Yonden Lhatoo

Hong Kong

Yonden Lhatoo

Chief News Editor

Yonden Lhatoo is the Chief News Editor at the Post. He had worked as a television news anchor and editor in Hong Kong for nearly two decades before joining the Post in 2015.

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Latest from Yonden Lhatoo

China’s Rebel City: The Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong's biggest political crisis since its return to mainland China, starts with an ill-conceived plan by the government for an extradition law to allow the transfer of suspects for trial to Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. It sparks a massive public backlash, drawing millions of protesters onto the streets. By the time the government agrees to drop the extradition bill, events on the streets have overtaken them and Hong Kong spirals out of control. The police, using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, find themselves overwhelmed by public resentment and hatred. 

18 Dec 2020 - 5:50PM

Hong Kong's biggest political crisis since its return to mainland China, starts with an ill-conceived plan by the government for an extradition law to allow the transfer of suspects for trial to Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. It sparks a massive public backlash, drawing millions of protesters onto the streets. By the time the government agrees to drop the extradition bill, events on the streets have overtaken them and Hong Kong spirals out of control. The police, using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, find themselves overwhelmed by public resentment and hatred. 

China’s Rebel City: The Hong Kong Protests
How do I relax? I don’t. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s life has no room for hobbies, only work

Confessed workaholic Lam says she is too busy to take a break – or even spend time talking to her husband.

29 Nov 2020 - 10:45PM

Confessed workaholic Lam says she is too busy to take a break – or even spend time talking to her husband.

How do I relax? I don’t. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s life has no room for hobbies, only work
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she gets around sanctions by collecting her salary in cash

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam said she has been getting around sanctions that limit her ability to do banking by collecting her salary in cash. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Lam told Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo that she only withdraws part of her salary and keeps it in a drawer at her residence in Government House. Lam and other Chinese and Hong Kong officials are the targets of US sanctions as a result of the national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in late June. The sanctions block the US-based assets of the individuals and US banks and businesses are generally prohibited from dealing with those officials.

11 Dec 2020 - 9:54AM

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam said she has been getting around sanctions that limit her ability to do banking by collecting her salary in cash. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Lam told Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo that she only withdraws part of her salary and keeps it in a drawer at her residence in Government House. Lam and other Chinese and Hong Kong officials are the targets of US sanctions as a result of the national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in late June. The sanctions block the US-based assets of the individuals and US banks and businesses are generally prohibited from dealing with those officials.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she gets around sanctions by collecting her salary in cash
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam explains why her job is one of the toughest in the world

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam would not say whether or not she would be seeking a second term in 2022. But she explained why hers is one of the toughest jobs in the world, and described the kind of person who would take it on.

1 Dec 2020 - 6:32AM

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam would not say whether or not she would be seeking a second term in 2022. But she explained why hers is one of the toughest jobs in the world, and described the kind of person who would take it on.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam explains why her job is one of the toughest in the world
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam still believes she did right thing in trying to pass extradition bill

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she still stands by trying to pass the controversial extradition bill that sparked months of social unrest in 2019 and polarised Hong Kong society, because she still believes the bill is necessary. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Lam said if she had to do it over again, she would take a different approach, taking more time to “explain and engage” the public about the bill. Lam admitted the government has more work to do to improve communication with Hong Kong residents. She also sought to reassure residents that their rights and freedoms would be safeguarded, even with the implementation of the National Security Law that the central government in Beijing imposed on the city in late June. 

8 Dec 2020 - 6:41PM

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she still stands by trying to pass the controversial extradition bill that sparked months of social unrest in 2019 and polarised Hong Kong society, because she still believes the bill is necessary. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Lam said if she had to do it over again, she would take a different approach, taking more time to “explain and engage” the public about the bill. Lam admitted the government has more work to do to improve communication with Hong Kong residents. She also sought to reassure residents that their rights and freedoms would be safeguarded, even with the implementation of the National Security Law that the central government in Beijing imposed on the city in late June. 

