July 27 - August 2, 2017

Chief Executive

Hong Kong's first female leader meets US media

This week, both CNN and CNBC ran interviews with Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, who was sworn into office last month. In the interviews, Mrs. Lam candidly discussed a number of hot-button issues, including the electoral system, gender equality, and questions of identity in Hong Kong. Mrs. Lam told CNBC that she intended to take a “middle ground” approach to governance, hoping to reach compromise through communication and dialogue. She also said that housing will be one of her top priorities in this term of government.

CE's first overseas visit

Chief Executive Carrie Lam set off Wednesday (August 2) for Singapore and Thailand, her first overseas visit since assuming office. In Singapore, she spoke at the opening reception of a photo exhibition by Lee Fook Chee whose photos capture a time when Hong Kong was entering a period of huge post-war transformation. Mr. Lee was born in Singapore and found his creative calling in Hong Kong. Mrs. Lam has said one of the purposes of her trip would be to further enhance ties with ASEAN countries, noting that Hong Kong hopes to reach a free trade agreement with the bloc later this year.

Business

John Slosar in New York

John Slosar, the Hong Kong chairman of the Hong Kong-United States Business Council and taipan, or chairman, of John Swire & Sons, reflected on 20 years of development in Hong Kong since its return to Chinese sovereignty and discussed the city’s economic future in a talk on Wednesday (August 2), organized by the HKETONY, the Hong Kong Association, and the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council. He gave the audience at the University Club in New York an update on the opportunities arising in Hong Kong thanks to greater integration with the Chinese economy via the Greater Bay Area and Lok Ma Chau Loop projects, as well as the prospect of business growth due to the Chinese government’s Belt and Road investment initiative.

Public Safety

Crime rate lowest since 1979

Public safety in Hong Kong saw continuous, sustainable improvement in the first half of 2017, with the city registering its lowest crime rate since 1979. Violent crime was down, with the number of serious drug cases, for example, falling 4 percent. The number of telephone deception cases, however, rose to 443, up from last year’s 410. To combat fraud, the police have set up an Anti-Deception Coordination Center and a round-the-clock Anti-Deception Hotline, “18222.”

Science & Technology

Hong Kong researchers develop "smart hydrogels"

A research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has created a new smart hydrogel that could open doors for future material biology and biomedical applications. Hydrogels are leading materials for drug delivery and stem cell therapy, but traditional synthetic hydrogels can cause allergies and are unable to fully mimic complex biological environments. The new, “smart” hydrogel is protein-based, making it suitable to act as a carrier for stem cells. The new hydrogels can also sense light, allowing scientists to control the time and manner of drug delivery in the human body.

Arts & Culture

AYO on tour in the US this month

The Hong-Kong based Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) is set to come to the US in August as part of their summer world tour, which will feature 22 concerts in 20 cities and nine countries. The 109-strong orchestra will perform in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., before being joined by prominent violinist Sarah Chang for concerts at Brevard College in North Carolina (tickets here) and the Tilles Center for Performing Arts on Long Island (tickets here), on August 11 and 13, respectively.

"The Nether" to be staged in Hong Kong

“The Nether,” by American playwright Jennifer Haley, will be presented in Cantonese from September 15 to 17 at the Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre Theatre in Hong Kong. The play, which made its New York debut Off-Broadway in 2015, was described by The New York Times as a “very cunning and equally creepy” imagination of the dark side of the internet world. The Hong Kong production is organized by Paprika Studio, which was founded by Adrian Yeung, a HKETO-Asian Cultural Council arts fellow.

Photos provide a glimpse of Hong Kong history

“Hong Kong Over the Past 100 Years,” an exhibition of 100 historical photos taken between 1841 and 1997, takes visitors down memory lane, starting from when Hong Kong was a sleepy fishing village on the Pearl River estuary, and continuing through its transformation into a manufacturing hub in the latter half of the last century and an international financial center and modern metropolis today. The show is open to the public, now through August 31, at the Jao Tsung-I Academy in Kowloon.

HKETONY News

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York

A number of dragon boat paddlers have been practicing hard in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens for the past several months, and are gearing up for the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York on August 12 and 13. The festival will feature two new boats and a special race dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. The festival will also include a variety of arts and cultural events by the lakeside. The HKETONY is the major benefactor of the multicultural dragon boat festival, having initiated it back in 1991.

Basic Law

Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems.”

Q:  Do Hong Kong people still enjoy a wide range of personal freedoms?

A:  Chapter III of the Basic Law guarantees a wide range of personal freedoms to be enjoyed by Hong Kong people. The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labor conventions as applied to Hong Kong continue to remain in force. (BL Articles 27-39) The extensive personal freedoms of Hong Kong people are borne out by, for instance, the facts that processions and assemblies are a part of every-day life in Hong Kong, and that newspapers regularly comment on or criticize government decisions and policies and people say what they want in Hong Kong's open society.

Hong Kong Basic Law

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