Conflict of Interests – Interests of Conflict (19 Nov, 13)

Conflict of Interests – Interests of Conflict

17th October 2013


Good morning Hong Kong.

Usually, as soon as you have to repeat a statement over and over in press releases that might be because people are no longer believing it. Having the name ‘democratic’ in your country name for example is as suspicious as starting a sentence with ‘I’m not a racist/homophobe/sexist, but…”. Similar malaise has reached the Hong Kong government, which suddenly feels the urge to go around the world reminding people that when they say or write “Hong Kong, China” what they mean is in fact “Hong Kong, Hong Kong”.

Their main line of argumentation that will be repeated at various occasions first in Toronto and now in New York City, says that although Hong Kong is part of China, it also has a well worded constitution and must not be confused with just any other city in China.

That is a difficult argument to run and to explain, but it is also not much more than a marketing campaign. Having a well worded constitution is a nice thing to have, but we also either need a government that respects it, or need mechanisms that force the government to follow it.

The head of the working group, Dr Eugene Chan is quoted as saying “The Basic Law also safeguards the principle of ‘Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong'”. How much do we agree with this statement? How much is Hong Kong administered by Hong Kong people?

If he just means that the people who sign their name under the numerous laws and regulations passed every week are Hong Kong residents than he sure is right, but it would also be a relative worthless statement to make.

But if ‘administered’ is to be seen in a larger sense then how much ‘self-determination’ do we have? How much of Hong Kong people’s will is in Hong Kong’s law?

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