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam still believes she did right thing in trying to pass extradition bill
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to get tough on Covid-19 prevention measures cases surpass 100

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the government is considering getting tougher on enforcing social distancing measures as Covid-19 cases in the city surpassed 100 for the first time since August 1. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Lam admitted it was difficult to get the public’s cooperation due to distrust resulting from the social unrest in 2019. 
(Photo: SCMP / Sam Tsang)

30 Nov 2020 - 1:51PM

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the government is considering getting tougher on enforcing social distancing measures as Covid-19 cases in the city surpassed 100 for the first time since August 1. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Lam admitted it was difficult to get the public’s cooperation due to distrust resulting from the social unrest in 2019. 
(Photo: SCMP / Sam Tsang)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to get tough on Covid-19 prevention measures cases surpass 100
Unapologetic over last year’s unrest and ready to get tough on the pandemic, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is ‘back to her old self’

In a wide-ranging interview with the Post, city leader Carrie Lam says she ‘does not feel guilty’ about sparking last year’s protests, adding she has ‘regained confidence’ after low point.

2 Dec 2020 - 3:20PM

In a wide-ranging interview with the Post, city leader Carrie Lam says she ‘does not feel guilty’ about sparking last year’s protests, adding she has ‘regained confidence’ after low point.

Unapologetic over last year’s unrest and ready to get tough on the pandemic, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is ‘back to her old self’
Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 4 – Protests Muzzled

The coronavirus pandemic brings a halt to most anti-government protests, and Beijing is determined not to allow a repeat of the past year’s chaos. It imposes a far-reaching national security law on Hong Kong, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. The new legal regime is instantly effective, almost entirely wiping out the protests. But society remains fractured, the old resentments run deep, and the future is uncertain.

29 Nov 2020 - 12:27PM

The coronavirus pandemic brings a halt to most anti-government protests, and Beijing is determined not to allow a repeat of the past year’s chaos. It imposes a far-reaching national security law on Hong Kong, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. The new legal regime is instantly effective, almost entirely wiping out the protests. But society remains fractured, the old resentments run deep, and the future is uncertain.

Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 4 – Protests Muzzled
Covid Cha Cha: Hong Kong dances into the fourth wave

SCMP chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo says the cause of the latest outbreak would be a joke if it wasn't so deadly serious.

24 Nov 2020 - 7:38PM

SCMP chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo says the cause of the latest outbreak would be a joke if it wasn't so deadly serious.

Covid Cha Cha: Hong Kong dances into the fourth wave
Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 3 – Hong Kong on Fire

A teenage boy is shot by police on China's National Day, as clashes intensify between hardcore Hong Kong protesters and police. The government gives in to a key protest demand and withdraws its extradition bill, but the protesters now have a list of other demands that Hong Kong's leader finds impossible to meet. University campuses become war zones, as student protesters and radicals occupy them. Police surround protesters holed up at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in a siege that lasts nearly two weeks before the last holdouts abandon the campus.

27 Nov 2020 - 5:03PM

A teenage boy is shot by police on China's National Day, as clashes intensify between hardcore Hong Kong protesters and police. The government gives in to a key protest demand and withdraws its extradition bill, but the protesters now have a list of other demands that Hong Kong's leader finds impossible to meet. University campuses become war zones, as student protesters and radicals occupy them. Police surround protesters holed up at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in a siege that lasts nearly two weeks before the last holdouts abandon the campus.

Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 3 – Hong Kong on Fire
Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 2 – Battle Lines Drawn

In the second part of the South China Morning Post documentary on Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, the gulf between the two opposing sides widens. With neither the government nor protesters willing to compromise, Hong Kong's worst political crisis since its return from British to Chinese rule in 1997 spirals out of control. Angry demonstrators surround, storm and vandalise the city’s legislature, the seat of elected authority. The police, using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, find themselves overwhelmed by public resentment and hatred. And it keeps getting worse.

27 Nov 2020 - 5:04PM

In the second part of the South China Morning Post documentary on Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, the gulf between the two opposing sides widens. With neither the government nor protesters willing to compromise, Hong Kong's worst political crisis since its return from British to Chinese rule in 1997 spirals out of control. Angry demonstrators surround, storm and vandalise the city’s legislature, the seat of elected authority. The police, using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, find themselves overwhelmed by public resentment and hatred. And it keeps getting worse.

Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 2 – Battle Lines Drawn
Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 1 – Marching into the Unknown

In the first part of the South China Morning Post documentary on Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, we explore the origins of the city's biggest political crisis and social upheaval since its return from British to Chinese rule in 1997. It all begins in March 2019 with a plan by the Hong Kong government for an extradition law to allow the transfer of suspects for trial to Taiwan, Macau and, more controversially, the Chinese mainland. It sparks a massive public backlash, drawing millions of protesters onto the streets and piling pressure on Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, who refuses to back down. Thousands seeking to stop the passage of the law block roads leading to the legislature. It marks the beginning of violent clashes with police and a descent into unprecedented chaos.

