Editorials

All the latest comment, focus, and opinion behind the big news stories in Hong Kong, China & around the world
  1. As investors await concrete signs of progress on US-China trade talks, several loosening signals from China have helped to support market sentiment. China’s 10-year government bond yield rallied by around 10 basis points in the last few weeks following a sharp sell-off that began in September, while Chinese equities were broadly stable. On November 5, for the first time since early 2016, China’s central bank lowered a key quasi-policy rate, the one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) rate,…
  2. Hong Kong frets about unfavourable declines in all sorts of global rankings, the latest being students’ competence. Even though we are still well placed than most of the 79 places in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) survey, our students slipped from second to fourth in reading and maths, and maintained ninth place in science, albeit with the lowest score in nearly two decades. For a city that puts competition and development ahead of everything, the results are alarming…
  3. It is not the first time Macau has been praised as a better model of “one country, two systems”, nor will it be the last. But coming from the state’s third-highest ranking official amid prolonged social unrest and the opposition seizing control of most district councils, Beijing’s demand for Hong Kong to pay heed to its full jurisdiction just like its neighbour speaks volumes of the divide. While there is room for the two cities to learn from each other, their foundations and development remain…
  4. Mass protests seem to be breaking out all over the place, from Hong Kong to Santiago, Tehran, Bolivia, Catalonia, Ecuador, France, Iraq and Lebanon. There are many local reasons for these protests, but there are common themes, such as inequality, corruption, incompetent governments, demography, social media and demand for change.But underlying all these protests is the growing polarisation of societies, increasingly manifested in violence. Why is polarisation growing and how can deeply…
  5. Six months to the day, I threw a grenade at my life.At the heart of it was a sense of deconstructionism. Riding the tail end of my 30s, I needed a switch, a reset, a recalibration. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone – axe my biggest vice and get revenge on a goal I had squandered. Listening to racers tell remarkable stories at the 2019 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon of weight loss, friendship and well-earned personal bests sparked something within me: it was time to write a new…
  6. It’s been a big few weeks for protesters in Hong Kong. The combination of a hugely successful local election result, the denouement and subsequent ending of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University siege and the enactment of the US Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act represent a hat-trick of watershed events that may define this long year in Hong Kong.While each development may seem to constitute a win, the movement needs to navigate the meaning of these moments.First, the passing of the Hong…
  7. After the interest rate surged in the dollar repo market in September, the US Federal Reserve stepped in with US$260 billion to bring down the rate, essentially bailing out the distressed borrowers behind the move. They were probably from the shadow banking system. This new quantitative easing has led to the US market setting record highs again, and for good reason. If the Fed could bail out the shadow banking system, why not the stock market? So, speculators should not worry. Ever since the…
  8. As the global downturn gains momentum, America’s economy has come under intense scrutiny. Increasing signs that its expansion – the longest in US post-war history – is slowing due to the fallout of the trade war have unnerved financial markets, and have already forced the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates three times this year. Fresh evidence of decelerating growth emerged on Monday when a gauge showed US manufacturing contracting for the fourth straight month in November. The downturn is…
  9. The government has rolled out its fourth round of special measures to provide some relief from damage to the economy wrought by deep social unrest and the United States-China trade war. Given that there is still no sign of progress towards resolution of the political crisis at the root of the turmoil, this may be far from the last attempt to ward off threats to businesses and employment.Now that anecdotal evidence of the downturn is hardening into facts and figures, Financial Secretary Paul…
  10. Screens can be addictive, as any parent trying to tear their child from games on a smartphone knows. The biggest study of youth exercise does not give that as the reason for an alarming trend towards sedentary behaviour, but it is surely a contributor. Some 1.6 million children aged between 11 and 17 from 146 countries and territories were surveyed by the World Health Organisation between 2001 and 2015. The alarming conclusion was that four in five fail to get the recommended one hour a day of…