PLA soldiers attend a farewell ceremony on June 30, 1997, in Shenzhen, ahead of deployment to Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters
Jason Wordie
Opinion

Opinion

Then & Now by Jason Wordie

How Hong Kong’s handover passed the reins from one distant power base to the next

  • Just as London called the shots pre-1997, local government seen to remain largely toothless with Beijing now pulling the city’s strings
  • Viewed as a parallel police force, the use of gangsters to enforce public policy is not without precedent

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PLA soldiers attend a farewell ceremony on June 30, 1997, in Shenzhen, ahead of deployment to Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters
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Kong Wing-cheung and Tse Chun-chung, of the Police Public Relations Branch hold a press conference at the Hong Kong Police Headquarters, in Wan Chai, in August. Photo: Edmond So
Jason Wordie
Opinion

Opinion

Then & Now by Jason Wordie

Hong Kong now has its own ‘Five O’Clock Follies’ media cabaret as press briefings stretch public credulity beyond breaking point

  • During the Vietnam war, regular press conferences were held at the roof terrace bar in Saigon’s Rex Hotel when a breakdown of the day’s hostilities, casualties and ‘successes’ were given
  • Richard Pyle, then the Associated Press bureau chief, described it as “the longest-playing tragicomedy in South­east Asia’s theatre of the absurd”

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Kong Wing-cheung and Tse Chun-chung, of the Police Public Relations Branch hold a press conference at the Hong Kong Police Headquarters, in Wan Chai, in August. Photo: Edmond So
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