05 July 2020

The Hong Kong Watch Floor

Hong Kongers face grave risks. Beijing has adopted, and is already implementing, a popularly-opposed National Security Law that invalidates core One Country, Two Systems-promised protections. Under assault: some of Hong Kongers’ most cherished values and freedoms. Clearly over: Hong Kong’s much-touted status as Asia’s World City.

Hong Kong’s own government long branded Asia’s World City as having London- and New York-class “Commitment to maintaining the rule of law, freedom of expression and association, the free flow of information, openness and diversity.” (堅決維護法治、保障言論和結社自由、確保資訊自由流通、保持社會開放和促進多元化發展)

No private ad campaign, this. Rather: part and parcel of a set of promises to and for Hong Kong—as enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration treaty; and the Basic Law, which Beijing’s National People’s Congress ratified. Millions of lives have been lived, and billions of dollars invested, with those very assumptions in mind.

Now, Xi Jinping is changing things unilaterally, and is rewriting history to falsely claim that Beijing never made these commitments. Hong Kongers and the world have been sold a tragic bill of goods.

Facing internal pressures, determined to intimidate still-free Taiwan, and perceiving a world distracted with coronavirus, recession, and discord, Xi appears determined to seize the opportunity to resolve Hong Kong’s status in a tragic direction. As initial actions unfold, such as assertively tear gassing a relatively limited protest, Xi and the party apparatus he has mobilized under him are closely gauging international reactions, and will be greatly emboldened by any perceived lack thereof.

The best defense of Asia’s World City and its future thus starts with the outside world demonstrating unfailing awareness, concern, and determination to impose consequences. Having abandoned the more cautious Deng-Jiang-Hu approach of selectively isolating “enemies” and mobilizing others against them for a new era of aggression against many neighbors and other nations simultaneously, Xi risks distraction and vulnerabilities of his own. This offers many ways for many to push back, both individually and in combinations.

This virtual Hong Kong Watch Floor spotlights these critical issues. I’ll update it with events, and welcome suggestions via www.andrewerickson.com/contact.

On a personal note, I never imagined any of this happening over two decades ago when I interned for a long, lovely summer at the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau. The internship itself was an incredible experience for me. I got to do some fascinating research that yielded some unexpected results, and learned a lot in the process. It was in reviewing files there that I first learned of the Naval War College.

Most importantly, I got to know Hong Kong firsthand and meet many Hong Kongers. I lived in Sha Tin, which was peaceful then, with clusters of shops around New Town Plaza and a beautiful waterfront promenade where the Shing Mun River rolled with impressive waves during a typhoon. I enjoyed the most interesting commute that I will probably ever have: a minibus to the storied Peninsula Hotel, the Star Ferry across Hong Kong Harbor, and a jungly ascent to 26 Garden Road where I always kept a cool, dry suit jacket ready in my office. (A less scenic backup route entailed a bus through the Cross-Harbor and Lion Rock tunnels with their weary ventilation fans.)

I supported myself by teaching English conversation to elementary school pupils most evenings. Notably, their parents invariably had better English; it was their children’s third language after Cantonese at home and Mandarin increasingly emphasized at school.

During those months, and on subsequent research trips, I have traversed much of Hong Kong—from its teeming harbor and container port, to the Stock Exchange and high-floor financial offices of Central, to the bustling HKU and CUHK campuses, to the crowded Mong Kok markets and MTR toward Shenzhen, to the Big Buddha and outlying islands, to the beautiful coastal trails of the Sai Kung Peninsula and the calm of Victoria Peak (the very summit, far beyond the tram terminus).

Witnessing Hong Kong’s vibrant intercultural dynamism firsthand has been among my most amazing and formative experiences. So enthusiastic did I remain about Asia’s World City that after a subsequent year studying in Japan, when I reported to a White House internship in the Office of Management & Budget, the wonderfully wise old secretary in the Office of Legislative Affairs immediately nicknamed me “Hong Kong.”

Today, in these trying, tragic times, my heart goes out to Hong Kong. It’s been a unique and special place, and I refuse to give up hope that it can somehow remain so: most importantly by far for the sake of all who call it home, but also because of the way it can touch the lives of even temporary visitors like me.


Gabriel B. Collins and Andrew S. Erickson, “Policy Options to Impose Costs on Beijing’s Coercive Envelopment of Hong Kong: Version 1.0,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国) 102 (30 June 2020).

Executive Summary:

Beijing has chosen to breach legal commitments it made to assure Hong Kong’s autonomy until at least 2047, most prominently through the sweeping national security law it is preparing to impose.[3] PRC actions are part of a broader pattern of revisionist and destabilizing behavior across an arc stretching from the Himalayas to the East China Sea and deep into Southeast Asia. Beijing increasingly operates according to a “might makes right” approach that eschews institutional, legal, and normative constraints and instead relies on raw coercion. Such behavior undermines the regional diplomatic, economic, and security architecture that suppressed interstate warfare in the Asia-Pacific region and drove robust economic growth and improvements in human wellbeing over the past 70 years.

In disturbing ways, the spirit of Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong echoes Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. PRC decisionmakers utilize more legal trappings, and otherwise place more velvet on their bayonets, than President Putin and his advisors did in 2014; but the blade nonetheless lies just beneath. Moreover, unless met with robust and sustained pushback that begins to shift the cost/benefit calculus, the blade likely will not stop in Hong Kong. Accordingly, this report presents a set of more than 15 calibrated response options that U.S. policymakers should consider utilizing to:

(1) impose costs on Beijing’s ongoing coercive envelopment of Hong Kong and other malign behaviors;

(2) undermine China’s ability to exploit Hong Kong as a preferential channel/“white glove” (白手套) for economic power projection and influence operations abroad, and;

(3) signal resolve to U.S. allies and partners including, but not limited to, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

U.S. partners and allies will want to see a nuanced approach from Washington that can be adapted in response to fluid circumstances. Accordingly, our analysis prioritizes measures that can be readily implemented as the first step in an overall, layered approach where pressure may need to be dialed up and down over time as actions and counter-actions evolve. It can serve as a “living document” that is updated and revised as events and initial policy formulation and implementation unfold.

Summary of Key Recommended Policy Measures

  1. Create safe havens in the United States and allied/partner countries to absorb Hong Kongers fleeing political persecution and other forms of repression as Beijing exerts power more directly over daily life and activities in Hong Kong.
  2. Prohibit the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and support services, as well as other core dual-use technologies, to Mainland China and Hong Kong.
  3. Amend Section 241 and other relevant portions of the Countering America’s Adversaries with Sanctions (“CAATSA”) law in order to leverage an effective and existing set of options for calibrated, targeted measures against selected PRC Mainland and Hong Kong entities and persons whereby pressure can be modulated in response to events.
  4. Intensify Freedom of Navigation and presence operations to challenge illegal PRC maritime claims and land reclamation activities in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
  5. Review and enhance finely-calibrated and-targeted aspects of the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security relationships with Taiwan. … … …


Andrew S. Erickson, “Countering Coercive Envelopment: How to Resist PRC Political-Maritime Control in Asia and Beyond,” testimony at hearing on “China’s Maritime Ambitions,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, via WebEx to Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 30 June 2020.




Dr. Andrew S. Erickson

Professor of Strategy, China Maritime Studies Institute, Naval War College

Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University


Testimony at Hearing on “China’s Maritime Ambitions”

Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives

Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

3:00 p.m.

2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-6128

The personal views expressed here and in all related remarks and other communications are solely those of the author as a civilian scholar. They do not represent the official policies or estimates of any institution with which he is affiliated, including the U.S. Navy or any other organization of the U.S. government. A comprehensive disclaimer is available at <http://www.andrewerickson.com/about/>.

Chairman Bera, Ranking Member Yoho, Members:

China under Xi Jinping, with the full support of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has the most ambitious, assertive national strategy of any great power today, with specific targets through 2049. The goal is no secret: Xi vows to make China great again by pursuing a “China Dream” of “national rejuvenation.”

