Plans for Occupy Central, a civil disobedience movement planned for July 2014 to advocate universal suffrage, have led Beijing supporters “to warn that civic disruption could harm Hong Kong’s status as a leading centre for business in Asia”, writes Jonathan Manthorpe, columnist for The Vancouver Sun and a former Hong Kong-based correspondent.
Manthorpe makes clear that Beijing has no intention of living up to its promise on free elections:
Beijing has repeatedly deferred the reforms, saying Hong Kong is not politically mature enough to be allowed democracy. More recently, Beijing officials have said Western-style democracy is not culturally appropriate for Hong Kong.
Radio Australia spoke to Richard Cullen, visiting professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, who said he has noticed a shift in mood in recent days as well as a new level of negativity in Hong Kong politics.
At the extreme end of the pan-democrats, you’ve got those who call for the end of the one party state, and they would like to see the entire Communist Party drowned in the Yellow Sea as soon as possible. But more realistic ones know something has got to give, and I think there’s a shift in the mood in the last two or three weeks in Hong Kong to a bit more pragmatism. But the sides are very, very far apart.
Still, the Asia Times, citing local media, points out that most people in Hong Kong do not support the Occupy Central movement.
Other coverage, April 7-13
- Hong Kong set for key civil rights case Judges will decide one woman’s right to marry her long-term boyfriend - but in this case, the woman was born a man, the Financial Times writes.
- Memory hole: public records in Hong Kong The Economist takes a look at the lack of an official archives law and why.
- Hippy oasis near Hong Kong is experiencing an influx of executives The Telegraph visits Lamma Island and finds high-fliers, expats and rising property prices.
- Captains charged in Hong Kong boat collision that killed 39 The New York Times covers the Lamma ferry disaster trial.
- Carson Yeung’s Hong Kong trial to go ahead as planned The Birmingham Mail reports that “Yeung’s battle for his liberty begins on April 29”.
- Spigelman appointed to Hong Kong court The Australian reports that the city’s newest judge on the Court of Final Appeal is a former chief justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court.
Mystery donor of 100,000 euros answers Kerry church’s prayers with cheque from Hong Kong An Irish news portal publishes a story on a Good Samaritan.
- Also picked up by the South China Morning Post’s John Carney
Li Ka-shing in spotlight amid dock workers’ strike
- Hong Kong strike hits tycoon’s image The Wall Street Journal reports that Li Ka-shing is becoming a lightning rod for social inequality.
- Li withstands Hong Kong port labour strike with Shenzhen: freight Bloomberg Businessweek reports that “Li is smart in hedging his bets while maintaining dominance in key markets”.
Arts and culture
- Michael Mann to shoot new cyber-thriller in Hong Kong The Hollywood Reporter says the director is scouting for locations around Jordan - not, presumbly, to model an apocalyptic destruction scene on, as Guillermo de Toro did.
- Qing bowl sells for US$9.5 million to Hong Kong dealer The WSJ reports.
- In Hong Kong, beer with a view The WSJ reports.
- In Hong Kong, Cantonese opera takes pride of place The Los Angeles Times reports.
In Hong Kong, a sanctuary for banned books From The Atlantic.
- Photographer Michael Wolf’s Architecture of Density photos appear on the Daily Mail’s and NPR’s websites.