27 Nov 2020 - 5:06PM

In the first part of the South China Morning Post documentary on Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, we explore the origins of the city's biggest political crisis and social upheaval since its return from British to Chinese rule in 1997. It all begins in March 2019 with a plan by the Hong Kong government for an extradition law to allow the transfer of suspects for trial to Taiwan, Macau and, more controversially, the Chinese mainland. It sparks a massive public backlash, drawing millions of protesters onto the streets and piling pressure on Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, who refuses to back down. Thousands seeking to stop the passage of the law block roads leading to the legislature. It marks the beginning of violent clashes with police and a descent into unprecedented chaos.

Hong Kong protests – China’s Rebel City: Part 1 – Marching into the Unknown
How the US has betrayed Hong Kong activists

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo says Washington has shown its true colours by turning away asylum seekers at its consulate.

5 Nov 2020 - 10:06PM

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo says Washington has shown its true colours by turning away asylum seekers at its consulate.

How the US has betrayed Hong Kong activists
From useful idiots to just plain idiots now: how the US has betrayed Hong Kong activists
Why the UK citizenship offer to Hongkongers is a political sham

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo warns Hongkongers that emigrating to the UK is not what it’s made out to be. 

27 Oct 2020 - 2:06PM

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo warns Hongkongers that emigrating to the UK is not what it’s made out to be. 

Why the UK citizenship offer to Hongkongers is a political sham
Just Saying | The UK is peddling a citizenship pipe dream to naive Hongkongers

Yonden Lhatoo explains why the British government’s offer to take in those from the city with BN(O) status is a political sham that will only bring grief to unwitting victims who fall for it.

24 Oct 2020 - 10:33PM

Yonden Lhatoo explains why the British government’s offer to take in those from the city with BN(O) status is a political sham that will only bring grief to unwitting victims who fall for it.

The UK is peddling a citizenship pipe dream to naive Hongkongers
Just Saying | What’s up with Donald Trump and his YMCA dad-dance?

Yonden Lhatoo tries to come to terms with the astonishing spectacle of the American president dancing on stage to an old pop song that is widely enjoyed as a gay anthem.

17 Oct 2020 - 11:33PM

Yonden Lhatoo tries to come to terms with the astonishing spectacle of the American president dancing on stage to an old pop song that is widely enjoyed as a gay anthem.

What’s up with Donald Trump and his YMCA dad-dance?
Just Saying | Not just greedy but also racist: Hong Kong landlords’ Covid-proof attitude is deplorable

Yonden Lhatoo laments the rampant racism and discrimination that underprivileged members of ethnic minority groups experience when looking for a home to rent in the city.

10 Oct 2020 - 10:18PM

Yonden Lhatoo laments the rampant racism and discrimination that underprivileged members of ethnic minority groups experience when looking for a home to rent in the city.

Not just greedy but also racist: Hong Kong landlords’ Covid-proof attitude is deplorable
Just Saying | How is it OK to wish Donald Trump would die of Covid-19?

Yonden Lhatoo is not surprised at the sheer volume of ridicule and hate on social media over the US president’s coronavirus diagnosis, but questions open calls and hopes for his death.

3 Oct 2020 - 10:41PM

Yonden Lhatoo is not surprised at the sheer volume of ridicule and hate on social media over the US president’s coronavirus diagnosis, but questions open calls and hopes for his death.

How is it OK to wish Donald Trump would die of Covid-19?
Are Australians really unsafe in Hong Kong?

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo calls out Australian authorities for using travel warnings to play politics rather than protect citizens.
 

1 Oct 2020 - 2:56PM

SCMP Chief News Editor Yonden Lhatoo calls out Australian authorities for using travel warnings to play politics rather than protect citizens.
 

Are Australians really unsafe in Hong Kong?
Just Saying | Australia’s travel warning for Hong Kong is dodgy, dishonest and just not fair dinkum

Yonden Lhatoo calls out the Australian government for playing fearmongering politics at the cost of hurting its own citizens by telling them they are not safe in this city.

26 Sep 2020 - 10:18PM

Yonden Lhatoo calls out the Australian government for playing fearmongering politics at the cost of hurting its own citizens by telling them they are not safe in this city.

