Home News [Hong Kong News]The speech of the US Consul General in Hong Kong angered Beijing and exposed the escalation of the confrontation between China and the US; Hong Kong Democratic Council | Guo Fengyi | CCP Virus | Epidemic | Yuan Guoyong |

[Hong Kong News]The speech of the US Consul General in Hong Kong angered Beijing and exposed the escalation of the confrontation between China and the US; Hong Kong Democratic Council | Guo Fengyi | CCP Virus | Epidemic | Yuan Guoyong |

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[Hong Kong News]The speech of the US Consul General in Hong Kong angered Beijing and exposed the escalation of the confrontation between China and the US; Hong Kong Democratic Council | Guo Fengyi | CCP Virus | Epidemic | Yuan Guoyong |

[Voice of Hope January 26, 2023](comprehensive report by our reporter Zheng Xin)

U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong angers Beijing over escalation of Sino-U.S. confrontation

The U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau, Gregory May, recently spoke at an online seminar that Hong Kong’s stringent epidemic prevention measures and the Hong Kong National Security Law may have caused an irreparable blow to Hong Kong’s economy. Respond to the interpretation of the National Security Law.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American think tank organization, held a webinar entitled “Assessing the Future of Hong Kong as a World Business Center” on the 25th, discussing the impact of the CCP’s implementation of the “National Security Law” in Hong Kong and tightening control over Hong Kong.

Mei Rurui said that after taking office for only 4 months, he has already felt the impact of the CCP’s “zero-clearing policy” on Hong Kong’s economy. Many companies have reported that their business operations have been hindered. These losses will be difficult to recover.

He also revealed that in the past two years, 20% of Americans in Hong Kong have left Hong Kong for different reasons, and the number reached 15,000. It means that although most of the epidemic prevention restrictions have been lifted in Hong Kong, the “Hong Kong National Security Law” and the practices of Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have had a negative impact on the business operating environment. Some multinational companies have chosen to move out of Hong Kong, and some companies have moved key employees and The relocation of corporate operations reflects Hong Kong’s weakening status as an international financial centre.

Merrill is also concerned about the impact of Hong Kong’s rule of law on Hong Kong’s status as an international business center. Responding to the interpretation of the National Security Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress last month, he said that the interpretation expands the power of “competent authorities at the level of Hong Kong’s chief executive” to affect court cases, and is not subject to the supervision of the judiciary, which may further weaken judicial independence. Doing business in Hong Kong has increased the risks that only those in mainland China have to face.

Mei Rurui also mentioned that “many Hong Kong people” do not agree with the harsh treatment of Next Media founder Jimmy Lai and other national security law defendants, saying that the US will continue to speak out and criticize the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. He emphasized that the situation in Hong Kong is closely related to the interests of the United States, so it is necessary to speak out for Hong Kong issues, not to interfere.

In addition, Olivia Enos, Washington director of the think tank “The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation”, said that the “Hong Kong National Security Law” symbolizes structural changes in Hong Kong’s future and will definitely change Hong Kong’s business environment.

She cited a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong in 2022, indicating that 80% of business organizations felt the impact of the “Hong Kong National Security Law” and the shrinking of the rule of law; about 5% of business organizations were actively considering moving out of Hong Kong, and wondered whether the 2023 survey would show more Many companies are considering leaving Hong Kong.

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Kong Haofeng, a professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, said that in recent years, investors and rich people have paid more and more attention to whether the investment in China is safe. 23 legislation, which may make the situation in Hong Kong not the worst, only worse.

The day after Megrui’s speech (26th), the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Office in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong government expressed strong dissatisfaction, criticizing the remarks as attacking the CCP’s interpretation of the law, “slandering” Hong Kong’s rule of law and freedom, and “smearing” Hong Kong’s business environment.

Leung Chung-hang, a former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council in Washington, the capital of the United States, told the Voice of America that Maurice’s views reflect that in the eyes of many Americans, Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” is running out. “The night scene is still the same as before, but the “stuffing” or connotation inside has been rotten very badly.”

Hong Kong Democratic Council (HKDC) spokesperson Guo Fengyi agrees with Mei Rurui’s concerns. According to her own experience, due to the imperfect judicial system and the (Hong Kong version) National Security Law, many people know that “Hong Kong’s environment is no longer what they used to be. The environment when I came to Hong Kong”, “I have completely lost interest in staying in Hong Kong for long-term development”.

Guo Fengyi also refuted the official remarks of China and Hong Kong, saying that the United States has a large number of overseas Chinese in Hong Kong and involves huge liquidity, so they are naturally stakeholders in Hong Kong affairs. Chinese and Hong Kong officials have repeatedly reiterated that the United States interferes in internal affairs, which not only contradicts the Hong Kong government’s proclamation that Hong Kong is an international city, but also distorts the facts.

Another analysis pointed out that the confrontation between China and the United States has been escalating in recent years, especially the US President Biden’s recent (19th) press conference on tariffs, accountability for the CCP virus epidemic, and the response to the Russia-Ukraine war issue, which put the CCP in the same position. On the other extreme of the confrontation between the United States and the West, it further highlights the essence of the confrontation between the United States and China. The U.S.-China contest over the national security law is just an extension of the confrontation between the two sides in the frontier of Hong Kong.

