from UK control to that of Beijing. The Sino-British Joint Declaration that governed that transition was supposed to see the freedoms that Hong Kongers enjoyed upheld and protected.
Instead, at first gradually and latterly dramatically, the Chinese Communist Party ended these freedoms and reneged upon the treaty it signed. Today, the Hong Kong many dreamt of 25 years ago appears a distant memory.
On behalf of Christine Jardine MP, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host this panel in association with the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. Joining us to discuss this sad tale are two Hong Kong exiles who have faced the sharp end of the CCP’s persecution themselves. They will be joined by Mark Clifford, a globally recognised campaigner for the freedom of Hong Kong.
The event is in-person only and will be hosted in Parliament by Christine Jardine MP, the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West.
Mark L. Clifford is the author of Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China’s Crackdown Reveals About Its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Hong Kong. An honors history graduate of the University of California Berkeley and a Walter Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, he lived in Asia from 1987 until 2021. Previously, Clifford was executive director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council, the editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard (Hong Kong). He held senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong and Seoul and has received numerous prizes and awards for his books and journalism.
Finn Lau was detained under inhumane conditions in Hong Kong and was beaten to near death by Chinese Communist Party’s agents in London in 2020. He underpinned key strategies like Phoenixism for the Hong Kong movement and launched global initiatives in over 50 cities throughout 2019-22 addressing Hong Kong and China democracy and human rights issues.
As a chartered UK profession, Finn also specialises in infrastructure development with working experience across Hong Kong, Singapore and London in addition to his policy advocacy work across multiple parliaments like the Swedish, Danish, Swiss, UK, Canadian and European Parliament.
Timothy Lee is a Hong Kong activist-in-exile and a former elected politician. In November 2019, he was elected as a local councillor as a part of the landslide victory for the pro-democracy camp at the last democratic election in the territory. He is currently wanted by the authorities of Hong Kong along with others for advocating boycott of the rigged legislative “elections” held in December 2021. Having left his home in the summer of 2021, Timothy remains an outspoken advocate for the territory’s human rights and the restoration of its people’s deprived right to self-determination.
Christine Jardine has been the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West since 2017 and is the Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson for the party.
Before entering politics, Christine was an Edinburgh based journalist and broadcaster who had written for the Scotsman, worked for the BBC and was editor of the Press Association in Scotland. Christine taught both post and undergraduate students at the University of the West of Scotland, having run the postgraduate practical journalism course at the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies.
The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to hold a panel discussion on the democratic situation of Hong Kong 25 years after the British handover. Christine Jardine MP began the discussion by introducing the speakers and the topic of the conversation. Dr Mark L. Clifford spoke about his experience in the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily and the intimidation means used by authorities to close it down, highlighting the lack of credible institutions upholding the rule of law in Hong Kong. Finn Lau gave a timeline of the democratic backslide and discussed the freedom of press, businesses, and civil society. He pushed the West to take concrete sanctions against Xi Jinping, to reduce the overreliance on the Chinese market and stop the infiltration of spies on the UK territory. Timothy Lee explained the evolution of the Hong Kong legislative and institutional system and its consequences for domestic civil rights. He highlighted the responsibility of lawmakers and the importance of international action. The speakers then answered questions on Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Hong Kong, the role of Europe and other allies, the legacy of the resistance movement, and the state of religious freedom.
As Ukraine continues its relentless struggle for survival, many have started debating the potential outcomes of the war. While European allies keep supplying the country with available military and humanitarian … Continued
In the last five years, following a landmark report by the Bishop of Truro into Christian persecution worldwide, the promotion of international religious freedom has become a new priority, and … Continued