[Voice of Hope November 8, 2023](Comprehensive report by our reporter Zheng Xin)
dark humor! Hong Kong government plans to set up academy to train “legal talents”
After Hong Kong Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu mentioned the establishment of the “Hong Kong International Legal Talent Training Institute” in his second “Policy Address” during his tenure, the Secretary for Justice, Lam Ting-kwok, recently stated again that he intends to set up a “specialized office” next year to promote its establishment to strengthen Training legal talents. The outside world has questioned that the rule of law in Hong Kong has been severely damaged in recent years, and the so-called “legal talents” trained will only become political thugs who betray the spirit of the law.
The Hong Kong government is organizing a five-day “Hong Kong Law Week” event this week. Secretary for Justice Lam Ting-kwok said in his opening speech that under the principle of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong has outstanding advantages and will continue to serve as the “super contact” between the mainland and the world. The Department of Justice will set up a “special office” within next year. Promote the establishment of colleges to strengthen the training of legal talents.
Lin Dingguo also said that the college will regularly hold practical training courses, seminars and international exchange activities to promote exchanges between legal professionals, judges, and government officials, and to train legal talents for the mainland who are familiar with international law, common law, civil law, and national legal systems. .
Chung Kin-wah, former assistant professor of the Department of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told Free Asia on Tuesday (7th) that the rule of law in Hong Kong has been severely damaged in recent years. There is basically no judicial independence at all, and the judges have become political thugs. It is really true that they are now talking about promoting the development of the rule of law in Hong Kong. I don’t know what he (Lin Dingguo) said.
Chung Kin-wah also pointed out that what Hong Kong needs now are “talents” who betray the spirit of the law and show off, but actually undermine the rule of law. He questioned that the so-called “talents” trained by the Hong Kong government would only betray legal professionalism and suppress human rights in Hong Kong.
The news also sparked heated discussions online.
One netizen said, “What an international joke. With the rule of law in Hong Kong today, it is possible to hold classes to train legal professionals? “
Some netizens also joked, “A place usually doesn’t have anything (nothing) or lacks something (missing something), so it just pretends to have something.”
Some netizens sarcastically said, “Black humor is like the underworld’s talk (talking) about training law enforcement officers.”
Members of both parties in the U.S. Congress introduced a bill last Thursday (2nd) calling on the U.S. authorities to sanction 49 Hong Kong officials suspected of violating human rights in Hong Kong, and named many Hong Kong judges and prosecutors in the bill. Among them is Secretary for Justice Lam Ting-kwok.
This bill is the first time that the sanctions list of Hong Kong officials has been expanded to the judicial system. If the proposal is passed, Hong Kong will be on par with Iran and Russia. Judges in both countries have also been sanctioned for human rights issues. Hong Kong is expected to be the first common law jurisdiction to have judges sanctioned.
Samp, a current affairs commentator who is a lawyer, believes that the two parties in the United States have jointly proposed sanctions against Hong Kong judges or judicial personnel for the first time in history.
US journalist’s new book reveals Joshua Wong once sought asylum and Trump supported Hong Kong people’s “lifeboat”
Two American journalists who were stationed in Hong Kong revealed in their new book “Among The Braves” about Hong Kong’s 2019 protests that former Hong Kong Secretary-General Joshua Wong sought asylum at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong before his arrest. , and why the U.S. State Department failed to provide it with protection. In addition, the book also states that then-President Trump expressed support for the “lifeboat” plan for Hong Kong people proposed by his staff.
“Among The Braves” is co-authored by “Washington Post” reporter Shibani Mahtani and “The Atlantic” columnist Timothy McLaughlin. It mainly tells the causes and consequences of the anti-extradition bill protest movement in Hong Kong in 2019, as well as subsequent developments.
The book describes that before the National Security Law in Hong Kong came into effect, Joshua Wong, whose passport had been confiscated at the time, made an appointment with officials from the U.S. Consulate General, hoping to enter the Consulate General. He followed the example of Chen Guangcheng, a blind rights activist from mainland China, who entered the consulate and then transferred to the United States. However, due to U.S. law, one cannot apply for political asylum outside the United States, so U.S. diplomats did not agree at the time.
At the same time, Joshua Wong’s companion, former Hong Kong Standing Committee member Ao Zhuoxuan, who was in the United States, sent an email to the then US Secretary of State Pompeo in Wong’s name to request political asylum. Pompeo communicated with his staff within the next 48 hours. Have a meeting to discuss. However, since the United States had decided to close the Chinese Consulate in Houston at that time, officials were worried that once Huang was hiding in the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, China would take the opportunity to close the consulate to retaliate.
