Updated: Jan 9
Welcome to the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation weekly newsletter.
Every week, this newsletter will bring you the latest updates and developments concerning freedom in Hong Kong.
To subscribe to our newsletter, click here.
On Wednesday 12th October the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation and the Henry Jackson Society will launch their report “Confucius Institutes: The CCP in British Universities’. The report reveals that Confucius Institutes act as arms of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), engaging in a wide variety of activity beyond their stated remit of ‘language and culture.’ The report looks at thirty Confucius Institutes around the UK and further in depth into eight, including those at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Edinburgh. While the study identifies over £33 million in funding from China the actual amount is more likely to be around£43-46 million. The event will include a discussion of the report’s findings, their ramifications, and how best to draw up a policy response. Contributing to the discussion will be Sam Dunning, the report’s author; Bob Seely MP, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Stephen Vines, journalist, writer and broadcaster (and long-time Hong Kong resident); Louisa Clarence-Smith, education editor for The Telegraph and Sam Armstrong, former director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society. To attend the launch of the report register here.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China released a report ‘Hong Kong’s Civil Society: From an Open City to a City of Fear’ this week, including first-person accounts of the Hong Kong’s government’s efforts to dismantle civil society since the 2019 demonstrations. Patrick Poon, visiting researcher for comparative law at Meiji University, stated: “The National Security Law means the end of political space for civil society organisations. The Chinese Communist Party thinks that it is in a life-and-death struggle with foreign forces in Hong Kong. It is determined to make the civil society collapse.”
A group of U.S. lawmakers condemned executives of America’s largest banks who are attending the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit in November. The event is expected to be attended by senior executives from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Morgan Stanley.
The series of illustrated children’s books about sheep and wolves, for which five Hong Kong speech therapists were found guilty of sedition, have been made available online by an independent overseas team. The team is now planning to print paperbacks of the book and welcomes donations from the public.
The UN Human Rights Council’s resolution on whether to debate the report on China’s Human Rights abuses and violations targeting Uyghurs in Xinjiang was rejected on Thursday with 17 yes, 19 no, and 11 abstentions. Among the countries voting against the resolution, were Muslim-majority countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Worldwide protests were held against China on their national day, which celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, reported the Hong Kong Free Press. The protests condemned the human rights abuses of China in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. In London, a large contingent of Hong Kong refugees waived flags that said, “Liberate Hong Kong.”
The New York Timesreported this week that American officials are looking to intensify efforts to stockpile enough weapons in Taiwan for the island to hold out itself if the Chinese military blockades or invades. The Biden administration announced on Sept. 2 that it had approved its sixth weapons package for Taiwan — a $1.1 billion sale that includes 60 Harpoon coastal antiship missiles.
The Biden administration is expected to announce new measures to cut off China's access to advanced semiconductor technology, The New York Times reported. The measure would prohibit companies globally from sending products made with the use of American technology, machinery, or software to targeted Chinese companies.
China’s version of TikTok, Douyin, is reportedly cracking down on videos that speak or sing in Cantonese and banning Cantonese-speaking users as the CCP seeks to flatten diversity in China. South China Morning Postreported that several Cantonese-speaking influencers say their live-streaming sessions were suspended with system notification encouraging them to speak Mandarin. Cantonese is widely used in Hong Kong and some parts of China, such as Guangdong.
Political prisoner Jimmy Lai’s request to hire a lawyer from the UK, for his national security trial, which is set to begin in December, has been opposed by Hong Kong’s Justice Minister and a barristers’ group. The Hong Kong Free Press reported Hong Kong Judge Esther Toh, who presided over the session, stated Lai did not appear in court due to a “medical condition.”