The problem is that these goals run roughshod over the rights and wellbeing of millions and the freedom of non-Chinese societies; and have great potential to jeopardize the peace of China’s region, as well as the rules and functions of the international system on which all depend.

Today Hong Kong’s long-deteriorating situation has come to a head. Just hours ago, Beijing railroaded through a popularly-opposed National Security Law negating the Special Autonomous Region’s judicial system and cherished freedoms.[1] Xi reportedly signed the law, even though the public has not yet seen it. Political opponents are vulnerable as never before; everyone is potentially at risk. Beijing has abruptly abandoned binding commitments and reassurances, which underwrote Hong Kong’s handover from Britain in 1997, and its subsequent special treatment by the United States and other nations. Hong Kong’s identity and status lies damaged and altered irrevocably.

If the United States and its allies and partners do not counter China’s coercive envelopment of formerly free people and places, there will be much worse to come.

Please allow me to share my personal suggestions concerning the key challenges and how best to address them. … … …


Last year, in an article on Xi’s grand strategy for China, I offered the following assessment of why Hong Kong has emerged as target of CCP control after decades of systematic restraint: 

As for entrepôts Mao considered unfairly separated by imperialism, he and the party played a long game of prioritized sublimation. Whereas distance, oceanic buffering, Kuomintang resolve, and lack of a substantial party-affiliated fifth column would likely have precluded success in any conceivable invasion of Taiwan, the lack of these same factors would have enabled Mao to take Hong Kong. Yet by February 1949, he had already determined not to do so, in favor of using British Hong Kong as a permanent doorway to foreign necessities. Circumventing a post-1949 U.S. blockade and the Sino-Soviet split, Cold War Hong Kong literally underwrote party survival “as the single-largest contributor of foreign exchange to China (estimated at over 173 million pounds in 1966, about a third of the total); the only entrepôt for ‘smuggling’ sanctioned Western technology, equipment, and medicines to China and exporting Chinese food products; a business operation base for Chinese enterprises; and an intelligence center for Chinese agents.” Portugal offered to return Macau in 1985, but Beijing deferred to avoid preempting Hong Kong’s return. Mao, who could have taken the two territories on command, could not have lived to witness Hong Kong’s return in 1997 or Macau’s in 1999. Beijing now controls Macau tightly, but is having more difficulty consolidating its control over Hong Kong given rising local opposition, conditions that fuel concern in Taiwan.

Professor Brian C.H. Fong of The Education University of Hong Kong, whom I quote above elucidating Hong Kong’s historical position, now explains the risky rubicon that Xi and his party-state apparatus are steaming across:

“…Hong Kong’s pro-Western orientation, its people’s strong desire for greater autonomy, and its extensive connections with the West have set the perfect scene for the Xi regime to flex the Chinese nationalist muscle. To this end, Xi seems to have prioritized the nationalist fervor to control Hong Kong over utilitarian calculations of the territory’s financial contribution. Xi’s nationalist agenda becomes more obvious if we put Hong Kong’s national security law in a wider context together with China’s tougher tack toward Taiwan and aggressive increase in military spending, as simultaneously announced in the latest PRC State Council annual work report.”

“Whatever the calculations being made by the Xi regime, the fact is that China has decided to make Hong Kong its battlefield with the West. This signals a fundamental change of China’s policy toward Hong Kong.”

“…now the countdown to the end of Hong Kong as the world knows it has begun. By deviating from the CCP’s longstanding utilitarian approach toward Hong Kong, the Xi regime seems to have no interest in keeping Hong Kong as its buffer zone with the West. Driven by a nationalist political agenda, Xi instead sees Hong Kong as the frontline battlefield in the new Cold War with the United States.”

“Now Pandora’s box has been opened. The decision to push for a national security law, bypassing the local legislative process entirely, will entangle Hong Kong, China, and the West in a vicious cycle.”

“Immediately, turmoil at local level is almost certain. The democracy camp will certainly resist the national security law and the “paramilitary police-state,” backed by the Hong Kong government and Beijing, will respond with more aggressive oppression. New waves of street fights will happen from now on all the way through the anniversaries of key dates of the “2019 Water Revolution,” such as the June 12 resistance and August 31 attacks. The extensive disqualification of democratic candidates in September’s Legislative Council election looks inevitable; the election itself may be postponed. A local financial crisis is also looming as a consequence of the massive outflow of local, mainland, and foreign capital from Hong Kong and expectations of the partial (if not complete) revocation of Hong Kong’s special treatment by the United States.

My take: Xi and his subordinates know all this. They are increasingly determined to act harder, sooner, and absorb the costs of their aggression up-front. The coming days will be very important. The world’s attention must be on Hong Kong. The more Beijing perceives members of the international community to be divided, discombobulated, clueless, silent, or merely blustering over the next few days, the worse its actions in Hong Kong will be.


Official Documents

Decision of the National People’s Congress on Establishing and Completing the Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region’s Legal System and Implementation Mechanisms for the Preservation of National Security

(Unofficial translation by China Law Translate)

The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress deliberated the bill, “Decision of the National People’s Congress on Establishing and Completing the Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region’s Legal System and Implementation Mechanisms for the Preservation of National Security (Draft)”, submitted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for review. The session has found that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s national security risks have become apparent in recent years, and various types of illegal activities such as “Hong Kong Independence”, separatism, and violent terrorist activities have seriously endangered the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country; and that some foreign and overseas forces have brazenly interfered in Hong Kong’s affairs and used Hong Kong to engage in activities endangering China’s national security. The National People’s Congress has made the following decision in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 and items 2, 14, and 16 of Article 62 of the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China” as well as the relevant provisions of the “Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”, so as to preserve national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and to uphold and improve the ‘one country, two systems’ system, preserve Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Hong Kong residents.

I. The state will unflinchingly, fully and, accurately implement the principles of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy, and uphold the principle of governing Hong Kong according to law, to preserve the constitutional order of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as determined by the Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and employ necessary measures to establish and complete the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s legal system and enforcement mechanisms for preserving national security, and lawfully preventing, stopping, and punishing, conduct and activities that endanger national security.

II. The state firmly opposes any foreign or overseas forces interfering in the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in any fashion, and is to employ necessary measures to counter, lawfully prevent, stop and punish foreign and overseas forces’ use of Hong Kong to carry out separatist, subversive, infiltrative, or destructive activities.

III. Preserving the nation’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s constitutional responsibility. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall complete legislation for preserving national security as provided for in the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as soon as possible. The administrative, legislative and judicial organs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, effectively prevent, stop, and punish conduct endangering national security.

IV. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall establish and complete institutions and enforcement mechanisms for the preservation of national security, strengthen the force of law enforcement for preserving national security, and strengthen law enforcement efforts on the preservation of national security. The organs of the Central People’s Government relevant for the protection of national security are to set up institutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as required to lawfully perform duties related to the preservation of national security.

V. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall submit reports at regular periods to the Central People’s Government on the performance of the duties of preserving national security, carrying out national security education, and lawfully prohibiting conduct endangering national security.

VI. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is authorized to draft laws related to the establishment and completion of the of the Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region’s legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the preservation of national security, to effectively prevent, stop, and punish any conduct or activities that seriously endanger national security, such as separatism, subversion of state power, or organizing or carrying out terrorist activities, as well as activities by foreign and overseas forces that interfere in the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is to list the above-mentioned relevant laws in Annex III of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, which will be promulgated and implemented locally by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

VII. This decision shall take effect from the date of its promulgation.

Changes from the Draft: (per China Law Translate)

Most notable is the preamble, which now includes references to “Hong Kong Independence” (港独), and brazen or flagrant (公然) foreign interference.

The 4th article clarified that the law enforcement that is to be enhanced is limited to law enforcement for the preservation of national security.

Item 5 was modified, seemingly only for style, by removing 推广 (spreading) in the part on the duty to carry out national security education.

Item 6 changed ‘conduct’ to ‘conduct and activities’ in describing prohibitions of acts that endangers national security. “Activity” also appears frequently elsewhere in the decision, so I think this is just an attempt to make the language consistent, rather than an expansion.