More than 10,000 deaths in 3 years, expert Democratic Party calls on Hong Kong government to review the epidemic

The CCP virus (coronavirus) epidemic has lasted for 3 years, seriously affecting the people’s livelihood and economy in Hong Kong, and causing more than 13,000 Hong Kong people to die. Yuan Guoyong, an authoritative infectious disease expert, and Luo Jianxi, chairman of the Democratic Party, called on the Hong Kong government to conduct a review and investigation on the epidemic on the 26th.

Yuan Guoyong, an expert consultant to the Hong Kong government and a chair professor of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, said in an interview on a radio program on the 26th that after SARS in 2003, the Hong Kong government established an independent committee to investigate, and later established a health protection center, and invested more resources in disseminating Disease research and intelligence collection, these tasks are very important to deal with the current CCP virus (new crown) epidemic, enabling Hong Kong to receive news early in the emergence of the virus in the mainland, so as to check the stockpile of masks and medicines, and implement measures such as temperature checks at ports.

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However, Yuan Guoyong pointed out that the Hong Kong government still has deficiencies in its response to the epidemic, including in the early stages of virus tracking, isolation, and testing, as well as the large-scale outbreak of the fifth wave of epidemics in residential care homes for the elderly. It is recommended that the Hong Kong government review and investigate the epidemic situation in the past 3 years to prepare for the next possible pandemic.

The chairman of the Democratic Party, Kin-hee Law, wrote an article in Ming Pao on the same day, advocating that the Hong Kong government set up an independent investigation committee to review and investigate the epidemic.

Luo Jianxi pointed out in the article that the CCP virus epidemic “has lost too many lives and has not yet received an answer.” Many people questioned that the previous government did not adjust the epidemic prevention policy in time, which led to such a high death rate. It is very important to think that an independent investigation committee should be established in accordance with the “Investigation Committee Ordinance” to conduct a comprehensive review, find out the truth, examine deficiencies, and summarize experience for the future.

Luo Jianxi also quoted Kong Fanyi, an expert consultant to the Hong Kong government, who said in an interview a few days ago that the Hong Kong government launched the vaccine pass too late, and believed that there were deficiencies and areas that could be improved. Experts are willing to put forward their opinions for reference and discussion by the society and the government.”

Unsolved New Year shooting suspect in critical condition charged with assaulting police

While the police were dealing with a noise complaint in Peng Chau a few days ago, a police officer was suspected of being attacked and fired three shots, causing a 43-year-old Filipino man to be injured and hospitalized. The outside world questioned the police’s use of excessive force. The police said on the evening of the 26th that they had temporarily charged the man who was shot with one count of assaulting a police officer, and the case will be brought up in the Eastern District Magistrates’ Court the next day.

According to comprehensive Hong Kong media reports, the injured man is still in critical condition. The injured friend has been released on bail pending investigation and must report to the police in late February.

The incident happened on the night of the 24th. The police claimed that the police officer who came to the door to handle the complaint was pushed down the stairs and attacked. Since the attacker was 1.8 meters tall and burly, the police officer involved opened fire according to the code of use of force.

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It is said that the officer who fired the gun has joined the police force for more than 35 years and this is the first time he has fired a gun.

The incident aroused social concern.

Many Pengzhou neighbors questioned the police’s use of the highest force to deal with the incident, and even fired three shots, all of which hit Fei Han’s left hand and left abdomen, thinking whether it was “too impulsive”.

Some neighbors even felt that the police could consider using batons or pepper spray, and there were colleagues to assist when the incident occurred. Even if the party noise was dealt with, the parties should not be agitated, and there was no need to shoot if there was a physical collision.

In addition, the police responded repeatedly emphasizing that the assailant was “burly and violent”, and his unarmed attack caused serious injuries to the police officers. Major Hong Kong media also generally quoted news that the police officer involved in the shooting did not faint after “opening fire”. On the other hand, a video was circulated on the Internet, which showed that the policeman paced back and forth and talked for a while after the injured man fell down and his colleagues arrived at the scene, before he suddenly fainted.

In addition, according to public official information, police officers should promptly arrange medical treatment for those injured at the scene or during arrest. According to the clips on the Internet, no one provided first aid to the injured immediately. Another police officer at the scene first said to the friend of the injured man in English: “Take care your friend!” shot).

December exports record biggest drop in 68 years

On the 26th, the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Government announced the performance of Hong Kong’s imports and exports in December. During the period, the overall exports fell by 28.9%, the largest drop since May 1954, and the value of imports fell by 23.5% during the same period.

The value of overall exports in December was 348.1 billion yuan, down 28.9% year-on-year; the value of imports during the period was 399.7 billion yuan, down 23.5% year-on-year. A visible trade deficit of MOP 51.6 billion was recorded in December, equivalent to 12.9% of the value of merchandise imports.

In 2022, the value of overall exports of goods fell by 8.6%, while the value of imports of goods fell by 7.2%, and a visible trade deficit of 395.8 billion yuan was recorded for the whole year, equivalent to 8.0% of the value of imports of goods.

By region, the value of Hong Kong’s overall exports to Asia fell by 29.2% in December, especially Japan (down 39.3%), Taiwan (down 34.4%), Thailand (down 31.0%), Mainland China (Mainland) (down 30.4%) %) and Vietnam (down 26.5%).

Outside Asia, the value of overall exports to countries such as Germany, the UK and the US also recorded a decline.

In terms of major categories of goods, “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and parts thereof”, “communication, recording and audio equipment and instruments”, “office machines and automatic data processing device)” fell sharply.

Editor in charge: Tang Jie

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