China confirms arrest of Gui Minhai

Source: Al Jezeera (2/6/18)
China confirms arrest of bookseller Gui Minhai

China confirms arrest of bookseller Gui Minhai

Gui disappeared while on holiday in Thailand in October 2015 [Anthony Wallace/AFP]

An ailing Hong Kong-based bookseller was arrested by Chinese authorities last month for allegedly breaking the law, China’s foreign ministry said.

China confirmed Gui Minhai’s detention for the first time on Tuesday, after his daughter said Chinese police had arrested him in January while he was travelling to Beijing for medical help, accompanied by two Swedish diplomats.

“Gui Minhai broke Chinese law and has already been subjected to criminal coercive measures in accordance with the law by relevant Chinese authorities,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters. Continue reading

Agnes Chow has China worried

Source: The Guardian (2/3/18)
Enemy of the state? Agnes Chow, the 21-year-old activist who has China worried
Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner who was banned from office says an entire generation of young people is being targeted
By Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong

Agnes Chow

If China has its way, Agnes Chow’s political career will be over before it begins.

The self-described “average schoolgirl” who transformed into a thorn in the side of the Chinese leadership was last week blocked from running for political office in Hong Kong because of her party’s pro-democracy manifesto.

The unprecedented move penalises mere affiliation with a political idea and was designed to prevent Chow and her Demosisto party colleagues from entering the Legislative Council. Continue reading

HKU rallies behind suspended students

Source: Sup China (1/25/18)
Hong Kong University Groups Rally Behind Students Suspended For Protesting Mandarin Test
“We urge the president of other universities to stand out to safeguard free speech and academic freedom at Hong Kong universities”: joint statement from more than 10 Hong Kong university student unions.
By JIAYUN FENG

Andrew Chan Lok-hang 陈乐行 (left) and Lau Tsz-kei 刘子颀, Hong Kong Baptist University students

Lau Tsz-kei 刘子颀, the university’s student union president, and Andrew Chan Lok-hang 陈乐行, a fifth-year student at the HKBU School of Chinese Medicine, were barred from classes for violating the HKBU students’ code of conduct. They were involved in an eight-hour standoff at the school’s language center last week, in which they used foul language and appeared to aggressively confront the staff.

According to Chin, the decision had nothing to do with politics and was made because teachers at the scene felt threatened and insulted by the students’ behavior. He said that both he and the school were facing immense pressure due to the incident — from whom or what, he did not specify — adding that the ongoing disciplinary proceedings would take a few weeks to complete. At one moment during the announcement, Chin appeared to hold back tears. Continue reading

Backreading Hong Kong–cfp

Backreading Hong Kong: A One-Day Symposium (2018)
Call for Papers

The 2018 “Backreading Hong Kong” symposium, co-organised by the Department of English at Hong Kong Baptist University and the literary journal Cha, will take place on Saturday 5 May 2018. We are particularly interested in papers that challenge existing interpretations of any aspect of Hong Kong.

Abstracts of 250 words for 15 to 20-minute presentations can be sent to tammyh@hkbu.edu.hk before 15 March 2018 for consideration. Please also send us a bionote of no more than 100 words. Scholars whose papers have been selected will be notified before 1 April 2018.

The language of the 2018 symposium will be English. We welcome both established and early-career academics to take part. The one-day symposium will also include panel discussions, book presentations, and a poetry reading.

Tammy Ho <tammyh@hkbu.edu.hk>

Is HK really part of China?

Source: NYT (1/1/18)
Is Hong Kong Really Part of China?
By Yi-Zheng Lian

HONG KONG — One could say that long before 1997, the year that Britain handed Hong Kong back to China, the leaders of the city’s major pro-democracy parties had come to a tacit understanding with the Chinese government. The pan-dems, as these politicians are known here, would support the absorption of Hong Kong into a greater, unified Chinese state on the understanding that in time Beijing would grant Hong Kong genuine electoral democracy. That, at least, seemed to be the intention driving Hong Kong’s foundational legal text, the Basic Law. Continue reading

HK rail station to be subject to mainland laws

Source: Reuters (12/27/17)
China says part of Hong Kong rail station to be subject to mainland laws
By Christian Shepherd and Venus Wu

Laborers work in front of West Kowloon Terminus, under construction for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, in Hong Kong, China July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s parliament on Wednesday said part of a high-speed railway station being built in Hong Kong would be regarded as mainland territory governed by mainland laws, an unprecedented move that critics say further erodes the city’s autonomy.

Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997, when it was granted a high degree of autonomy under a “one country, two systems” arrangement, giving it a separate police force, immigration controls, an independent judiciary and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China. Continue reading

Backlash in HK against the ‘Me Too’ campaign

Source: SCMP (12/5/17)
Backlash in Hong Kong against the ‘Me Too’ campaign
There is widespread anxiety among many men that they, too, could be open to accusations over past inappropriate behaviour of which they may or may not be guilty
By Alex Lo

The American-inspired “Me Too” movement encouraging women to speak out against sexual harassment has barely started in Hong Kong and it’s already suffering a backlash.

When star hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu first alleged on Facebook that she was molested by her former coach a decade ago, she received widespread sympathy and support. Now, more sceptical voices are emerging. Continue reading

HK artists and activists turn to zines (1)

This is a fascinating story.

I can’t help share an article just published by a student of mine. It’s entitled “Feminist Ephemera in a Digital World: Theorizing Zines as Networked Feminist Practice.” Abstract is here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cccr.12172/abstract

The author of this article also has a fabulous lesson plan about how to teach activism and social movements through the making of zines: http://www.clark-parsons.com/blog/media-activism-and-social-movements-teaching-with-zines

Guobin Yang <guobin.yang@asc.upenn.edu>

HK artists and activists turn to zines

Source: SCMP (11/25/17)
Why Hong Kong artists and activists are turning to zines in the digital age
The independently published ‘pocket-sized works of art’ are undergoing something of a resurgence worldwide. In Hong Kong, with its rich printing history, youngsters have discovered a whole other avenue of expression
BY MANAMI OKAZAKI

A zine by Yiyu Lam depicting the Occupy Central protests as he saw them unfold on television in Britain. Picture: Manami Okazaki

A zine by Yiyu Lam depicting the Occupy Central protests as he saw them unfold on television in Britain. Picture: Manami Okazaki

To the untrained eye, “zines” don’t look like much: pamphlets stapled crudely together, featuring disparate topics and a range of art forms, such as cartoons, illustrations and photography. To collectors, they are pocket-sized works of art, and tools of self-expression.

Zines have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Museums, universities and institutions across the United States are championing them, and if any proof of their current popularity were needed, the fact that American rapper Kanye West has produced one – 64 pages of vintage-style photography – should suffice.

Hong Kong, too, with its restive youth, is proving fertile ground. Continue reading

Liu Waitong’s Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits

Source: Jacket 2 (11/15/17)
Liu Waitong’s ‘Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits’
By COLLIER NOGUES

Photo of Hong Kong (right) via Wikimedia Commons.

Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits 和幽靈一起的香港漫遊
Liu Waitong 廖偉棠, trans. Enoch Yee-lok Tam, Desmond Sham, Audrey Heijns, Chan Lai-kuen, and Cao Shuying
Zephyr Press and MCCM Creations 2016, 184 pages, $15.00. ISBN 978-9881311535

What is it to be a Hong Kong poet writing now? Specifically, a Hong Kong poet who grew up over the border in Guangdong, who has lived also in Beijing; whose poems register the pull of other cities from Lhasa to Paris, and the pull of China not only as a literary inheritance all the way back to Zhuangzi, but also as a geopolitical giant changing daily even as Hong Kong itself changes? For Liu Waitong, it means to be accompanied always by ghosts. But it means also to seek them out and keep them company in turn — to haunt with them. Working through questions of displacement, citizenship, and competing visions of Hong Kong’s and China’s future, Liu’s poems insist that a careful attention and receptivity can be revolutionary. For Liu, that attention is what we owe our pasts and each other. Continue reading

Free Speech and Academic Freedom signature campaign

Dear all,

Please note the signature campaign, titled “In Defence of Free Speech and Academic Freedom — Support Conscientious Scholar Professor Benny Tai” (捍衛言論及學術自由 支持良心學者戴耀廷) has been launched.  A copy of the statement is provided herein for your easy reference. Please visit this link (https://sites.google.com/site/hksaaf/academic-freedom-freedom-of-speech-ch) for details, including the names of initiators and signatories.

