Thirty Years After Tiananmen Square: China’s Dissolution of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong
- This event has passed.
Thirty Years After Tiananmen Square: China’s Dissolution of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong
10 June @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note that the Chinese Communist Party does not – despite its insistence on this point – speak for all Chinese. Nowhere is that more true than Hong Kong, where strong identity issues have arisen over the past three decades. While it is true that the handover in 1997 saw a high point in pan-Chinese nationalism in Hong Kong, the continual erosion of the Basic Law and imposition of mainland Chinese education and practices, have produced quite a sharp reaction among pro-democracy elements of the population. As a result, increasing numbers of young Hongkongers question their very connection to the mainland, a trend that has created an ever-sharpening reaction in Beijing.
This report notes the growing worries and concerns of pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, charting the gradual erosion in press freedoms, rule of law, and other liberties previously enjoyed by Hong Kong. It also assembles a number of authors who look at this process from the British perspective, raising an important question of Britain’s responsibility to the former colony.
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to the report launch of Thirty Years After Tiananmen Square: China’s dissolution of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong.
Evan Fowler is a co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press and the author of the report ‘Thirty Years After Tiananmen Square: China’s dissolution of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong’. He has run several research projects exploring local identity issues. He has written about social, identity and generational issues for the South China Morning Post, China Daily, Asia Sentinel, Suddeutsche, the Indo-Pacific Review and others. He was also a regular contributor to House News.
Benedict Rogers is a British human rights activist and writer based in London. His work focuses on Asia, specialising particularly in Burma, North Korea, China and Indonesia, but has also covered the Maldives, East Timor and Pakistan. He is the East Asia Team Leader at the international human rights organization CSW, and a regular contributor to international media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Diplomat and the Huffington Post and has appeared on BBC, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and other television and radio stations. He is the co-founder and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party’s human rights commission, and authored its 2016 report on China, The Darkest Moment: the Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016, its report on forced organ harvesting in China and its forthcoming report on China’s Confucius Institutes. He is also the founder and Chairman of Hong Kong Watch, and was refused entry to Hong Kong in 2017. He is co-founder of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea, a member of the advisory board of the International Coalition to End Organ Trafficking in China (ETAC), and a trustee of the Phan Foundation and the Chin Human Rights Foundation. He has written three books which focus on Burma and co-authored two others on Christian human rights obligations.
Milia Hau is a British foreign policy researcher with a keen interest in the Indo-Pacific. She was formerly Research Assistant at the Henry Jackson Society, where she worked on a number of issues relating to Asia. She has a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, she wrote her World History thesis on the Anglo-Chinese negotiations over the Future of Hong Kong in 1982-84; it is deposited at the Conservative Party Archive at Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford and the Labour Party Archive in Manchester. Her article titled ‘Second-class Britons? Why Hongkongers should get UK citizenship’ was published by CapX.
Dr. John Hemmings is the Director of the Asia Studies Centre and Deputy Research Director at the Henry Jackson Society. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. His research focuses on China, Japan, the Korea’s and security and foreign affairs in the Indo-Pacific. Prior to HJS, he worked in the Asia Programme at the Royal United Services Institute. He has a doctorate in international relations from the London School of Economics and writes for the Telegraph, the Interpreter, and the National Interest, among others.
Fiona Bruce MP is an MP for Congleton. Fiona was first elected as Member of Parliament for the Congleton Constituency in 2010. During her time as a Member of Parliament Fiona focused on championing individual freedoms and human rights, both in this country and abroad. Fiona has been a member of Parliament’s International Development Select Committee for several years and currently chairs the Parliamentary sub-committee overseeing the Independent Commission on Aid Inspections. Up to this election period, she has served on the Parliamentary Joint-Committee on Human Rights. She is also Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, an appointment made by the then-Prime Minister.
On the 10th of June the Henry Jackson Society hosted a panel discussion entitled: Thirty Years after Tiananmen Square: China’s dissolution of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong. The panel was hosted by Fiona Bruce MP, and included DR. John Hemmings, Even Fowler, Milia Hau and Benedict Rogers.
Fiona Bruce opened the event by noting the pertinence of this discussion in the face of the recent protests by Hong Kongers over the recently proposed extradition bill, and described how the continual erosion of human rights in Hong Kong has led to many of its people questioning their ties to the mainland.
She then introduced Benedict Rogers, who described how the people of Hong Kong were right to fear this bill, noting how it came at the heels of the expulsion of pro-democracy candidates in local elections, the arrest of peaceful protestors and the stifling of press freedom. He also focused the climate of fear that Beijing is currently trying to cultivate in Hong Kong, describing the experiences of Lam Wing-Kee, a bookseller who was kidnapped from Hong Kong and ‘mentally tortured’ on the mainland for eight months. When he asked what crime he had committed, he was simply told, “If we say you have committed a crime, you have committed a crime.”
Next was Milia Hau, who argued that the idea that China’s increasing prosperity would lead to political liberalisation has now been thoroughly discredited. The authoritarianism of the mainland is already well on its way to being reproduced in Hong Kong Hau argued, and this is amply demonstrated by the fact that despite the intensity of the protests there has been no real discussion of policy change by the authorities in Hong Kong. Hau went on to argue that the British bear the heaviest responsibility in challenging the erosion of liberty in Hong Kong, and that we should grant full British citizenship to the people of Hong Kong.
John Hemmings discussed his belief that the success of Chinese authoritarianism on the world stage marked a significant geopolitical shift. He argued that while all nations had a right to pursue their own national interests, regime type matters. Dr Hemmings noted his admiration for the people of China and their history, arguing that the influence of the Chinese Communist Party over both Hong Kong and the mainland was a tragedy. This was an issue where the British could prove that they are not the paper tiger that Beijing assumes, if only they can rediscover their spine in time.
The final speaker was Evan Fowler, who described how journalists and editors murdered over lack of support for the CCP, noting that he was himself threatened for lack for support for anti-occupy Hong Kong coverage. Fowler also described the heart-break felt by many Hong Kongers as they realise that their children will grow up in a world where the freedoms that they took for granted have been slowly eroded. Fowler concluded by arguing that it is imperative that the UK to stand up and assert itself in defence of Hong Kong. If not now, when?
The event then closed with a round of questions and answers.
Vibrant international engagement has often been suggested to have gone out of the proverbial window in modern nation-state geopolitics. Indeed, … Continued
As the 21st century continues, it has become increasingly apparent that humanity is operating within a constantly shifting and multi-polar … Continued
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to the invitation-only roundtable discussion with Admiral (Ret’d) Chen Yeong-Kang ‘Taiwan’s … Continued
These days the world is facing an unprecedented wave of violent extremism by non-state actors of various stripes. The causes … Continued
2019 marks the ten years of the launch of the Eastern Partnership initiative. Although the initiative has provided the necessary … Continued
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union in the June 2016 referendum on EU membership has generated fierce debate … Continued
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued