Tag Archives: Democratic reform

Hong Kong’s prospects for reform dire: Manthorpe

International affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe writes today on the crisis looming over Hong Kong, and the fraught relationship between its citizens and Beijing. An excerpt:

Manthorpe B&WA crisis is fast approaching in the relations between Beijing and the people of Hong Kong, a relationship which has been on a downhill slide since the territory was returned to China in 1997.

Within the next few months, Beijing is set to decide whether to keep to its promise made before the handover to foster democratic government in Hong Kong, or to continue dictating who will run the territory of over seven million people.

The prospects for meaningful reform in Hong Kong do not look good.

Increasingly, in recent years Beijing has been given little cause to think Hongkongers can be trusted to run their own affairs without causing problems for China’s Communist one-party state.

Months of public consultation by the Hong Kong government on the territory’s future political structure will end early in May.

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Triads suspected in brutal attack on Hong Kong journalist

Today’s brutal attack on Kevin Lau Chun-to, a prominent journalist in Hong Kong, raises the specter of Chinese criminal gangs — triads — being called in to suppress campaigners for democratic reforms. An excerpt of international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe’s  new column:

Manthorpe B&WThere is renewed suspicion in Hong Kong that Beijing is using hit men from triad criminal gangs to attack outspoken advocates of freedom in its truculent territory, and to intimidate other campaigners for democratic reforms.

The latest example of the Communist Party’s apparent use of triad thugs against troublesome opponents came this morning when Kevin Lau Chun-to, the recently sacked editor-in-chief of Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper, was brutally attacked after he left a restaurant in the city’s Sai Wan Ho district.

In a classic triad-style assault, Lau, 49, was slashed six times with a butcher’s meat cleaver on his back and legs. He is in critical condition in hospital, and even if he survives it is uncertain he will ever be able to walk properly again.

Lau was reassigned last month after Ming Pao took part in an investigation by an international journalists’ organization, which documented the off-shore assets of leading members of China’s Communist Party regime and their families, including President Xi Jinping, his predecessor Hu Jintao, and former premiers Wen Jiabao and Li Peng.

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