• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 2:03pm
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong
DIPLOMACY

Departing US consul fires sarcastic shots at media over Snowden saga

Stephen Young 'thanks' Beijing-friendly press for its objective coverage of the Snowden saga

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 7:12am

Departing US consul general Stephen Young, kept busy by whistle-blower Edward Snowden's surprise stopover in Hong Kong, fired some sarcastic parting shots at the media yesterday.

But he said he believed the damaged trust between the United States and Hong Kong could be repaired and pointed to encouraging signs of emerging universal suffrage.

Well, I thank you for all of your objective reporting at Ta Kung Pao, first of all. And if you don't get the sarcasm, it's there. I do wish you'd be more objective. But I know you have your master in Beijing
US consul general Stephen Young

At a media event before he departs for the US next week, Young was asked by a journalist from the Beijing-loyal Ta Kung Pao when the US government would reply on whether it had been hacking into the city's computers.

"Well, I thank you for all of your objective reporting at Ta Kung Pao, first of all. And if you don't get the sarcasm, it's there," Young replied. "I do wish you'd be more objective. But I know you have your master in Beijing."

Another journalist asked how the diplomat felt about protests by pro-democracy activists and Snowden supporters who said they no longer saw the US as a symbol of democracy. "Actually that was a plot by us," he joked.

"You see, as Ta Kung Pao regularly reports, along with Wen Wei Po and others, we actually fund and direct the pan-democrats so we have them coming to demonstrate outside our consulate to throw people off the scent."

After answering several questions from an i-Cable journalist, Young said that anyone who asked only a single question would get an "extra credit".

And when a South China Morning Post journalist identified himself and said he wanted to ask two questions, Young said: "You just lost your credit."

The Post had an exclusive interview with Snowden last month in which he claimed the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong for years.

Sarcastic remarks aside, Young said he had a generally optimistic view of Hong Kong's future and believed that the damaged trust between the US and Hong Kong could be restored.

He said Snowden had made a lot of allegations, some of which seemed to be "self-serving to gain sympathy", and he did not think the US needed to apologise to anyone for someone who had violated his country's trust.

On universal suffrage in 2017, Young said he was encouraged by the central government liaison office's decision to have lunch with lawmakers, as well as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's plan to have dinner with people including the pan-democrats.

Asked if he supported the Occupy Central movement, he said he backed moves towards genuine universal suffrage but such moves should stay within the law.

The Snowden saga had no direct connection to the bill that would add Hong Kong to the US visa-waiver scheme, Young said.

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HK-Lover
You are so right Mr. Young ! It will be not easy and a long process for your successor to re-build Hong Kong people's confidence in the US .
johnyuan
Most unnatural and regretable, thetimechannel.
Suntze, the great war strategist, employed spy work followed by deception to beat enemies. It is in this realm of self-protection that human constantly differentiates us and them. Spy you must to be alive. US being such an immigrant country, the ‘them’ becomes us (the recent Boston bombing). Us spying on us must. The real concern is about oversight and supervision. Life must go on really.
norodnik
LET'S MAKE A DEAL!
A former CIA base chief in Italy who was convicted in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a street in Milan has been detained in Panama, the Italian justice ministry said Thursday.However, Panamanian Security Minister Jose Raul Molino told The Associated Press in Panama City that he was unaware of Robert Seldon Lady’s detention, and the press office of the National Police - which works with Interpol, the international police agency - said it had no information about the case. The CIA said it had no immediate comment.
Lady, the former Milan CIA official, was sentenced by an Italian appeals court in Milan earlier this year in the extraordinary rendition case to nine years in prison after being tried in absentia in Italy for the kidnapping of the Muslim cleric.
The trials of Lady, 59, now retired from the CIA, and two other Americans in the case brought the first convictions anywhere in the world against agents involved in the agency’s extraordinary rendition program, a practice alleged to have led to torture.
The ministry said it didn’t immediately have details on when or where in Panama the detention of Lady, who was born in Honduras, took place. Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, who reportedly signed the request for Lady’s detention, was away on a visit to Lithuania.
Italy and Panama have no extradition treaty, Italian diplomats said, so being detained in Panama wouldn’t necessarily result in Lady’s return to Italy.....
chanyellowgreen
I guess Young would have scored very low marks if he sat our DSE exam on liberal studies. He was simply not answering any questions! Poor him.
impala
Next post ambassador to Wales... shows what a big shot in the State Department Mr Young is huh. I just learnt he previously was ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (I kid you not).

I suggest we change the headline of this piece to "Mid-level Career Bureaucrat Vents Own Ineptitude at Newspaper Journalists.'

All a bit sad really. Goodbye Mr Young. Enjoy Cardiff. (snicker)
the sun also rises
his successor is said to be an experienced old China hand who had been sent to Beijing's embassy as early as the eighties of last century and had served in Taibei's Sino-American Co-ordinating Committee (a quasi-embassy organisation) plus US Dept.of Defence.It is really difficult to handle with his successor !

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