2020-05-28 18:45:08 来源: 新华网















[责任编辑: 杨婷 ]

Official Sources

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Hong Kong Government (HKG) Press Releases


English press releases from Hong Kong Government. Follow @newsgovhk_cpr for Chinese news releases, @newsgovhk & @cnewsgovhk for latest news from http://news.gov.hk.

European Union

Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on Hong Kong

Council of the EU Press release 29 May 2020 13:55

The EU expresses its grave concern at the steps taken by China on 28 May, which are not in conformity with its international commitments (Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984) and the Hong Kong Basic Law. This risks to seriously undermine the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle and the high degree of autonomy of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.

EU relations with China are based on mutual respect and trust. This decision further calls into question China’s will to uphold its international commitments. We will raise the issue in our continuing dialogue with China.

United States & Allies

Joint Statement on Hong Kong



MAY 28, 2020

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Begin Text:

Signatories to this statement reiterate our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom. The international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.

China’s decision to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed law would undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework. It also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people – including those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

We are also extremely concerned that this action will exacerbate the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong society; the law does nothing to build mutual understanding and foster reconciliation within Hong Kong. Rebuilding trust across Hong Kong society by allowing the people of Hong Kong to enjoy the rights and freedoms they were promised can be the only way back from the tensions and unrest that the territory has seen over the last year.

The world’s focus on a global pandemic requires enhanced trust in governments and international cooperation. Beijing’s unprecedented move risks having the opposite effect.

As Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity are jeopardized by the new imposition, we call on the Government of China to work with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the people of Hong Kong to find a mutually acceptable accommodation that will honor China’s international obligations under the UN-filed Sino-British Joint Declaration.

United States

White House

Remarks by President Trump on Actions Against China,” The White House Rose Garden, Washington, DC, 2:48 p.m. EDT, 29 May 2020.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. Thank you. I’m here today to talk about our relationship with China and several new measures to protect American security and prosperity.

China’s pattern of misconduct is well known. For decades, they have ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars a year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, offshored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property, and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization. To make matters worse, they are considered a developing nation getting all sorts of benefits that others, including the United States, are not entitled to.

But I never solely blamed China for this. They were able to get away with a theft like no one was able to get away with before because of past politicians and, frankly, past presidents. But unlike those who came before, my administration negotiated and fought for what was right. It’s called: fair and reciprocal treatment.

China has also unlawfully claimed territory in the Pacific Ocean, threatening freedom of navigation and international trade. And they broke their word to the world on ensuring the autonomy of Hong Kong.

The United States wants an open and constructive relationship with China, but achieving that relationship requires us to vigorously defend our national interests. The Chinese government has continually violated its promises to us and so many other nations.

These plain facts cannot be overlooked or swept aside. The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government. China’s cover-up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has cost more than 100,000 American lives and over a million lives worldwide.

Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.

Countless lives have been taken, and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe. They strongly recommended against me doing the early ban from China, but I did it anyway and was proven to be 100 percent correct.

China has total control over the World Health Organization, despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year.

We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act. Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent, global public health needs.

The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China? It went nowhere else. It didn’t go to Beijing; it went nowhere else. But allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.

The death and destruction caused by this is incalculable. We must have answers not only for us but for the rest of the world.

This pandemic has underscored the crucial importance of building up America’s economic independence, reshoring our critical supply chains and protecting America’s scientific and technological advances.

For years, the government of China has conducted illicit espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many. Today, I will issue a proclamation to better secure our nation’s vital university research and to suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as potential security risks.

I am also taking action to protect the integrity of America’s financial system — by far, the best in the world. I am instructing my Presidential Working Group on Financial Markets to study the differing practices of Chinese companies listed on the U.S. financial markets, with the goal of protecting American investors.

Investment firms should not be subjecting their clients to the hidden and undue risks associated with financing Chinese companies that do not play by the same rules. Americans are entitled to fairness and transparency.

Several of the most significant actions we’re taking pertain to the deeply troubling situations unfolding in Hong Kong.

This week, China unilaterally imposed control over Hong Kong security. This was a plain violation of Beijing’s treaty obligations with the United Kingdom in the Declaration of 1984 and explicit provisions of Hong Kong’s Basic Law. It has 27 years to go.

The Chinese government’s move against Hong Kong is the latest in a series of measures that are diminishing the city’s longstanding and very proud status.

This is a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, the people of China, and indeed the people of the world. China claims it is protecting national security. But the truth is that Hong Kong was secure and prosperous as a free society. Beijing’s decision reverses all of that. It extends the reach of China’s invasive state security apparatus into what was formerly a bastion of liberty.

China’s latest incursion, along with other recent developments that degraded the territory’s freedoms, makes clear that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant the special treatment that we have afforded the territory since the handover.

China has replaced its promised formula of “one country, two systems” with “one country, one system.”

Therefore, I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.

My announcement today will affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong, from our extradition treaty to our export controls on dual-use technologies and more, with few exceptions.

We will be revising the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese state security apparatus.

We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China.

The United States will also take necessary steps to sanction PRC and Hong Kong officials directly or indirectly involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy and — just if you take a look, smothering — absolutely smothering Hong Kong’s freedom. Our actions will be strong. Our actions will be meaningful.

More than two decades ago, on a rainy night in 1997, British soldiers lowered the Union Flag, and Chinese soldiers raised the Chinese flag in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong felt simultaneously proud of their Chinese heritage and their unique Hong Kong identity. The people of Hong Kong hoped that in the years and decades to come, China would increasingly come to resemble its most radiant and dynamic city. The rest of the world was electrified by a sense of optimism that Hong Kong was a glimpse into China’s future — not that Hong Kong would grow into a reflection of China’s past.

In every decision, I will continue to proudly defend and protect the workers, families, and citizens of the United States of America.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


2:58 P.M. EDT

State Department

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability

JULY 8, 2020



And Beijing said that for 50 years they’d give the people of Hong Kong “a high degree of autonomy.” And you all have seen what’s happened after only 23 years – empty promises made to the people of Hong Kong and to the world.

I want to give kudos to Google, Facebook, and Twitter for refusing to surrender user data to the Hong Kong government – other companies should follow them and do the same.

And a shoutout to our Canadian friends as well. Canada has been strong in its response to Beijing’s crackdown. We think that’s the right course for the entire world to take.

On the CCP’s Orwellian Censorship on Hong Kong

JULY 6, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party’s destruction of free Hong Kong continues.  With the ink barely dry on the repressive National Security Law, local authorities – in an Orwellian move – have now established a central government national security office, started removing books critical of the CCP from library shelves, banned political slogans, and are now requiring schools to enforce censorship.

Until now, Hong Kong flourished because it allowed free thinking and free speech, under an independent rule of law.  No more.  The United States condemns Beijing’s repeated failure to live up to its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and these latest assaults on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

On Beijing’s Imposition of National Security Legislation on Hong Kong

JUNE 30, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to impose draconian national security legislation on Hong Kong destroys the territory’s autonomy and one of China’s greatest achievements. Hong Kong demonstrated to the world what a free Chinese people could achieve – one of the most successful economies and vibrant societies in the world. But Beijing’s paranoia and fear of its own people’s aspirations have led it to eviscerate the very foundation of the territory’s success, turning “One Country, Two Systems” into “One Country, One System.”

The CCP’s action demonstrates once again that Beijing’s commitments – in this case, the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law – are empty words. The CCP promised 50 years of freedom to the Hong Kong people, and gave them only 23. Within the past few years, Beijing has also violated its agreements with the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations. This is a pattern the world cannot ignore.

The United States will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong into its authoritarian maw. Last week, we imposed visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. We are ending defense and dual-use technology exports to the territory. Per President Trump’s instruction, we will eliminate policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment, with few exceptions.

The United States will continue to stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and respond to Beijing’s attacks on freedoms of speech, the press, and assembly, as well as the rule of law, all of which have, until now, allowed the territory to flourish. Today marks a sad day for Hong Kong, and for freedom-loving people across China.

