Analysis: China seeks to ease fears as Hong Kong handover anniversary looms

(The Irish Times) As far as securing more democratic representation for Hong Kong going forward, the situation appears grim, said Alvin Cheung, a researcher at New York University School of Law’s US-Asia Law Institute and formerly a Hong Kong lawyer. “It is difficult to see how any meaningful bargain for electoral reform in Hong Kong can happen for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Beijing has demonstrated no willingness to reverse its hard-line policies on Hong Kong; this in turn has directly contributed to the rise of localist and pro-independence parties, at the expense of mainstream pro-democracy parties...Unless Beijing is prepared to change course and regain the trust of the Hong Kong public, there seems to be little point in discussing changes to how the legislature or the chief executive are selected,” said Cheung.

【回歸20.警權】社運守護人 義務律師感激示威者為社會衝鋒陷陣

傘運期間,不辭勞苦到警署奔波義助示威者的,還有人權律師文浩正。文浩正的義務律師生涯早於10年前開始,開初就遇到捍衛天星碼頭及反囍帖街重建,後者更有示威者被警方迫令脫衣搜查。然而過去10年大大小小的示威案件都接觸過,早已熟習相關義務工作,但每每都有感觸,「無人會無緣無故行出來,走去前線是為了出名、貪玩……邊個唔想安安靜靜留在屋企,唔需要咁煩?」 不過令他難忘的還是傘運,他憶述那段時間是長期作戰狀態,一群義務律師要排更表「候命」。要數最辛苦一次,是警方正式清場那天,一波示威者被分批帶去6、7個警署,幸有一群義務律師分擔,「始終最辛苦的是前線示威者。」有時見到示威者家屬及老師在外焦急等候,都會簡單轉述他們子女的情況,安撫他們情緒。

Beijing’s struggle to win Hong Kong’s young hearts

(BBC) "Youngsters get really agitated and frustrated. They don't know what their future is," says local writer Jason Ng. On a hot Hong Kong tram rattling through this densely packed human hive, he remarks that this is not the tour the Chinese president will get. "He will be taken on a North Korean-style highly controlled tour where he will only see the best side of Hong Kong. He will not see pain and suffering or protesters."

Hong Kong: one China

(The Australian) Antony Dapiran is an Australian lawyer working in Hong Kong whose new book to be published by Penguin next month is titled City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong. He says: “In a city whose population identifies itself — at least vis a vis its sovereign, the PRC — by reference to the rights and freedoms it enjoys which the rest of China’s population does not, protest is an embodiment of that identity, embracing as it does the freedoms of speech, expression and assembly.” He says the authorities’ tolerance — or not — of such protests serves as a barometer of the health of the unique “one country, two systems” formula.