(ChinaFile) Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the July 1, 1997 return of the territory to China from the United Kingdom. Since the handover, many Hong Kongers have chafed under Beijing’s rule—tensions that culminated with the Umbrella Revolution in late 2014, when tens of thousands of citizens called for a more participatory form of government for their semi-autonomous territory of roughly 7.5 million people. What’s next for Beijing’s relationship with Hong Kong, and for the policy of “One Country, Two Systems”? Progressive Lawyers Group members Alvin Cheung and Antony Dapiran contributed to this conversation.
(The Australian Financial Review) Mornings in Hong Kong are like in no other city. For a city that heaves with a seemingly incessant energy, the start of every day presents a pause. Commuters have not yet flooded the subway system, the shopping malls are not yet open, the roads largely empty of traffic. A delivery boy weaves his shaky bicycle across the tram lines, a basket of vegetables hanging off the handlebars. Elderly enthusiasts brandishing aluminium broad swords practise tai chi in a park. Down a side street, a taxi driver with a bucket and cloth scrubs down his gleaming red cab. Men linger with their newspapers over cups of tea and a breakfast of dim sum. Out on the harbour, a lone sampan crosses the sun-dappled water. In a city in hyper-aware of time – of dates, and countdowns, and anniversaries – at this time of day, time itself seems to dissolve.
Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People’s Congress and Rao Geping, Chinese representative member of the Basic Law Committee have recently and respectively made important speeches in relation to the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Basic Law. The Progressive Lawyers Group (“PLG”) is deeply disturbed by some of the contents of these speeches, believing that they are in contradiction to the “One Country, Two Systems” framework stipulated by the Basic Law.