Phil C. W. Chan

Phil C. W. Chan

Phil C.W. Chan is a scholar in public law, human rights, international law and global governance. His books include China, State Sovereignty and International Legal Order (2015), Protection of Sexual Minorities since Stonewall: Progress and Stalemate in Developed and Developing Countries (2010), and Equality in Asia-Pacific: Reality or a Contradiction in Terms? (2007). He holds a PhD in international law and Chinese law from the National University of Singapore and law degrees from the University of Hong Kong and the University of Durham.

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Latest from Phil C. W. Chan

Opinion | China’s national security law poses existential threat to Hong Kong’s universities and academic freedom

China’s tendency to use the vaguest, broadest terms in drafting its laws means research on several issues deemed too sensitive or falling under national security could become off-limits. This will be a strong disincentive for overseas academics to pursue research collaboration with their peers in Hong Kong.

6 Jun 2020 - 9:35AM

China’s tendency to use the vaguest, broadest terms in drafting its laws means research on several issues deemed too sensitive or falling under national security could become off-limits. This will be a strong disincentive for overseas academics to pursue research collaboration with their peers in Hong Kong.

China’s national security law poses existential threat to Hong Kong’s universities and academic freedom
Opinion | If China wants to use the coronavirus crisis to burnish its global image, it must rethink its Hong Kong strategy

To be seen as a responsible international actor, China must comply with global agreements and develop the rule of law at home. Through its actions in Hong Kong, Beijing is showing the world how thin China’s commitment to the rule of law is.

3 May 2020 - 9:34AM

To be seen as a responsible international actor, China must comply with global agreements and develop the rule of law at home. Through its actions in Hong Kong, Beijing is showing the world how thin China’s commitment to the rule of law is.

If China wants to use the coronavirus crisis to burnish its global image, it must rethink its Hong Kong strategy
Opinion | The global coronavirus crisis has made press freedom, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, more vital than ever

Hamstrung by the state-based nature of the UN, from which it derives its authority, the WHO ignored early warnings about the coronavirus from Taipei. Now the agency’s all-too-cosy relationship with Beijing has been exposed by RTHK.

2 Apr 2020 - 8:46AM

Hamstrung by the state-based nature of the UN, from which it derives its authority, the WHO ignored early warnings about the coronavirus from Taipei. Now the agency’s all-too-cosy relationship with Beijing has been exposed by RTHK.

The global coronavirus crisis has made press freedom, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, more vital than ever
Opinion | Italy’s coronavirus crisis lays bare our misguided belief in international solidarity

Italy’s situation sheds light on how our beliefs in state sovereignty, international order and international solidarity may have been misguided. In its hour of need, Italy has found itself abandoned by its EU partners.

22 Mar 2020 - 9:26PM

Italy’s situation sheds light on how our beliefs in state sovereignty, international order and international solidarity may have been misguided. In its hour of need, Italy has found itself abandoned by its EU partners.

Italy’s coronavirus crisis lays bare our misguided belief in international solidarity
Opinion | Is China coming full circle by repeating the Qing court’s self-defeating mistakes?

Xi’s China is implementing an ambitious vision through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative. Yet, when it comes to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Beijing’s decision-making processes seem as obstinate as those in Qing China.

31 Dec 2019 - 9:46AM

Xi’s China is implementing an ambitious vision through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative. Yet, when it comes to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Beijing’s decision-making processes seem as obstinate as those in Qing China.

Is China coming full circle by repeating the Qing court’s self-defeating mistakes?
Opinion | If Beijing can’t quit blaming foreigners for its problems, Hong Kong will forever be the site of foreign contagion

Beijing continues to complain about foreign interference, after a record 2.94 million people voted in the Hong Kong district elections. The notion that ordinary Hongkongers have free will of their own simply flies in the face of Chinese authoritarianism.

4 Dec 2019 - 6:42AM

Beijing continues to complain about foreign interference, after a record 2.94 million people voted in the Hong Kong district elections. The notion that ordinary Hongkongers have free will of their own simply flies in the face of Chinese authoritarianism.

If Beijing can’t quit blaming foreigners for its problems, Hong Kong will forever be the site of foreign contagion
Opinion | Carrie Lam has lit Hong Kong ablaze. A failure to hold district council elections would be the final betrayal

Carrie Lam, and the pro-Beijing politicians who enabled her, should not forget their responsibility for the protest chaos. If elections do not happen as scheduled, the increased violence will take a toll that the city will not recover from.

15 Nov 2019 - 10:13AM

Carrie Lam, and the pro-Beijing politicians who enabled her, should not forget their responsibility for the protest chaos. If elections do not happen as scheduled, the increased violence will take a toll that the city will not recover from.

Carrie Lam has lit Hong Kong ablaze. A failure to hold district council elections would be the final betrayal
Opinion | Why Hong Kong protesters are forcing university leaders to pick a side – academic freedom is at stake

Behind public support for the protesters is the realisation that Hong Kong has paid a steep price for tolerating policies that pushed integration with the mainland. University leaders’ silence at this time doesn’t bode well for academic freedom.