U.S. Government Ending Controlled Defense Exports to Hong Kong

JUNE 29, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to eviscerate Hong Kong’s freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory. As Beijing moves forward with passing the national security law, the United States will today end exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment and will take steps toward imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies to Hong Kong as it does for China.

The United States is forced to take this action to protect U.S. national security. We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China. We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People’s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary.

It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing’s decision to violate its own commitments under the U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. Our actions target the regime, not the Chinese people. But given Beijing now treats Hong Kong as “One Country, One System,” so must we. The United States is reviewing other authorities and will take additional measures to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong.

U.S. Department of State Imposes Visa Restrictions on Chinese Communist Party Officials for Undermining Hong Kong’s High Degree of Autonomy and Restricting Human Rights

JUNE 26, 2020

President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that.

The CCP has stepped up efforts to undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy by announcing Beijing’s authority to “supervise” Hong Kong’s governance, accusing at least one member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council of misconduct, and moving to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s continued actions undermine its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. At the same time, Beijing continues to undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong by putting pressure on local authorities to arrest pro-democracy activists and disqualify pro-democracy electoral candidates.

Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, as guaranteed in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, or undermining human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong. Family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.

The United States calls on China to honor its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration – namely that Hong Kong will “enjoy a high degree of autonomy” and that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, will be protected by law and respected by governing authorities in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the full implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as well as respect for human rights, are of fundamental importance. The United States will continue to review its authorities to respond to these concerns.

U.S. Department of State

2020 Hong Kong Policy Act Report

MAY 28, 2020

Consistent with sections 205 and 301 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (the “Act”), as amended by the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, and section 7043(f)(4)(B) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020 (Div. G, P.L. 116-94), the Department submits this report and the enclosed certification on developments in Hong Kong from March 2019 through May 2020.


The Department of State is obligated by law to certify to Congress annually whether Hong Kong continues to warrant differential treatment under U.S. law. After careful consideration, as required by section 301 of the Hong Kong Policy Act, I can no longer certify that Hong Kong continues to warrant such treatment.

This decertification should come as no surprise, given the facts on the ground. When the United Kingdom handed Hong Kong over to the Chinese Communist Party-led regime in Beijing in 1997, the hope was that free and prosperous Hong Kong would change China by leading the regime in a more liberal direction. China’s promise was that for 50 years, Hong Kong would have certain rights and a system of governance guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty. Instead, authoritarian China has now changed Hong Kong.

The erosion of the territory’s liberties has happened gradually over a period of years, and has accelerated since General Secretary Xi Jinping took power. In 2014, Beijing effectively ruled out universal suffrage as a means to elect the territory’s leader. Dissidents were spirited out of Hong Kong into mainland China and forced to “confess” alleged crimes. Facing Beijing-backed advertising boycotts and other pressure, local media outlets self-censored their coverage of the CCP. Beijing announced the expulsion of U.S. journalists working from mainland China, and said it would prohibit them from reporting from Hong Kong as well.

In last year’s report, I asserted that Hong Kong maintained “a sufficient – although diminished – degree of autonomy,” as an acknowledgement of Beijing’s escalating assault on the territory. Since that report was issued, China has shed any pretense that the people of Hong Kong enjoy the high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties guaranteed to them by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

In November 2019, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee issued a statement asserting that only the NPCSC has the power to decide whether Hong Kong laws comply with the Basic Law. This statement challenged fundamental principles of autonomy and the long-established practice of Hong Kong courts exercising the power of judicial review to adjudicate laws and review government actions.

On April 17, 2020, the Chinese government’s Central Government Liaison Office (CGLO) in Hong Kong issued a statement claiming that CGLO and the central government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing are not bound by a provision of the Basic Law which states that “no department of the Central People’s Government . . . may interfere in the affairs” of Hong Kong.

On May 22, 2020, the PRC announced a proposal at the National People’s Congress (NPC) to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong, a procedural step which contradicts the spirit and practice of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the One Country, Two Systems framework.

The people of Hong Kong turned out in the millions to protest these violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, not to mention China’s betrayal of its own promises to the territory. Instead of listening to their grievances and finding a democratic solution, the Hong Kong government deployed tear gas and made mass arrests, including of peaceful demonstrators, while Beijing reportedly dispatched its People’s Armed Police into Hong Kong, contrary to its promises under the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Hong Kong flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty and example of what China could aspire to become. I hope that someday in the future, I will be able to recertify that the territory once again warrants differential treatment under U.S. law. Given present circumstances, the chance of that happening is remote. In the meantime, the United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the CCP’s increasing denial of the autonomy they were promised.

Briefing With Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell on PRC National People’s Congress Proposal on Hong Kong National Security Legislation




MAY 27, 2020

MS ORTAGUS:  Thank you so much. Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you so much for dialing in this afternoon. We are going to have an on-the-record briefing today by the head of our Bureau for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Assistant Secretary Dave Stilwell, who you all know really well. I’m sure many of you or probably all of you by now have seen today’s statement by Secretary Pompeo on the PRC National People’s Congress proposal on Hong Kong national security legislation. The bottom line is that in response to the rapid erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy since last March, brought to a head by the PRC’s announcement last week that it will unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong, the Secretary has certified that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997.

Assistant Secretary Stilwell will open with brief remarks to explain the PRC actions which underpin the Secretary’s decision. He will also seek to explain the ramifications of this action. We will then of course take time to answer your questions. Please go ahead and get yourself in the queue, press 1 and then 0 to ask a question. Just a reminder that while this call is on the record that the contents of this briefing are embargoed until the end of the call.

David, go ahead.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Thank you, Morgan, and thank you all for joining. Let me just quickly give you the runup since you don’t stare at this these things like we do all day for the last year that’s gotten us to this position.

What the Chinese are trying to do, what Beijing is trying to do here, is paint this situation with Hong Kong and the rest of all Chinese actions here as contest strictly between the U.S. and China, painting the U.S. as the hostile side. Beijing likes this arrangement. It makes it much easier to deal with one on one, and it used them – it helps them use economic levers on others who aren’t involved in the fray to keep them on the sidelines. And we’ve seen that go on where economic threats – most recently with Australia, I believe you’ve seen – are told that beef, barley, wine, other imports would no longer be welcome should they continue down this path.

The fact is that it’s not just U.S. and China, it’s basically the world is finally recognizing that China’s pushing – Beijing is pushing a form of government that many only now are beginning to recognize as problematic. And this most recent step from the National People’s Congress in walking away from its obligations with respect to Hong Kong only demonstrate that more clearly.

The way they’ve done that is they are the Chinese Communist Party, but they know what that communist word – the baggage it brings, and so you hear them speaking a lot about socialism with Chinese characteristics. It just sounds nicer. But we need to get past the nice language and face what we’re up against.

This administration has worked very hard to make the language and the reality match, so we’ve chosen our words carefully. This is an authoritarian system. It prefers to negotiate with others on a position of strength using a might makes right stance both domestically with its own people and internationally, as I mentioned before, with economic levers and other things.

Anyone older than 50 years old remembers this sort of contest, and it – we believe the right side came out on top. And since 1991, as Francis Fukuyama says, it was the end of history. We believe that democratic processes and we still believe democratic processes are really the only way to go, right – you have to give your people a voice and a choice to moderate government behavior. Government works for the people, not vice versa.

So recent events now have shown that Beijing seeks more global prominence, and they want that to go with this newfound wealth and economic help that they’ve been using. In the process, though, they’ve gained additional scrutiny.

In October 2017, the 19th Party Congress Work Report said that China will move closer to the center of the global stage. This process has moved their authoritarian system closer to the limelight as well, where many now have come to see what Xi Jinping’s, quote, governance idea looks like, and increasingly people don’t really like what they’re seeing.

So we’re all faced with a authoritarian government that we thought had been relegated to history. If you look at the 2018 Economist Magazine cover, the title is “How the West got China wrong.” I think it’s worth looking at because it identifies the recognition and the reckoning that many have arrived at as we see what this thing really is.

