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NEWSLETTER: Ambassador James Cunningham testifies about Jimmy Lai in Canadian Parliament


On Tuesday February 13, Ambassador James Cunningham, Chairman of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation), and former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong, testified before the Subcommittee on International Human Rights, on Jimmy Lai’s trial and ongoing detention. During his address to the subcommittee, Ambassador Cunningham said the proceedings highlighted the continuing erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong and underscored the clash between Xi Jinping's authoritarian agenda and the liberal values upheld by democratic societies, including Canada. He urged the subcommittee to work for the release of political prisoners in the city and to push for sanctions against key Hong Kong officials.

In Washington, DC, the CFHK Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Frances Hui joined Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Religious Freedom‘s Nina Shea and William McGurn, a member of the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board and author of the "Main Street" column, for a discussion on the implications of Lai’s trial for Hong Kong, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s covert strategy to influence religious communities in the region.

On Thursday, February 15, Frances Hui testified at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’s session “Transnational Repression & the US Response,”, sharing her personal experiences of harassment by Hong Kong authorities and the CCP. The discussion examined the global scope of China’s attempts to shut down dissent and proposed solutions to strengthen the US response, including a proposed bill, H.R. 3654, The Transnational Repression Policy Act.


Jimmy Lai’s trial is in recess for the Lunar New Year holiday. Proceedings are expected to resume on February 19.

Hong Kong

Longtime China bull Stephen Roach, formerly chair of Morgan Stanley Asia, published an op-ed titled “It pains me to say Hong Kong is over” in the Financial Times. Under the CCP’s rule, Roach wrote, the city has declined from a thriving financial hub to a market stuck in the mire. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has fallen back to where it was when the British left in 1997. Roach concludes with a nostalgic recollection of his first trip to Hong Kong in the late 1980s, lamenting the end of an era that saw the city as a major beneficiary of China's development miracle. 

The head of Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Woo Ying-ming, expressed full support for the implementation of a proposed new domestic security law, Article 23. Woo added he was confident that following the enactment of legislation under Article 23, Hong Kong’s moral fortitude “will be uplifted to another level.”

UK-China Relations

David Cameron is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, at the Munich Security Conference this weekend for the first time since becoming British foreign secretary. Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith MP has publicly urged Cameron to raise the case of Jimmy Lai and call for the sanctions imposed on British parliamentarians to be rescinded.

U.S.-China Relations

Several U.S. Congress representatives are considering refusing to meet with U.S. lobbying firms who represent companies linked to the Chinese military. The proposed ban extends to firms representing Chinese companies listed on the Pentagon's 1260H entity list.

Thousands of Porsche, Bentley and Audi cars have been impounded in US ports after a supplier to parent group Volkswagen found a Chinese subcomponent in the vehicles that breached anti-forced labour laws. The US prohibited the import of products that have been made with forced labour in the western Xinjiang region and other areas in China under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act of 2021.


This week’s blog post is by Tony Chung Hon Lam. He was the youngest activist to be sentenced under the National Security Law. On Dec. 27, 2023, he arrived in the UK to seek asylum.

It is time for the UK Government to also step up and play its part in shutting down UK based HK ETOs. I hope authorities in the UK will address these issues, terminate the various privileges and immunities enjoyed by the HKETOs, and cease the Hong Kong government's abuse of these offices for political propaganda, and use this action as a step in the direction of holding the Hong Kong government accountable for its actions.

Read More Here.

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