🌊 Free Tide: Two years since 8/31
8/31 protests, Belt and Road summit opens, Hong Kong gov. accused of wasting PR money, and more...
Was 2019 really two years ago? I guess time flies when you’re on Zoom.
Enjoy today’s Tide!
~ Sze Yu
Second Anniversary of 8/31
Last Tuesday marked exactly two years since baton-wielding Hong Kong police infamously stormed Prince Edward MTR station. Throughout Tuesday night, police maintained a heavy presence outside the station exit in an effort to deter public gatherings. Some members of the public carried on the tradition of laying white flowers at the site to mark the incident, while others were seen carrying yellow umbrellas and wearing yellow face masks.
Police arrested two men on Tuesday night—one 34-year-old and one 50-year-old were arrested for separate instances of disorderly conduct.
Hong Kong activists living abroad in London, Edinburgh and Toronto held rallies to remember the incident.
The Stand News also released a 10-minute documentary titled “On Spending My Youngest Years Committing 831 To Memory”.
*For English subtitles visit this Instagram page
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 1 (imported)
Total cases: 12,114 cases so far (104 active cases, 212 total deaths, 11,798 total recovered)
Belt and Road summit opens
The sixth Belt and Road Summit opened on Wednesday, hosting thousands of senior government officials and business leaders from more than 80 countries and regions. The Belt and Road Summit aims to promote international collaboration along China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This year’s theme is "Driving Growth Through Fostering Regional and International Trade".
During the Summit, senior mainland officials expressed confidence (paywalled) in Hong Kong’s future as a global financial hub, and promised to help Hong Kong join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) as soon as possible.
“Hong Kong is an international trade hub and it can provide an excellent platform. We are resolutely supporting Hong Kong to enter RCEP and be an active member.”
— Wang Wentao, Chinese Commerce Minister
To learn more about the RECP and its significance for global trade, become a paid subscriber today!
Pro-establishment lawmakers accuse Hong Kong of wasting money on public campaigns
Lawmakers claim that the government has wasted US$5.7 million (HK$44.3 million) on a “Relaunch Hong Kong” public campaign. After the 2019 Hong Kong protests, the Hong Kong government hired global public relations firm Consulum to run a multimillion dollar PR campaign.
Alice Mak Mei-kuen from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions questioned the legislative government’s decisions.
“We spent more than HK$40 million and what did we find out? They said Hong Kong was the only city which has three special characteristics, those were the link with the mainland and Asian markets, a comprehensive and convenient business environment, and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. I can tell you all of these things without having spent HK$40 million.”
— Alice Mak Mei-kuen, Legislative Council Member
A researcher studying worker’s rights at HKU has been detained by police in China, according to friends. Fang Ran, a PhD student researching labour movements in China, has not been seen for five days. His father wrote that the 26-year-old had been put into a form of solitary secret detention known as “residential surveillance at a designated location”.
Cantopop star Denise Ho has been forced to cancel her upcoming live concert in the city. The HKAC terminated her reservation agreement, citing “circumstances where public order or public safety would be endangered during the course of performance of hiring.” Ho is a strong supporter of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.
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