The 2016 Legislative Election in Hong Kong

The Rise of the HK Independence Movement

The 2016 Legislative Election in Hong Kong

Talk by Cheong Ching, the former chief China Correspondent of the Singapore Straits Times, on the upcoming elections in Hong Kong.

6 candidates advocating localism made their way to HK’s legislature in the latest election, and this symbolizes The HK Independence Movement had become a force to be reckoned with in HK’s political landscape. This has great implications for the already uneasy relations between China and HK. The return of pro-localism candidates also prematurely raised the issue of what after 2047, when the current one-country two-systems arrangement for HK is supposed to expire.

Cheng Ching
Born in 1949 in China, Mr. Ching was brought up and educated in HK. After graduating from the University of HK in 1973, he joined the pro-Beijing newspaper, Wen Wei Po, and became its deputy editor-in-chief in 1987. After the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989, he quit the newspaper in protest and founded the news monthly, Contemporary, specializing in China news analysis. In 1996 he joined the Singapore Straits Times and became its chief China Correspondent until his retirement in 2014.

In his life-long journalistic career, he had been posted in Beijing for 9 years and Taipei for 3 years and so was well versed in political developments in the Greater China area.

In 2005 he was arrested on espionage charge and sentenced to 5 years of jail. Yet the real reason for his arrest was his open criticism of the ruling Chinese Communist Party for signing the new border treaty with Russia that effectively forfeited huge tracts of territories (estimated to be 1.6 million sq km) that Russia had vowed to return to China. Thanks to strong campaigns, both local and international, mounted to seek his release, he was set free after serving 1000 days in jail. He recalled this episode in his book My 1000 Day Ordeal.

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Published: Monday, October 03, 2016