So given the massive dislocations that have been brought on globally by China’s mishandling of what should have been a minor public health issue in Wuhan, the world right now is focused on survival, not focused on Hong Kong. It appears that Beijing has used this opportunity to accelerate its agenda going into its next political season.

Over the last two weeks, Beijing has really picked up the pace. They’ve made hints that this National People’s Congress would be different, and they’ve been hinting that Hong Kong’s status might change. But in the last two weeks, and even as early as – soon as yesterday, they’ve made very strong comments that they do not plan to honor the joint declaration they made with the UK in 1997.

And so they do intend to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. The agreement says that Hong Kong itself will determine what Article 23 national security legislation looks like. Beijing has apparently ran out of patience and will – and has made very clear it plans to do so, and will probably announce that tonight, late tonight, as an outcome of the National People’s Congress.

So in response, as you know, the Secretary’s statement says that we have determined that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy. We are designing our responses to be sure to help Beijing understand that as a nation of law, we will invoke the law that the Congress passed in the Hong Kong Policy Act and Human Rights and Democracy Act. But at the same time, we will do our best to ensure the people of Hong Kong are not adversely affected to the best we can.

But I will note that this decision was made by the government in Beijing and not by the U.S. And so the – our approach is to mitigate the impact globally on the Hong Kong people while at the same time helping Beijing understand our concerns.

And with that, I will conclude. 

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks so much, Dave. We have a pretty lengthy queue already for questions. We are going to try to get to as many of you as possible, so please, if you can, try to ask one question so that we can get through all of your colleagues on the queue please. First up is Matt Lee, Associated Press.

QUESTION: I realize that you probably can’t talk about or won’t want to talk about what’s the range of options that you’re considering to take, but can you at least give us an idea of what the scope of what – what it could include, regardless of whether or not the President or the administration has actually made up their mind on what to do? Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Right. Matt, thank you for noting, of course, that the President will determine exactly what steps the U.S. Government takes on this one. I did note broadly that the actions will be considered, and they will be as targeted as possible to change behavior. We’re not hopeful that Beijing will reverse itself, but that is one of the options. And then hopefully they’ll take that. But as you know, it can be across the spectrum. It can be personnel, it can be visa sanctions as determined in the Hong Kong Policy Act and the Human Rights and Democracy Act. Obviously, there’s economic sanctions and other things that we can do.

But to preview those, I certainly wouldn’t want to get ahead of the White House on this one. And so I’m not going to get ahead of them. The President now has the opportunity to determine what we do in response. Over.

MS ORTAGUS: Thank you. Now we’ll go to Nike Ching, VOA.

QUESTION: Thank you so much for the call. Secretary Pompeo mentioned this decision gave him no pleasure. Would this certification hurt the people of Hong Kong and U.S. firms operating there? Are there ways to avoid the side effect? And would the U.S. allow Hong Kong to maintain economic and trade offices with diplomatic status in Washington, D.C. and other major U.S. cities? Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Yeah, Nike, thank you for that. Yeah, no pleasure, exactly. I’m seeing reports already on this where they’re noting that basically the administration is the actor in this one, where we’re responding to decisions not just from this last week, either. I mean, this has been ongoing for a while. If you recall, for instance, NGOs. American NGOs were there to simply help Hong Kong people that were banned from operating in Hong Kong. They’re no longer allowed to set up shop in Hong Kong and do what they did. When the PRC kicked out journalists from reputable American outlets, they also threatened the same journalists in Hong Kong.

And so the point is that that special status that Hong Kong enjoyed – that wall, maybe, if you want to put it that way – is being penetrated and Beijing is no longer acknowledging its special status. And so it’s not just the presidential determination, the actions he chooses to take, but I think businesses and others would notice these facts as well and make prudent choices as far as whether they – whether the environment in a year from now is going to be conducive to fair business, transparent operations, and all the rest that they’ve enjoyed to date. And so the administration will take action. I would expect others also seeing Chinese actions would respond to those. Over.

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks so much. Next up is Rich Edson, Fox News.

QUESTION: Hi. Just want to follow a bit on Matt’s question, try to get a little bit more. As you do design your response and options for the President to decide, are those responses limited specifically to the conditions of the special economic and trade benefits, or are there consequences under consideration outside the revocation of those privileges?  And is there anything you can possibly say about a time frame that we could expect for all of this?  Thank you, sir. 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: You bet. The – again, not getting ahead of the White House, but the White House benefits from the inputs from all agencies, not just from State Department. And so the Hong Kong Policy Act, Human Rights and Democracy Act are in the purview of the Secretary, but what the President chooses to do in the determination is – it’s a whole-of-government approach, certainly an administration approach. And so I’m not going to forecast or limit what it could be, but there’s a very long list of things that the President could do in response.

As far as the timing, again, I’m not going to forecast. It’s – this – the Chinese approach has been ongoing over this last year, which made going into the 31 March deadline for the report to Congress difficult. And as you know, the Secretary noted that and said that given the forecasting, the preview that is coming out of Beijing, that we would hold off on submitting the report, knowing that the Chinese were already telegraphing that they were going to do this. And so that pace has accelerated and our response, I believe, certainly in releasing this report, was accelerated as well. Over.

MS ORTAGUS: Thank you. Andrea Mitchell, NBC.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Can you explain how this – how you can craft something that sends the right signal and is painful – suitably painful to the PRC without hurting the people of Hong Kong and without hurting American economic interests as well? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: I think the way I would paint that slightly differently is we’re not hurting anybody. We’re simply responding to what the PRC is doing. And so I’ll take your point on American interests. Back to what China’s done in the two examples I gave to NGOs and to just free press in Hong Kong, who I think the PRC see as reporting facts that they would prefer stay silent or out of view, businesses should be seeing that exact same phenomenon.

The PRC I think has tried to paint this as they would respect the economic freedom in Hong Kong without feeling obligated to respect political freedom. You can’t have one without the other. We know that’s the case. And so the U.S. will do what we can and thread that needle as best we can, but as we talk about this, we need to talk about the actor in this case, and that’s the PRC who is changing the status quo. Thank you.

MS ORTAGUS: Great, thank you. Nick Schifrin, PBS. Nick Schifrin?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)  Can you hear me? 

MS ORTAGUS: Nick, yeah, sorry. Yeah, please – I would start over. Thanks.

QUESTION: Oh, sorry. Hey, Morgan. Thanks. And hey Dave, thanks for doing this. I’m sorry to ask this for a fourth time but I’m going to ask it kind of in a philosophical way and see if you can engage with this. So there’s a debate that I’m hearing about how to respond, and one is based on the idea that Hong Kong’s special status is already lost and that the PRC needs to feel pain both in terms of personally – visa sanctions on senior officials – but also target Hong Kong’s special status and that will hurt Beijing because Beijing still benefits from Hong Kong. And then the other argument is Hong Kong is not lost, and so we have to be very precise and try and encourage anti-democracy activists to stay, don’t punish them at all in terms of visas, and don’t punish U.S. businesses at all that are in Hong Kong. So can you talk about that philosophical idea about whether Hong Kong is lost and therefore PRC needs to feel as much pain as possible, or no, Hong Kong is not lost and things can be more precise? Thanks.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: As I said in the beginning, internationally – it’s not just the U.S. and the PRC, although we’ve been the most vocal, and in the same way it’s not just Hong Kong being some pawn in the middle. Obviously, the Hong Kong people have a voice as well and they used that voice to great effect last summer when a watered-down version of this national security legislation was attempted to be foisted on them in the form of the extradition treaty, and they protested. There was – it was characterized as riots by Beijing, but they were simply protesting something that was in violation of an agreement and in violation of the rule of law that they had come to expect over time.

So how we help them is by doing this, is by being very clear as to our intent, by working with them and hearing what they have to say, also by helping Beijing understand in ways that simple conversation did not have an effect and so we’re taking action to help Beijing understand that what they’re doing not only hurts American businesses, American interests, but it affects the American interest in things like stable democracies and rule of law and in living up to your word and living up to your commitments, and not just signing paper with no intent to follow things like the joint declaration.

