The title of a recently released Reuters article is “Hong Kong lawyers march in protest against PERCEIVED (?) China meddling” (Web-site/URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/27/us-hongkong-lawyers-idUSKBN0F20DY20140627).
“Hong Kong lawyers dressed in BLACK marched through the city on Friday (June 27 2014) to protest against what they see as Chinese interference, a sign of growing concern about the rule of law in the Asian financial center and a further act of DISSENT against Beijing”. “dissent” is HEALTHY but of course, as we know, Beijing DOESN’T allow ANY “dissent”.
“Britain returned Hong Kong to Communist Party-ruled China in 1997 under a “one country, TWO SYSTEMS (?)” formula, with THE PROMISE OF a high degree of autonomy”. China STILL interferes HEAVILY in Hong Kong’s legal system. “UNLIKE on the mainland, Hong Kong’s judiciary enjoys a level of independence similar to that in the West”. UNTIL RECENTLY that is. We also increasingly ONLY see the ONE COUNTRY component of “one country two systems”.
“But Beijing raised ALARM when it released a white paper this month (June 2014), spelling out ITS INTERPRETATION of the ONE COUNTRY, two systems model, in which it said being patriotic and “LOVING THE COUNTRY” is a basic requirement for the city’s administrators, including lawyers:. As we’ve said on numerous occasions “loving the country” is A FARCE. It also makes us wonder if “National Education” will be introduced in schools SOONER rather than later. China, as we know, ONLY sees “its interpretation” and NO ONE ELSE’S (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
According to Dennis Kwok, “a lawyer and a member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, who organised the march”, “The legal profession in Hong Kong will NEVER compromise on the rule of law” like CHINA wants. “We hope we are SENDING A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE” which, again, of course, as we know, OFTEN requires FORCE (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
“Barrister Martin Lee, one of the founders of the main opposition Democratic Party, listed A NUMBER of nationalities of lawyers in Hong Kong and asked how they were EXPECTED to BE PATRIOTIC TO CHINA“. This EXPECTATION from CHINA is UNREASONABLE (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
“The Bar Association, which represents more than 1,000 barristers, also RAISED CONCERNS this month (June, 2014), saying judges and judicial officers should not be regarded as part of “Hong Kong’s administrators”.
Finally, according to Arnout van Rijn, “CIO and APAC Equities Fund Manager at Robeco, a Dutch-based asset management firm”, “The rule of law IS being undermined, but is it being undermined in a way that is going to affect corporates? Not really“.
To conclude, let’s return once again to the title: “Hong Kong lawyers march in protest against perceived China meddling”. This ISN’T a “perception”; this is TRUE & is UNLIKELY TO CHANGE ANYTIME SOON.