Australia’s travel warning for Hong Kong is dodgy, dishonest and just not fair dinkum
Just Saying | ‘Heat ray’ weapons to zap BLM protesters – whatever next?

Yonden Lhatoo sympathises with US protesters and their harsh treatment at the hands of a government that goes out of its way to support their counterparts in Hong Kong instead

20 Sep 2020 - 4:20PM

Yonden Lhatoo sympathises with US protesters and their harsh treatment at the hands of a government that goes out of its way to support their counterparts in Hong Kong instead

‘Heat ray’ weapons to zap BLM protesters – whatever next?
If HK protesters deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, why not BLM activists?

The South China Morning Post chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo calls out double standards and political bias in the treatment of Hong Kong versus US protest movements 

14 Sep 2020 - 7:10PM

The South China Morning Post chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo calls out double standards and political bias in the treatment of Hong Kong versus US protest movements 

If HK protesters deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, why not BLM activists?
Just Saying | If Hong Kong protesters deserve Nobel Peace Prize, what about Black Lives Matter protesters?

Yonden Lhatoo calls out US politicians for blatant double standards in seeking to honour the city’s anti-government movement while being conflicted over protests in their own country.

14 Sep 2020 - 8:00PM

Yonden Lhatoo calls out US politicians for blatant double standards in seeking to honour the city’s anti-government movement while being conflicted over protests in their own country.

If Hong Kong protesters deserve Nobel Peace Prize, what about Black Lives Matter protesters?
Hong Kong has Covid-19 under control, but not the real pandemic of hate and suspicion
Just Saying | Why does Taiwan treat fleeing Hong Kong activists as illegal immigrants after inciting them?

Yonden Lhatoo calls out the Taipei government for promising a safe haven for young anti-Beijing activists fleeing the city and failing to deliver as they risk their lives to reach the self-ruled island.

29 Aug 2020 - 10:45PM

Yonden Lhatoo calls out the Taipei government for promising a safe haven for young anti-Beijing activists fleeing the city and failing to deliver as they risk their lives to reach the self-ruled island.

Why does Taiwan treat fleeing Hong Kong activists as illegal immigrants after inciting them?
Just Saying | Is the US encouraging murderers and rapists to hide in Hong Kong by suspending extradition treaty?

Yonden Lhatoo says the Trump administration has not only cut off the city’s nose to spite China’s face, it has also shot itself in the foot by killing a reciprocal deal that allowed the transfer of fugitive offenders

22 Aug 2020 - 10:08PM

Yonden Lhatoo says the Trump administration has not only cut off the city’s nose to spite China’s face, it has also shot itself in the foot by killing a reciprocal deal that allowed the transfer of fugitive offenders

Is the US encouraging murderers and rapists to hide in Hong Kong by suspending extradition treaty?
Just Saying | If Hong Kong is going to hell, isn’t Trump’s America already there?

Yonden Lhatoo has a hell of a time unboxing the US president’s claim that the city is headed for eternal damnation because he has ‘taken back’ all the privileges that he ‘gave’.

15 Aug 2020 - 11:47PM

Yonden Lhatoo has a hell of a time unboxing the US president’s claim that the city is headed for eternal damnation because he has ‘taken back’ all the privileges that he ‘gave’.

If Hong Kong is going to hell, isn’t Trump’s America already there?
Just Saying | Trump’s America is provoking a real war with China; will the unthinkable happen?

Yonden Lhatoo raises the alarm over the risk of all-out war between the world’s two biggest powers, asking how much more provocation Beijing can absorb or will take before retaliating for real.

8 Aug 2020 - 10:21PM

Yonden Lhatoo raises the alarm over the risk of all-out war between the world’s two biggest powers, asking how much more provocation Beijing can absorb or will take before retaliating for real.

Trump’s America is provoking a real war with China; will the unthinkable happen?
Just Saying | Is this the price we pay for loving Hong Kong too much?

Yonden Lhatoo offers a loving little reality check, amid all the political grandstanding and paranoia over the city’s national security law, to remind us how and why we got here.

1 Aug 2020 - 10:18PM

Yonden Lhatoo offers a loving little reality check, amid all the political grandstanding and paranoia over the city’s national security law, to remind us how and why we got here.

Is this the price we pay for loving Hong Kong too much?