And so I can’t get into a whole lot of details on that, but I do – I firmly believe that there are things we can do that do not necessarily directly – and that in fact support the folks who are out there working hard to maintain the democratic processes they had. Over. 

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks. Nick Wadhams, Bloomberg. 

QUESTION: Hi, thanks, Dave. I just wanted to pin you down a little bit on something you said. Regardless of what the administration does, do you believe that Hong Kong’s status as this – a unique case where investors, businesses, companies from around the world can feel safe with the regulatory and legal environment, do you believe that’s all been shattered?  Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Well, you can imagine I probably wouldn’t take – commit to a strong word like “shattered,” but I have friends in the consulting business. We will – all the China folks have been talking lots back and forth, and these are the people that companies in China and in Hong Kong reach out to and listen to for advice. And their advice has been that what the PRC here is doing is making what you remember the – what Hong Kong was, which was the sort of trading entree into the PRC, the place where you could get a fair deal and where rule of law thrived. What is happening here, the choices being made in Beijing are injuring that. And so it’s not just us that are taking action, it’s people who know and who provide advice to American and other companies that would like to continue operating in Hong Kong but if the risk is too high they’re going to have to look at other options. Thank you. 

MS ORTAGUS: Okay, Joel Gehrke, you’re up next.

QUESTION: Hi, thank you both for doing this. Sort of adjacent to the Hong Kong issue, on the sidelines of this NPC congress the defense minister over the weekend said that Sino-U.S. strategic confrontation had gone through “a period of high risk,” and “We must strengthen our fighting spirit, be daring to fight and be good at fighting, and use fighting to promote stability.”  And the defense ministry spokesman added that with particular reference to Taiwan, quote, “The situation against separatism is getting grimmer.”

So as they make – as the PRC makes this move to assert more control over Hong Kong, do you have any concern of a follow-up vis-a-vis Taiwan?  Or if not, what do you make of that rhetoric from the defense minister about high-risk confrontation with the U.S. and using fighting to promote stability? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: So that’s a really good question, and in my previous life, I focused on that very clearly. I would just note that Taiwan has taken notice as well, and the one country, two systems construct – all these things are based on trust and being able to believe what you’re being told. And when you’re told that we’re going to use a system called “one country, two systems” that allows for variance in approaches to governance, and then you seemingly walk back from that, this is going to resonate not just in Hong Kong, but elsewhere.

And so I think the defense minister is noting that these actions they’re taking are going to have impact, and not just in – across the straits. It’s going to have impact in Southeast Asia, it’s going to have impact with its neighbor India, and others. This newly muscular and aggressive approach is going to make the defense minister’s job a lot harder.

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks. Okay. Let’s see. Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times. Tracy?

OPERATOR: I’m not showing her line in queue.

MS ORTAGUS: Okay. Jennifer Hansler, CNN. 

QUESTION: Hi, thanks. Have you briefed members of the business community on this decision and possible outcomes? And are you telling them that it is, in fact, too risky to continue their business there? And then are you anticipating any sort of coordinated response with allies to what’s going on in Hong Kong? Thank you. 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: As I mentioned earlier, it’s not just the State Department and not just my bureau that is capable of doing risk assessment and helping people understand what’s out there – and yes, we are engaged. The State Department writ large is talking to American businesses and others, but we also know that they are – everyone’s reading the writing on the wall.

And so as far as involving others, as I mentioned before, the PRC wants to paint this as the U.S. is having an issue with this. The more the world is – stand up and is counted and says you need to live up to your commitments and follow through on agreements, obviously the more impactful this action will have. And yes, that’s our job at the State Department, is to do things that coordinate with like-mindeds and get them to – those who share our ideas to stand up, be counted. Thank you.

MS ORTAGUS: Okay, thanks. We’re going to try to squeeze in one or two more if we can. Humeyra Pamuk from Reuters up next.

QUESTION: Hi there. I wanted to ask:  How concerned is the administration about this whole thing with Hong Kong on the fact that it might seriously jeopardize its trade deal? I know Larry Kudlow said the President is very miffed that he cares maybe a little bit less about the trade deal than fixing this. But the trade imbalance story was a campaign promise, and it would look increasingly unfulfilled. How worried are you about that? Thank you. 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Well, I’d say fortunately I’m not worried personally because I’m going to push that one over to USTR and to Secretary Lighthizer’s folks. I’m not going to comment on that one. Thank you, though.

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks. Okay, Jessica Donati, Wall Street Journal.

QUESTION: Some of the analysts that we’ve been talking to say that it’s unclear whether this will be enacted as a sort of one sweeping decision or whether it will be a drip, drip of revoking parts of the special status. Without giving away what exactly you’re going to be doing, do you anticipate this being a one-stop impact or proceeding over the next months? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: That’s a good question. It’s actually a one-two action, one being the State Department making the assessment that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy, and then of course the determination by the White House as to exactly – as how we’re going to respond. So obviously the note today, the Secretary’s message today, has – as you see, it’s gotten a lot of attention, but there is – there are other actions that will take place. I know many people are eager to find out what those are. I am not going to get ahead of the White House on that one, though.

MS ORTAGUS: Okay, team, I apologize, but this is going to have to be the final question. We have a hard out here. But we do have another briefing on Iran at 5:30 that I hope all of you can join. Apologies for these being the end of the day. Katrina Manson, FT, last question.

QUESTION: Thanks so much for that. I just wondered if you’d calculated how much Hong Kong would suffer financially if special privileges were to be removed, if that special status were in some way affected.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY STILWELL: Well, the process that got us to this point was – the deliberations were comprehensive. And of course, there would – there is going to be, there would be, an impact in some way, both for the U.S. and for the PRC.

I’ll go back to my original statement that the decision to do this is not the U.S.’s. We’re given by the Congress a list of criteria against which to measure Hong Kong autonomy, and it was – clearly the Chinese were – had no interest in even maintaining a shell that they were going to allow that. And so you’re right, the financial impacts are worth noting, but they will be linked to the actions that the determination that comes out of the White House will impose.

And as I said, we’re going to do this in a smart way, in a way that takes care of the things and the people we care about, while at the same time letting Beijing know that what they’re doing is – contravenes what they agreed to do back in ’97. Thank you.

MS ORTAGUS: Thanks, everybody. Apologies that we have to run, but hopefully we’ll talk to most of you at 5:30 for the briefing on Iran. Thank you, Dave.



Secretary Pompeo’s Call with UK Foreign Secretary Raab


MAY 27, 2020

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today and discussed concerns over Beijing’s effort to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Secretary Raab expressed support for a stable and prosperous Hong Kong and agreed the PRC must honor its commitments and obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both agreed the international community must support the people of Hong Kong and respond to Beijing’s continued erosions of Hong Kong’s autonomy.


PRC National People’s Congress Proposal on Hong Kong National Security Legislation



MAY 27, 2020

Last week, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty.

The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.

Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising, and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure. But sound policy making requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.

The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the CCP’s increasing denial of the autonomy that they were promised.


P.R.C. Proposal To Impose National Security Legislation on Hong Kong



MAY 22, 2020

The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress proposal to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. The decision to bypass Hong Kong’s well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong would be a death knell for the high degree of autonomy Beijing promised for Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed agreement.

Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of liberty. The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties, which are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law. Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.

We stand with the people of Hong Kong.

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in China

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau

If you are a U.S. citizen who is visiting or residing in Hong Kong, you can register with the State Department to receive updated information, advisories, and related support. As always, in Case of Emergency: Call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S./Canada); +1-202-501-4444 (overseas); or contact the nearest embassy: go.usa.gov/xduQM.

Travel Advisory

June 2, 2020

Hong Kong – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Last Update: Reissued with updates on China’s introduction of a national security law.

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

A novel (new) coronavirus officially known as COVID-19 is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Hong Kong government has reported cases of the novel coronavirus in its special administrative region, has upgraded its response level to emergency, its highest response level, and is taking other steps to manage the novel coronavirus outbreak. On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong’s borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. Please refer to the Hong Kong government’s press release for further details.

On January 30, the Hong Kong government closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China until further notice, and on February 3 suspended ferry services from Macau.