Please join and help spread this among your colleagues. This signature campaign targets at local and international academics only instead of students or administrative staff.

Regards,

學術自由學者聯盟
Scholars’ Alliance for Academic Freedom
(On behalf of the initiators) Continue reading

Poster confrontation at CUHK

Source: Sup China (9/7/17)
Woman confronted by Hong Kong students after ripping off pro-independence posters at CUHK
By Jiayun Feng

After days of escalating tensions between the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s (CUHK) student union and school officials over pro-independence banners and posters spotted on the campus, a video surfaced on the internet on September 6 showing a woman being confronted by several Hong Kong students in front of the Democracy Wall, where controversial posts were clustered.

At the beginning of the three-minute video clip, the female student seemed surprised to find she was being filmed while holding a few torn posters, which read, “Fight for our homeland. Fight for Hong Kong independence.” Questioned by a male student in Cantonese, the woman replied in Mandarin, “I don’t understand what you are saying, but I know these things are not allowed to be posted.” Another female Hong Kong student then approached, explaining that they are members of the student union, and that Cultural Plaza, where the wall is located, is managed by the student organization. “If you don’t agree with the stuff we put on, you should put something that is against this on the wall,” she said in English. Continue reading

HK cinema mooc “rerun”

We are doing a “rerun” of our MOOC on Hong Kong cinema beginning on September 12.  This is a great opportunity for your students to participate for free in our online course.  If it fits, consider putting it on your syllabus.  The students do not need to complete the course or even start at the beginning, so feel free to ask them to drop in for one or two units.  They can do all the online activities as well as participate in the forum discussions.  If you would like us to do something specifically for your students, please let us know.  We can consider special activities or online forum questions to stimulate discussion.  Also, if you have any feedback on the MOOC, feel free to share your thoughts with us.  We are grateful for your support. Continue reading

HK signature campaign

Dear all,

Please note the signature campaign, titled “Heavy Prison Sentences for Social Activists Regrettable, Beware of the Arrival of Authoritarian Rule in the SAR” (遺憾重判社運人士入獄 警惕特區威權管治來臨) has been launched.  Please visit this link (https://sites.google.com/site/hksaaf/) for details, including the names of initiators and signatories.

Please join and help spread this among your colleagues. This signature campaign targets local and international academics only instead of students or administrative staff.

Regards,

學術自由學者聯盟
Scholars’ Alliance for Academic Freedom

Heavy Prison Sentences for Social Activists Regrettable
Beware of the Arrival of Authoritarian Rule in the SAR
(Joint Statement by Tertiary Institution Teaching Staff on the Appeal Court’s Ruling)

On appeal by the government, the Court of Appeal recently handed down heavier punishments in a row for two groups of young social activists, totaling 16, changing their sentences from suspended imprisonment and community service to immediate imprisonment for variously between six and thirteen months. We think the matter is very serious and are deeply disturbed. The following is our joint statement to set the record straight: Continue reading

Critics cry foul as Joshua Wong and other get jail

Source: Reuters (8/17/17)
Critics cry foul as Joshua Wong and other young Hong Kong democracy leaders get jail
By Venus Wu and James Pomfret

Student leaders Nathan Law and Joshua Wong walk into the High Court to face verdict on charges relating to the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, also known as Occupy Central protests, in Hong Kong, China August 17, 2017.Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong appeals court jailed three leaders of the Chinese-ruled city’s democracy movement for six to eight months on Thursday, dealing a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage and prompting accusations of political interference.

Joshua Wong, 20, Alex Chow, 26, and Nathan Law, 24, were sentenced last year to non-jail terms including community service for unlawful assembly, but the Department of Justice in the former British colony applied for a review, seeking imprisonment.

Continue reading