Officials at the meeting also discussed having the United States step in to secretly transport Joshua Wong out of the country by waterway. However, since the only way to escape by water is to the Taiwan Strait or south to the Philippines, the United States gave up because it was worried that it might be intercepted by China when passing through Chinese waters and turn into an international incident. In the end, the U.S. State Department concluded that it was not feasible to hide Joshua Wong in the consulate or smuggle him out of the country, and the U.S. was unable to provide him with protection.
In addition, the book also revealed that the then US Secretary of State Pompeo discussed Hong Kong issues with his staff at the end of May 2020, including whether to announce the abolition of Hong Kong’s special treatment under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, sanction Hong Kong officials, and terminate relations with Hong Kong. During the meeting, State Council Advisor Yu Maochun proposed that the United States could follow the practices of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and study providing Hong Kong people with special visas commonly known as “lifeboats.”
The book quotes then-Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger as saying that when the U.S. version of the “lifeboat” proposal was later presented to Trump, then-President Trump expressed support and said, “Why don’t we open it up? Why don’t we open it up? Why don’t we let a large number of Hong Kong people come to the United States? I like it very much.” Trump also believes that Hong Kong people are hard-working and can become “excellent Americans.”
However, the proposal to accept immigrants from Hong Kong was ultimately abandoned due to the opposition of another political consultant, Stephen Miller. Later, Pompeo issued a statement on May 27, 2020, believing that Hong Kong no longer has a high degree of autonomy and no longer receives special treatment from the United States.
The international credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) issued a report predicting that Hong Kong property prices will fall by 5% to 10% next year, and the residential market will face a difficult year in 2024.
S&P said that due to the slowdown in local economic growth, rising interest rates and oversupply, which has put pressure on the market, residential property prices in Hong Kong this year have been adjusted from the original forecast to increase by 5% to 8%, from flat to falling by 3%, and will fall by another 5% next year. % to 10%.
The report also pointed out that rated developers will likely sacrifice profit margins to achieve sales targets and can withstand price corrections of up to 20% without violating financial triggers.
If property prices fall by 20% next year, the developer’s debt ratio will increase by 0.4 to 0.8 times in fiscal year 2025 or 2026.
In addition, the report predicts that Hong Kong’s first-hand residential transaction volume this year will be approximately 11,000 units, a significant decrease from the original estimate of 15,000 to 17,000 units.
Suicide of Hong Kong students doubles worries from all walks of life
Statistics from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Suicide Prevention Research Center of the University of Hong Kong show that suicide cases among Hong Kong students have increased significantly recently, doubling compared with the same period last year. Many organizations believe that the situation is dire and the community must immediately strengthen support and take corresponding measures.
The University of Hong Kong, together with Caritas and other organizations, held a joint press conference a few days ago (7th) in response to the recent sharp increase in suicide cases among Hong Kong students. They pointed out that the cases ranged from junior high school students to college students, and the situation was dire.
Yip Siu-fai, director of the Suicide Prevention Research Center at the University of Hong Kong, said that center data showed that from August to October this year, there were 22 news reports involving suicides and suicide attempts by people under the age of 18 or tertiary students, which was double the 11 similar cases in the same period last year. Among them, there were 7 and 13 cases in September and October respectively, more than double the number in the same months last year. The situation is worrying and disturbing.
Ye Zhaohui said that the CCP virus (COVID-19) epidemic in the past three years has had a great impact on the growth of young people and the establishment of good teacher-student and peer relationships. Students may not be able to adapt when they return to school after the epidemic. In addition, under the immigration wave, familiar friends and teachers immigrate, and teachers are more focused on students’ academic progress, which leads to increased interpersonal pressure and “explosion” among students.
The research center calls on schools to take measures to reduce exam and study pressure and devote more resources to taking care of students’ mental health; parents should pay more attention to changes in their children’s mood and behavior, and encourage teenagers to be brave enough to seek help when they encounter emotional distress.
Editor in charge: Lin Li
Tags: Hong Kong NewsInternational jokeThe Hong Kong government plans set academy train legal talents book reporter reveals Joshua Wong consulate seek asylum International Legal Talent Training Institute Lam Dingguo Zhong Jianhua Legal Talents Among Braves Joshua Wong Trump Lifeboat Antirevisionism National Security Law Property prices Suicide Immigration wave-