On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees and their family members due to the novel coronavirus and the effect to Mission personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.

On February 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Warning: Practice Usual Precautions in Hong Kong for COVID-19.

The Department of State has raised the Travel Advisory for mainland China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for China: Avoid all nonessential travel.

At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong. If you travel to Hong Kong, take the following steps:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

o    It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

If you spent time in Hong Kong during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel to Hong Kong, an area with community spread of coronavirus, and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Please monitor the Hong Kong government’s website for further updates on the coronavirus infection.

See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html for additional guidance.

Exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest, risk of surveillance, and arbitrary enforcement of laws other than for maintaining law and order.

Country Summary: Since June 2019, large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International airport. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence.

U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.

The People’s Republic of China will impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong government, the legislation’s intent is to target acts of secession or subversion of state power, the organization or carrying out of terrorist activities, and activities interfering with the Hong Kong’s internal affairs by foreign or external forces. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Hong Kong may be subject to increased levels of surveillance, as well as arbitrary enforcement of laws for purposes other than maintaining law and order.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:

  • Monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Review your flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Follow U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hong Kong.
  • S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau (26 May 2020)


  • Legislative Council Complex and surrounding areas
  • Hong Kong Island
  • Kowloon
  • New Territories
  • Hong Kong Transit Systems
  • Hong Kong Shopping Malls


On Wednesday, May 27, a protest may occur near the Legislative Council Complex in Central, Hong Kong, according to media reports.  Protests at other times and locations may also occur.

Protests are likely to disrupt transportation across Hong Kong.  MTR stations may be closed and other transportation options may be cancelled on short notice.  Over the past year, some MTR stations have closed for extended periods and the MTR network has at times closed earlier than usual.

Since June 2019, large scale and smaller demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International Airport.  While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries.  Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons.  Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs).  Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity.

Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue, and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence.


U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
+852 2841-2211
+852 2523-9011 (after hours)

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Hong Kong Country Information
Macau Country Information
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts

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PRC and Hong Kong Media (English-language)

Xinhua News Agency

South China Morning Post


Hong Kong Media (Chinese-language only)

CitizenNews 眾新聞 

iCable News

Initium Media 端傳媒 (subscription required)

Inmedia HK

Now News

The Stand News

Social Media

Aggregated Content

Eyepress News Agency

Uploads frontline photos and videos to Twitter. Also on Facebook / Instagram @eyepressnews


Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Hong Kong & China English-language news. Non-profit, free-of-charge & completely independent.


Laurel Chor’s Hong Kong Protests List

“Here’s a list of users tweeting about the #HongKong protests. Especially with the protests now spread out, it is impossible for any individual to cover them effectively. Thankfully, there are many talented & tireless reporters in HK. #antiELAB”

Scholars (on Twitter, like other below-mentioned individuals unless otherwise specified)

Prof. Yuen Chan

Senior Lecturer at @cityjournalism. Formerly at CUHK.

Personal website

Prof. Brian C.H. Fong (方志恒)

A comparative political scientist based in Hong Kong, also Secretaries-General of @networkdiplohk, @psg4hk, @hkbase_org and @wemakerhongkong.

Associate Professor, and Associate Director of The Academy of Hong Kong Studies, at The Education University of Hong Kong.

Prof. Victoria Tin-bor Hui

Political science professor at the University of Notre Dame; born and grew up in Hong Kong.

Prof. Sebastian Veg

Professor (directeur d’études) of intellectual history of 20th century China at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Director of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) in Hong Kong from 2011 to 2015.

Faculty webpage, EHESS

Member webpage, Society for Hong Kong Studies

Personal website

Prof. Samson Yuen

Assistant professor of political science at Lingnan University. Tweets on politics in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Asia.

Scholars (not on Twitter–please read their pathbreaking academic work if you can)

Prof. Choi Susanne Yuk-ping 蔡玉萍

Professor at the Department of Sociology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Fulbright scholar at Harvard University in 2013.

Prof. Ho-Fung Hong

The Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at the  Sociology Department and the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. Author of the award-winning Protest with Chinese Characteristics (2011) and The China Boom: Why China Will not Rule the World (2016), both published by Columbia University Press.

ChinaFile Profile & Contributions

ChinaFile article, 26 November 2014

Wilson Center Profile & Contributions

Prof. Agnes Shuk-mei KU (谷淑美/古淑美)

Associate Professor, Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Researches cultural sociology, civil society, Hong Kong culture and politics, and urban space.


Dr. Kwong Kin Ming 鄺健銘

Formerly with the East Asian Institute in Singapore. Having returned to Hong Kong, he writes for The Stand News and works on the translation and publication of academic books.

Prof. Ching Kwan Lee

A UCLA sociologist researching work, globalization, political sociology, development of the global south, comparative ethnography, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Africa. Most recent co-edited volumes include: Take Back Our Future: an Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement (Cornell University Press, 2019).

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, 28 May 2020

Prof. Eliza W. Y. LEE 李詠怡

Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University. Research focuses on state-society dynamics and the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Lead author of Public Policymaking in Hong Kong: Civic Engagement and State-Society Relations in a Semi-Democracy (London: Routledge, 2013). She was Head of the Department from (2013-16) and former director of Centre for Civil Society and Governance (2010-18).

Prof. LUI Tai-Lok

Vice President (Research and Development), Chair Professor of Hong Kong Studies, Director of the Academy of Hong Kong Studies, Acting Director of the Centre for Governance and Citizenship, and Director of the Centre for Greater China Studies, at The Education University of Hong Kong. Has widely researched and published in topics including class analysis, economic sociology, urban sociology, and Hong Kong society. Actively contributes to the Hong Kong community by serving on various committees in governmental and professional bodies.

Prof. MA Ngok

Associate Professor, Government and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Research focus on comparative social movements and democratization experiences with respect to Hong Kong.

Wikipedia entry


Prof. PUN Ngai 潘毅

Department of Sociology, Hong Kong University. Winner of 2006 C. Wright Mills Award for Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace, required reading at major universities in America, Europe and Asia. Two of her Chinese books were also awarded the Hong Kong Book Prize 2007 and 2011 as top-ten popular books, widely read in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Prof. Shu-Mei Shih

Professor of Comparative Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies at UCLA. President-elect of American Comparative Literature Association. An elected fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Arts and Humanities. Recipient of a distinguished alumnae award from National Taiwan Normal University.

Prof. Dixon Ming SING 成名

Researches democratization, political culture, civil society, quality of life, and Hong Kong politics. An active commentator on Hong Kong politics, whose comments have been solicited by local and international media. Fulbright scholarship awardee.

Dr. Klaiver J. WANG (Klavier Wong)

Audiovisual Archivist Assistant, Division of Libraries; and Graduate Student, Tisch School of the Arts; New York University. Correspondent and writer, Initium Media Technology, Ltd. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Academy of Hong Kong Studies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Researches history of Hong Kong popular culture and its relation with the city’s migration history and geopolitical and social transformation.


Prof. Seanon Wong

Assistant Professor, Government and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Personal website

Google Scholar page

Journalists (Currently/Recently Affiliated)

Wilfred Chan

Contributing writer @thenation

Personal webpage

Galileo Cheng

Social Affairs Exec, HK Catholic Institution Staff Association; Grp member, Justice & Peace Comm HK Catholic Diocese; Ex @inmediahk reporter.

Selina Cheng 鄭嘉如

Investigative reporter@HK01 香港01


Ezra Cheung

Part-time reporter at @nytimes & @CNN. Formerly @AFP.

Karen Cheung

Journalist @nytopinion, @larbchina, @theoffingmag, and elsewhere.

Personal website

Rachel Cheung

Culture reporter based in Hong Kong. Formerly @SCMPLifestyle @Varsitycuhk

Jimmy Choi

Reporter @rthk_enews. Dispatches from #HongKong.

Company website

Laurel Chor

Photographer & journalist, @NatGeo Explorer


Wei Du 杜唯

Hong Kong-based International Correspondent @ChannelNewsAsia, former fellow @risj_oxford


Tom Grundy

Editor-in-chief & founder of @HongKongFP, non-profit, independent & run by journalists.

