27 March 2023 – The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation was delighted to co-organise and participate in the first-ever UK-Hong Kong Summit this weekend, where nearly two hundred Hong Kongers from across the UK as well as the EU and US met with several members of the House of Lords and House of Commons to share their stories from Hong Kong and highlight their experiences since moving to Britain.
Over the course of three days, there were multiple guest speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions, where attendees could listen and learn from others to strategise on how to combat the dismantling of freedoms in Hong Kong and best support Hong Kongers who have relocated to Britain. Topics covered included Hong Kongers’ right to free speech, media freedom, protesting authoritarian regimes, and immigration as well as effective political outreach and advocacy.
Speakers included Stephen Hammond MP, Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Executive Benedict Rogers, former Ukrainian MP Aliona Hlivco, former governor of Hong Kong Lord Chris Patten, Britain’s Shadow Minister for Immigration Stephen Kinnock MP, and All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong member Lord David Alton.
The first guest speaker, Stephen Hammond MP, set the tone of the conference, saying, “Like everyone in this room, I believe in the right to free speech, the right to protest, and the right to practise one’s religious beliefs without persecution.” Stephen Kinnock MP said, “Hong Kong is a major warning to the world for those who care about freedom, democracy, and human rights.” Former Ukrainian MP Aliona Hlivco added, “It’s not an option to stand by in the fight for freedom. It’s a global war for democracy.”
In his keynote speech, Lord Chris Patten who was the former governor of Hong Kong, said, “They hate Jimmy Lai because he had the guts to stay behind and try to represent and speak up for the values he passionately believed in. You must remind the British government of its political and moral responsibilities to Hong Kong.” Lord David Alton concluded the Summit, saying, “I urge you to use your voices and the freedom you now enjoy for those in Hong Kong who struggle for freedom.”
The UK-Hong Kong Summit was a real opportunity for Hong Kongers from all over the United Kingdom to come together for their first-ever closed-door conference. The CFHK Foundation looks forward to hosting more Hong Kongers in Parliament to work alongside the UK government so that they can flee from the CCP’s persecution and make Britain their home.
Finn Lau, Chairman of the UK-Hong Kong Summit Steering Committee, said:
“The first-ever UK-Hong Kong Summit was a real showcase of how Hong Kongers have settled into Britain as well as their desire to integrate into society, learn from one another, and share their ideas for Hong Kong's future. It was inspiring that Hong Kongers from all over the country had a space from which they could collaborate and meet with Parliamentarians that care about Hong Kong. Thank you to all members of the Steering Committee and the CFHK Foundation who participated to make the Summit a success.”
Mark Sabah, the UK & EU Director of the CFHK Foundation, said:
“I congratulate Finn Lau and all the organisers for putting together such an outstanding Summit. I was delighted to see so many Hong Kongers from all over the world gathering to engage with British Parliament. Hong Kongers who immigrate to Britain deserve the warmest welcome to a haven that is free from the persecution of the CCP and Hong Kong authorities. The CFHK Foundation calls on the British government to place pressure on the CCP and Hong Kong authorities to stop violating Hong Kongers’ rights under international law.”