One country, two systems

National People's Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu (bottom C) speaks as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and other Chinese leaders look on during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 28 May 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Will it be 'one country, one system' for Hong Kong?

As expected, the Chinese government has passed a national security law for Hong Kong, which is likely to be implemented in time for the upcoming LegCo elections in September. Even as Beijing made an unexpectedly strong push for the law, seemingly without allowing room for negotiation, Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that Hong Kong occupies an irreplaceable position to Beijing, and things may not be as bad as they appear.
A masked anti-government protester holds a flag supporting Hong Kong independence during a march against Beijing's plans to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, 24 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Why Beijing is taking the risk to push through the national security law and rein in Hong Kong

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that this year’s “two sessions” in China includes a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that has been months in the making. The law is unlikely to go down well in Hong Kong, nor with Hong Kong watchers with vested interests such as the US. What gave Beijing the confidence to push through such a law at this point in time?
Pan-democratic legislators scuffle with security as they protest against new security laws during Legislative Council’s House Committee meeting, in Hong Kong, 22 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Hong Kong will move into another period of unrest

Following last year’s protests in Hong Kong, the Beijing central government is all set to roll out new legal measures to plug the gaps in Hong Kong’s national security. The plan for the law was unveiled on 22 May during the opening session of China's annual National People's Congress. The draft proposal said the security law would "guard against, stop and punish any separatism, subversion of the national regime, terrorist group activities and such behaviours that seriously harm national security". Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong opines that worse days await Hong Kong, as neither side seems to be able to make a concession.
Students sit for the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) university entrance exams in Hong Kong, 24 April 2020. (Jerome Favre/AFP)

History lessons: Who gets to decide what is humiliating, unfair, right or wrong?

Following a recent controversy over a history question in a national exam about whether Japan did more good than harm to China in the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong columnist Chip Tsao asks: "Who gets to decide how history is read?"
Journalists at the daily press briefing of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, March 18, 2020. (Thomas Peter/REUTERS)

US journalists expelled: Diplomatic clash or press freedom in downward spiral?

Following the US labelling China state-owned media organisations in the US as “foreign operatives” and limiting US-based Chinese media staff, China has retaliated by expelling US journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Yang Danxu and Norman Yik examine how this might affect China-US relations, the “one country, two systems” policy, and press freedom in China.
Johnny Chiang, newly elected chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), speaks after winning the KMT’s chairman elections in Taipei, 7 March 2020. (Handout/CNA/AFP)

Fresh, young, pragmatic chairman of Kuomintang signals new hope for Taiwan?

All eyes are on Johnny Chiang, the 48-year-old who was elected the new chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang. Chiang won all the elections he stood for in 2012, 2016, and 2020, and was the KMT Legislative Yuan member with the most votes in the 2020 general election. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun says Chiang is, without a doubt, the most suitable candidate to be KMT chairman right now. But what are the challenges faced by the ailing party under new leadership, and the implications these may have on cross-strait relations?
This photo taken on 6 February 2020 shows people crossing a bridge that can be used only by villagers with a special permit, within a Frontier Closed Area from Lo Wu MTR station in Hong Kong and buildings (back) behind the Hong Kong border fence in Shenzhen, China. The border crossing is currently closed as part of government measures to control the spread of the Covid-19. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Why can’t Hong Kong implement a full border shutdown?

Lianhe Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing rationalises that Hong Kong’s decision thus far not to completely close borders with the mainland is not unfounded.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks are reflected in an advertisement in the Central district of Hong Kong, January 29, 2020. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and its possible effects on the Hong Kong economy

Hong Kong, being adjacent to mainland China, is worried about the Wuhan coronavirus. Besides the physical impact, there would be political and economic impacts as well if there is an outbreak. Economics professor Paul Yip examines these possible effects, and explains why Hong Kongers are calling for a complete closure of Hong Kong’s border with China.
An anti-government demonstrator wearing a Guy Fawkes mask takes part in a protest at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong on 12 January 2020. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

Realism and common sense necessary in Hong Kong and mainland China

Hong Kong political commentator Leung Man-tao looks back in Chinese modern history and recent happenings to conclude that Chinese people often disregard realism and common sense when faced with nationwide campaigns. He bids the authorities in Hong Kong to refrain from letting re-election hopes cloud their larger mission of taking Hong Kong to greater heights. He also pleads with Hong Kongers to listen to reason, and not let political waves from one side or the other ruin all that is good about Hong Kong.