Company website

Mary Hui

Reporter at @qz covering Asia business & geopolitics, & HK protests. Previously: freelancer & @washingtonpost


Natasha Khan

Journalist @WSJ. Posts on Hong Kong, China, business, geopolitics and other topics of fascination.


Ryan Ho Kilpatrick 何松濤

Correspondent covering the Hong Kong protests and COVID-19 outbreak for @latimes, @washingtonpost, @NewStatesman, @guardian, @Independent, @dpa.

Jeffie Lam

Correspondent @SCMPNews covering Hong Kong politics

Chris Lau

Reporter at @SCMPnews

Fion Li

Asia Team Leader @BloombergDeals. Retiring Bloomberg Hong Kong Bureau Chief.


Alvin Lum

Political journalist for @hkcnews_com, specializing in Hong Kong’s political and justice system.

Shibani Mahtani

Southeast Asia and HK bureau chief for @washingtonpost, ex-WSJ in SEAsia and the Midwest.

Aaron Mc Nicholas

Journalist in Hong Kong. Previously with @business @Storyful. Will soon announce new position. 麥固崙

Jason Y. Ng

Hong Kong-based lawyer/author/columnist; convener of Progressive Lawyers Group; former president of PEN HK.

Personal website

Damon Pang

Journalist, Radio Television Hong Kong 香港電台 記者

Company website

Jessie Pang

@Reuters Correspondent in Hong Kong. @fcchk Fellow. @hkbaptistu & @JMSCHKU Alumnus.

James Pomfret

HongKonger, Reuters Special Correspondent


Richard Pyne

Journalist for Radio Television Hong Kong

Austin Ramzy

New York Times reporter in Hong Kong 紐約時報記者王霜舟


Ilaria Maria Sala

Words: @guardian, @hongkongFP, @chinafile, @nytimes

Suzanne Sataline

Journalist @TheAtlantic, @foreignaffairs, @statnews, and @csmonitor

Personal website

Phila Siu (Bobby)

Senior Reporter @SCMPNews 南華早報 資深記者

Isabella Steger

Deputy Asia bureau chief @qz. Formerly @WSJ.

Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪

@AFP Hong Kong correspondent

Timmy Sung

News reporter @RTHK_enews, Radio Television Hong Kong

Joanne Wong

Multimedia reporter @rthk_enews, former producer @CNBCi.

Rachel Wong

Reporter @HongKongFP. Academic researcher.


Vicky Wong 黃瑋殷

Journalist in Hong Kong, former @CoconutsHK, ATV World and @politicshome

Personal website

Elaine Yu

Freelance journalist, covering Hong Kong & China for @nytimes. Former @AFP correspondent. Earlier works @DissentMag@NewYorker@theintercept, etc. Also featured in: CNNCNN TravelO GloboMSN UKThe New York TimesChannel 7Business InsiderYahoo CanadaThe IndependentThe Economic Times, and more.


Sarah Zheng 鄭雅儒

SCMP reporter in Hong Kong covering China & diplomacy.



Journalists and Commentators (Independent)

Note: This section includes figures in art and literature. They are both part of the broad diversity of Hong Kong society and culture, and include some of its most creative and unconstrained critics. Some write in Cantonese to emphasize a distinct Hong Kong identity. Doing so allows certain flourishes and witty allusions that would not be possible in more restrained Mandarin. These creative and critical approaches offer metaphors for Hong Kong resisting PRC standardization, constraints, and repression.

Holmes Chan

Freelance journalist writing about culture, law and politics. Ex-@HongKongFP and @StillLoudHK

New book: AFTERSHOCK: Essays from Hong Kong.

Chan Koonchung 陳冠中 (writes mainly in Cantonese)

A commentator and science-fiction writer who lived in Beijing for the past two decades after having previously lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. Founder of the Hong Kong Film Directors Association (香港電影導演會), among other organizations. Previously worked as a reporter for the Hong Kong tabloid The Star. In 1976 he co-founded City Magazine (號外) with Qiu Shiwen and Deng Xiaoyu and Hu Junyi. In the 1990s he worked as an overseas publisher for the mainland literary journal Dushu (读书), published by the China Publishing Group (中国出版集团) and Life, Reading, and Innovation Bookstore (生活读书新知三联书店). His dystopian novel The Fat Years (2009) was published in English by Doubleday in 2011.

New York Times interview, 27 May 2020

Eric Cheung

Freelance journalist in #HongKong. Work appears in @cnni, @SCMPNews, @guardian, @ABC.


Antony Dapiran

Hong Kong-based writer & lawyer. Author of “City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong” (Scribe, 2020).


Personal website

Dung Kai-cheung 董啟章 (writes mainly in Cantonese)

全時間業餘作家, 遊於虛構, 居於香港。

Frequent commentator who describes himself as a “full-time amateur writer, sojourning in fiction, dwelling in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong Hermit

Special credit is due him for his carefully curated set of Twitterers to follow, the vast majority of whom are included here (several accounts appear to have become defunct since he posted this compendium last year).

Jasmine Leung

Freelance multimedia journalist @AFP, @nbcnews, @telegraph, @rthk_news

Personal website

Hsiuwen Liu 劉修彣

Freelance journalist based in Hong Kong. Previously @BW

Personal website

Alex Hofford

Environmental campaigner and photojournalist.

Personal website

Kong Tsung-gan / 江松澗

Author of ‘Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong’ & ‘As Long as There is Resistance, There is Hope


Tang Siu Wa 鄧小樺 (writes mainly in Cantonese)

Hong Kong poet, writer, commentator, activist, protester.




Ray Chan

Hong Kong Parliamentarian (2012–) Chair, People Power (2016–)

Dennis Kwok

A practicing barrister and a current HK lawmaker representing the legal profession. Founding member of Civic Party. For democracy, freedom and rule of law.

Lam Cheuk-ting

Lawmaker in Flag of Hong Kong


Instagram: cheuktinglam

Alan Leong 梁家傑

Alan is a barrister and was Chairman of HKBA. 2007, he ran for CE. 2014, he was Convenor of Pan-democrats during Umbrella Movement. Now chairs Civic Party.

Alvin Yeung 楊岳橋

Hong Kong Civic Party leader and Legislator



Agnes Chow Ting周庭

Member of Demosisto, University student.


Denise Ho (HOCC)

Hong Kong singer, pro-democracy and LGBTQI activist.

Personal website

Jimmy Lai

Entrepreneur, media pioneer, political contributor.

Nathan Law 羅冠聰

Founding chair of @demosisto. Elected at 23, forcefully unseated Hong Kong lawmaker under suppression from China. Pro-democracy activist. Yale grad student.


Wilson Leung 梁允信

Hong Kong barrister (lawyer). @HongKongPLG (法政匯思) founding member and ex-convenor.

Joshua Wong 黃之鋒

Hong Kong activist, Secretary General of @demosisto

Sample pro-PRC policy messages now circulating in Chinese-language social media networks

欲滅其族 先害其子

美國己故總統 尼克遜 在1980出了一本書叫 “ 1999 不戰而勝 “
( 1999 Victory Without War)

書裡說道: ” 當有一天,中國的年輕人不再相信他們祖先的教導和他們的傳統文化,我們美國人就會不戰而勝了”。

由此可見,連外國人都知道中國能站立五千年,成為不倒的文明古國,就真正因為祖先留下豐富的古文化智慧,它可以力拔山河,可以抵檔得住千軍萬馬 ,令我們圪立不倒。


見到香港今天的局面, 就知道這種歹毒手段正在教育界悄悄進行,就知道教育界多年已滲入了多少特工。年輕人給洗腦至數典忘祖,滋事生亂,居然想攪香港脫離中國獨立,令人痛心疾首。

古有明訓, “欲滅其族, 先害其子!”



後記:以上文章發表於2017年10月,當時港獨只作零聲擾攘,今天竟演變成香港大亂。 整整兩年過去,看來外國成功了,果然”欲滅其族,先害其子”。