Ahead of Trump-Clinton clash, Hong Kong groups stage mock debate on US presidential election candidates and issues

Nearly two-hour event at HKU to feature two Republicans and two Democrats

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 1:00pm

Ahead of the first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a group of overseas Democrats and Republicans will gather at University of Hong Kong on Monday night to engage in a spirited mock election debate.

The US Presidential Debate in Hong Kong is being jointly organised by Democrats Abroad Hong Kong, Republicans Overseas Hong Kong, and the local unit of the US-based League of Women Voters. The event is meant to help people learn more about the candidates and their impact on global politics.

Nicholas Gordon and Julie Yoon are to represent Democrats Abroad, an official organisation of the US Democratic Party for Americans living outside the states.

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Gordon, born and raised in Hong Kong, is a researcher and writer for a locally based think tank. Yoon was born in South Korea and raised and educated in the US. She is an 18-year resident of Hong Kong and a managing director of a consulting firm.

I believe the Hong Kong public will be interested to find out more about the policies of the two candidates
Jane Buck, League of Women Voters

On the Republican side, Kym Kettler-Paddock, a writer who recently moved to Hong Kong after spending 17 years in the Netherlands, will team up with Aaron Goach.

Goach is the chairman of American Citizens Abroad Philippines as well as Republicans Overseas Philippines. He is also the vice-chairman of Republicans Overseas Hong Kong.

The free event is to take place Monday from 6.30pm to 8.20pm in the Grand Hall of the Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre at the University of Hong Kong. Advance registration is required.

The mock debate will happen hours before Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump face off in their first televised debate together in the US presidential race. The two will square off at Hosfstra University in New York at 9pm local time, or 9am Tuesday in Hong Kong.

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The Hong Kong debate is expected to generate lively exchanges discussing issues like Trump’s remarks on immigration and Russia as well as Clinton’s email server scandal.

Jane Buck of the Hong Kong unit of the League of Women Voters said the highly charged US election atmosphere could pique Hongkongers’ interest in the event.

“I believe the Hong Kong public will be interested to find out more about the policies of the two candidates, which have a wide impact internationally,” she said.

The event will include a segment in which the debaters answer questions that were electronically submitted in advance by attendees.