6 Nov 2019 - 9:18AM

Behind public support for the protesters is the realisation that Hong Kong has paid a steep price for tolerating policies that pushed integration with the mainland. University leaders’ silence at this time doesn’t bode well for academic freedom.

Why Hong Kong protesters are forcing university leaders to pick a side – academic freedom is at stake
Opinion | Singapore is no alternative for Hongkongers angered by loss of freedoms – the Lion City’s restraints go far beyond Hong Kong’s

As Hongkongers angry about the erosion of their freedoms look elsewhere, it should be remembered they still enjoy rights Singaporeans do not. For example, the Lion City has a counterpart to the hated Emergency Regulations Ordinance as a regular law.

25 Oct 2019 - 9:02AM

As Hongkongers angry about the erosion of their freedoms look elsewhere, it should be remembered they still enjoy rights Singaporeans do not. For example, the Lion City has a counterpart to the hated Emergency Regulations Ordinance as a regular law.

Singapore is no alternative for Hongkongers angered by loss of freedoms – the Lion City’s restraints go far beyond Hong Kong’s
Opinion | What choice do Hong Kong protesters have when the options are the PLA or dictator-in-the-making Carrie Lam?

Hong Kong’s morally bankrupt government has crossed the line by invoking emergency powers to bring in an anti-mask law. We have indeed entered a ‘very dangerous situation’ – Carrie Lam, with her unchecked authority, is that danger.

9 Oct 2019 - 11:37AM

Hong Kong’s morally bankrupt government has crossed the line by invoking emergency powers to bring in an anti-mask law. We have indeed entered a ‘very dangerous situation’ – Carrie Lam, with her unchecked authority, is that danger.

What choice do Hong Kong protesters have when the options are the PLA or dictator-in-the-making Carrie Lam?
Opinion | For its 70th National Day, a strong China can afford to grant Hong Kong protesters’ wishes

Are flag-waving, anthem-singing patriots or underperforming officials what China needs? Beijing should consider fostering genuine patriotism in Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’, by responding to Hongkongers’ needs.

26 Sep 2019 - 12:26PM

Are flag-waving, anthem-singing patriots or underperforming officials what China needs? Beijing should consider fostering genuine patriotism in Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’, by responding to Hongkongers’ needs.

For its 70th National Day, a strong China can afford to grant Hong Kong protesters’ wishes
Opinion | China and the US should be wary of the historical parallels with 1914

A catalyst setting a rising power and its allies against an entrenched power in a bloody conflict where no one wins? It happened last century in Europe, and could again if Beijing cracks down hard on Hong Kong.

30 Aug 2019 - 11:24AM

A catalyst setting a rising power and its allies against an entrenched power in a bloody conflict where no one wins? It happened last century in Europe, and could again if Beijing cracks down hard on Hong Kong.

China and the US should be wary of the historical parallels with 1914
Opinion | If China hears the Hong Kong people, it must let Carrie Lam go

The Hong Kong authorities’ apparently inconsistent handling of the Yuen Long attack on commuters and protesters’ clashes with the police sows doubts about the rule of law.

4 Aug 2019 - 9:01AM

The Hong Kong authorities’ apparently inconsistent handling of the Yuen Long attack on commuters and protesters’ clashes with the police sows doubts about the rule of law.

If China hears the Hong Kong people, it must let Carrie Lam go
Opinion | Amnesty for Hong Kong extradition bill protesters would heal society and close rifts with mainland China

Hong Kong’s guidelines for prosecutors say there are conditions in which prosecution does not serve the public interest. Recent acts, in a highly charged atmosphere created by unresponsive government, should fall under those conditions.

17 Jul 2019 - 5:33AM

Hong Kong’s guidelines for prosecutors say there are conditions in which prosecution does not serve the public interest. Recent acts, in a highly charged atmosphere created by unresponsive government, should fall under those conditions.

Amnesty for Hong Kong extradition bill protesters would heal society and close rifts with mainland China
Hongkongers’ post-1997 identity crisis at the heart of youthful mistrust of government
Hong Kong electoral officials have overstepped their boundaries by barring pro-independence candidate
University of Hong Kong's decision not to appoint Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor smacks of political interference
In the spirit of the times, China and Japan must seek peace

Recent disagreements between China and Japan are by no means comparable to the rivalry between Britain and Germany that led to the first world war. Any such comparison is ill-conceived.

20 Jul 2018 - 2:53PM

Recent disagreements between China and Japan are by no means comparable to the rivalry between Britain and Germany that led to the first world war. Any such comparison is ill-conceived.

In the spirit of the times, China and Japan must seek peace
China adds valid voice to shaping international order

Following China's vetoes of United Nations Security Council action over Syria, Susan Rice, the now former US ambassador to the UN, expressed disgust about China impeding protection of civilians and enabling mass killings.

19 Apr 2017 - 6:14AM

Following China's vetoes of United Nations Security Council action over Syria, Susan Rice, the now former US ambassador to the UN, expressed disgust about China impeding protection of civilians and enabling mass killings.

China adds valid voice to shaping international order