Archive for the ‘Hong Kong’ Category

The Hong Kong Policy Report

April 17, 2015 Comments off

The Hong Kong Policy Report
Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General

The United States has considerable and longstanding interests in Hong Kong. Cooperation between the United States Government and the Hong Kong Government (HKG) remains broad, highly effective, and mutually beneficial. Our relationship with Hong Kong is based on the framework of “one country, two systems,” enshrined in Hong Hong’s Basic Law, which serves as a virtual (or de facto) constitution. Under this system, Hong Kong exercises autonomy in all areas except foreign policy and defense affairs. Hong Kong participates actively and independently in a range of multilateral organizations and agreements such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), with trade policy objectives that generally align with our own, and is recognized as a separate customs territory by the United States.

There are more than a dozen U.S.-Hong Kong agreements currently in force. Our day-to-day bilateral law enforcement cooperation is on par with many of our closest allies. Hong Kong’s strong traditions of rule of law, low levels of corruption, and high levels of public safety make it a preferred choice for American businesses in the region. The United States enjoys diverse cultural, educational, scientific, and academic exchanges with the people and Government of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong: one country, two systems?

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Hong Kong: one country, two systems?
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The on-going heated debate about the introduction of universal suffrage for the election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has turned into widespread protests on the territory’s streets. Hopes that the public would be able to nominate candidates were dashed by China’s decision to allow only committee-based nomination of candidates in the 2017 election. The Occupy Central protests, widely known as the Umbrella Revolution, kicked off on 28 September. Agreement to talks, scheduled for 10 October, saw tensions lowered, but after those talks were cancelled by the authorities, organisers called for protesters to return to the streets. With numbers not reaching earlier heights, the authorities appear to have concluded that the protests’ momentum is going.

CFR ssue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Issue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Twenty-five years after the brutal Tiananmen crackdown, continuing protests in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy in the territory have once again focused the world’s attention on China’s rise and challenges to its authoritarian rule. The following guide provides background and analysis of the issues at stake for Hong Kong and the wider region.

Universal suffrage to elect the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017: a legal primer – Commons Library Standard Note

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Universal suffrage to elect the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017: a legal primer – Commons Library Standard Note
Source: House of Commons Library
On 31 August 2014 the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) decided that the next Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region should be directly elected in 2017 by universal suffrage. However, the candidates (expected to be two or three in total) will still have to be approved in advance by a nominating committee, whose composition and method of formation will remain unchanged from that of the 1200-person strong ‘Election Committee’ which elected the current Chief Executive in 2012. Critics argue that this nominating committee will have an in-built ‘pro-Beijing’ bias.

This decision has triggered a wave of protest in Hong Kong, led by a movement called Occupy Central, in which students are playing a major part. This short briefing summarises the legal context of recent events in Hong Kong, including the UK’s own obligations.

Hat tip: GP

China’s Leaders Quash Hong Kong’s Hopes for Democratic Election Reforms – CRS Insights (September 5, 2014)

September 29, 2014 Comments off

China’s Leaders Quash Hong Kong’s Hopes for Democratic Election Reforms – CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center)

An August 31 decision by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) placed strict conditions on any possible electoral reforms in Hong Kong—setting the stage for a contentious and difficult process as the city’s political bodies begin work on possible legislation to alter the rules for selecting Hong Kong’s Chief Executive.

Reactions to the NPCSC’s decision varied widely. While Hong Kong’s current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying welcomed the “precious offer” from the NPCSC, pro-democracy advocates expressed a mixture of disappointment and outrage at the decision. While all concerned, including the NPCSC, accept that the Chief Executive may be elected in 2017 by universal suffrage for all eligible Hong Kong voters, there is sharp disagreement over procedures for the nomination of candidates.

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014
Source: Towers Watson

This is a study of the 13 largest pension markets in the world and accounts for more than 85% of global pension assets. The countries included are Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The study also analyses seven countries in greater depth by excluding the six smallest markets (Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa).

The analysis includes:

  • Asset size, including growth statistics, comparison of asset size with GDP and liabilities
  • Asset allocation
  • Defined benefit and defined contribution share of pension assets
  • Public and private sector share of pension assets.

CRS — Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections

October 23, 2012 Comments off

Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Hong Kong selected a new Chief Executive and Legislative Council (Legco) in March and September of 2012, respectively. Both elections delivered surprising results for different reasons. The eventual selection of Leung Chu-ying (CY Leung) as Chief Executive came after presumed front-runner Henry Tang Ying-yen ran into a series of personal scandals. The Legco election results surprised many as several of the traditional parties fared poorly while several new parties emerged victorious.

The 2012 elections in Hong Kong are important for the city’s future prospect for democratic reforms because, under the territory’s Basic Law, any changes in the election process for Chief Executive and Legco must be approved by two-thirds of the Legco members and receive the consent of the Chief Executive. Under the provision of a decision by China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued in December 2007, the soonest that the Chief Executive and all the Legco members can be elected by universal suffrage are the elections of 2017 and 2020, respectively. As such, the newly elected Legco and CY Leung will have the opportunity to propose and adopt election reforms that fulfill the “ultimate aim” of the election of Hong Kong’s leaders by universal suffrage.

The outcome of Hong Kong’s 2012 elections matters to Congress for three key reasons. First, the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 states that it is U.S. policy to support democracy in Hong Kong. Second, the conduct of the 2012 elections and the possibility of additional political reforms may be indicators of the Chinese government’s commitment to the Basic Law and its support for the democratic reforms in areas where it exercises sovereignty. Third, some scholars speculate that Hong Kong may serve as a testing ground for possible democratic reforms in Mainland China.

Congress has appropriated funds in the past to foster the development of civil society and democratic practices in Hong Kong. The 2012 election results and the upcoming discussion of future election reforms—including the involvement of the Chinese government—are factors that Congress may consider when deciding whether to allocate more assistance for the democratic practices in Hong Kong. In addition, Congress may conduct hearings or organize other events to examine and bring attention to the prospects for democracy in Hong Kong.