Editorials

All the latest comment, focus, and opinion behind the big news stories in Hong Kong, China & around the world
  1. They say half-truths are the worst lies. A case in point may be the latest report on China issued by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China. In this report, there is a chapter on Hong Kong and Macau where the commission made at least three “findings” in relation to the recent events in Hong Kong. The commission found that: firstly, there is “further erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and fundamental freedoms under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework” by reason of the proposed…
  2. The phase one trade deal between China and the US, signed on January 15, signalled a truce in the trade war. This is a welcome development, not only for the two countries but also for the rest of the world. It is expected to usher in a period of relative calm and reduced uncertainty, which should increase both investment and consumption globally.  However, it is not a net win for either country, even though they are both better off with the truce. They have both suffered economic losses from…
  3. In the days that followed last week’s signing of the phase one US-China trade agreement in Washington, the general consensus was that China gave more than it got.If you didn’t want to bother poring over the details of the agreement, you could just watch the footage of Vice-Premier Liu He standing a few feet behind US President Donald Trump as the US leader reiterated a list of grievances about how China had taken advantage of the US, how America had been on its knees because of Chinese scheming…
  4. The euro has been one of the currency market’s favourite punching bags for quite some time but maybe not for much longer. In the past few years, the prospect of Brexit, signs of weakness in the global economy, Germany’s near run-in with recession and the euro-zone’s negative interest rates have all put the single currency on the ropes.This could all change very soon though, and euro bears should be on the alert for a quick turnaround in the currency’s fortunes this year. The euro could be one…
  5. A building does not have to be old or of an unusual design to deserve preservation. Tenement blocks typically of six storeys known in Hong Kong as “tong lau” were hurriedly constructed after World War II to deal with a population explosion. Made of reinforced concrete and inexpensive to construct, they seem an anomaly in a high-rise society where glass-clad facades predominate; they are unremarkable in design and rarely have lifts. But the structures are nonetheless a reminder of our past and…
  6. Confidence in the police watchdog’s review of the force’s handling of the ongoing protests – now into their eighth month – has never been strong. The public has been further dismayed by the Independent Police Complaints Council’s decision to delay its much-anticipated report, citing a judicial review over its investigative powers as the reason. Meanwhile, clashes between police and protesters have returned, with roads blocked and tear gas fired again following a peaceful rally on Sunday. The…
  7. A proposal by property boss Adam Kwok Kai-fai to halve the daily quota for mainland immigrants to 75 is morally offensive and politically impossible.Yet, it would be popular with Hong Kong people, as Kwok, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, has suggested.His idea, as presented to the Guangdong Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, would help ease cross-border tensions. But why stop there?Why not just ban mainlanders from visiting or living in the city? If you offer…
  8. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s spectacular re-election was no easy feat. While it is true – as some pan-democratic lawmakers said at last week’s chief executive Legislative Council question-and-answer session – that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, by thoroughly botching up affairs in Hong Kong, played an instrumental role in Tsai’s win, Lam was far from being the only tailwind. Tsai’s incredible comeback after hitting political rock bottom was the result of her thoroughly…
  9. On November 18, 2019, two High Court judges delivered a judgment striking down the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation. The principal ground was that the enabling statute – the Emergency Regulations Ordinance – under which Hong Kong’s chief executive had issued that regulation was unconstitutional, being in contravention of the Basic Law.The judgment evoked an immediate negative response from the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.Para…
  10. In the Year of the Dog, investors chased their tails over monetary policy. The Year of the Pig saw investors deep in the mud of the trade war between the United States and China. The Year of the Rat promises calmer days with the phase-one US-China trade deal signed and a Brexit plan materialising. But it could be a trap – which means time for a backup plan. Consider the landscape. The issue of a potential trade war remains alive for US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign under phase…