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Hong Kong Digest

June 11, 2024

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New York ETO promotes Hong Kong in Boston

The Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York, Maisie Ho, reinforced the bilateral ties between Hong Kong and Boston during her duty visit to Boston. In her meeting with officials from the Mayor’s Office of Boston (Jun 10), she gave an update on the latest developments in Hong Kong. At a lunch meeting with biotech start-ups and venture capitalists, she highlighted Hong Kong’s opportunities and roadmap in becoming the health and life science hub of Asia. She also met with executives from Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to deepen ties in academic collaboration, student exchange and talent development. On Jun 9, she officiated at the Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, kicking off the 45th edition of this oldest dragon boat festival in the US, which the HKETONY has been the naming sponsor for.

Financial Secretary highlights Hong Kong’s advantages in US

Financial Secretary Paul Chan promoted Hong Kong’s advantages during his duty visit (May 28-30) to California. Delivering a business luncheon (May 28) keynote speech, he emphasised the advantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and an international innovation and technology hub. He also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Invest Hong Kong and partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together with the delegations from the Guangdong Province and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), the Hong Kong SAR delegation took part in the Bay to Bay Dialogue (May 29) and the US-China High-Level Event on Subnational Climate Action (May 29-30). 

Hong Kong Pavilion at BIO 2024

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) led a delegation of 16 elite park companies to the BIO International Convention (BIO 2024) in San Diego from June 3-6. HKSTP has unveiled a dynamic 1,000-square-foot Pavilion to display groundbreaking products and services and facilitate over 80 partnering meetings. The Pavilion spotlights an array of companies spanning multiple biotechnology segments including 2 centres under Health@InnoHK, 6 HKSTP’s IncuBio startups, and 8 therapeutic enterprises. Together, these exhibitors underscore the diverse scope and innovative strength of Hong Kong's biotech sector.

Secretary for Education visits the East Coast

Secretary for Education Dr Choi Yuk-lin promoted the advantages of Hong Kong as an international education hub during her visit to Chicago, New Orleans and New York (May 27-Jun 1). Together with representatives of the University Grants Committee (UGC) and major universities, she attended the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans and met with global education experts to explore collaboration opportunities. During her visit to New York, she met with Hong Kong students to learn more about their studies and career development in the US. While in Chicago, she met with representatives of Northwestern University and University of Chicago and exchanged views on promoting academic research, and further collaborations. The Secretary-General of the UGC, Professor James Tang, joined the visit to the three cities.


Dragon boat festival celebrated around the city

There were plenty of action with dragon boat races held across Hong Kong as the city celebrated the annual dragon boat festival, which fell on Jun 10 this year. Local and overseas teams took part in the races, including the historic Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade, Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships and Tai Po District Dragon Boat Race. On the same night, residents and tourists were treated to a dazzling drone show, with a fleet of 1,000 illuminated drones forming festive shapes such as rice dumplings, painted drums, dragon boat races and other topical images in the sky over the Victoria Harbour. These festive actions will lead up to the much anticipated Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races the coming weekend (Jun 15-16), which will see some 170 teams from 12 countries or regions competing.


Hong Kong’s bright future reflected by factual data

In a statement (Jun 5), the Hong Kong SAR Government highlighted the city’s advantages and momentum of its economic development. It cited Hong Kong’s economy achieving a positive growth rate of 3.3% in 2023, with an estimated 2.5% to 3.5% growth for 2024. The market capitalisation of Hong Kong stocks exceeded US$4.3 trillion, 10 times that during 1997. These figures demonstrate that Hong Kong as an international financial centre has fully utilised its ability to mobilise both Mainland and foreign capital, and will continue to play a key role in helping to “bring in” international enterprises and investors, as well as assisting Mainland enterprises to “go out”. The Government reiterated that various data and facts not only reflect the performance of Hong Kong’s economic and financial development, but more importantly highlight the city’s unique advantages and strategic position under the “one country, two systems” principle, as well as its resilience and flexibility, in the face of global instability.


Five HK universities rank in world’s top 100

Hong Kong universities have been highly rated in the World University Rankings 2025 published by Quacquarelli Symonds. The rankings of six universities have risen, with five of them staying in the world’s top 100. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) climbed to 17th place, up from 26th last year. HKU also ranked fourth-highest in Asia. The Chinese University of Hong Kong rose 11 spots to 36; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology leaped to 47th place from 60th, while Hong Kong Polytechnic University and City University of Hong Kong are placed 57th and 62nd respectively. The Education Bureau said the ranking results highlight that Hong Kong’s universities are highly reputable in the global academic community, with excellent performances in terms of quality of teaching and research, and internationalisation.

Students win physics medals

A team of eight students representing Hong Kong have won one gold, three silver and two bronze medals as well as two honourable mentions at the 24th Asian Physics Olympiad in Malaysia. Secretary for Education Dr Choi Yuk-lin said their impressive results have demonstrated the concerted efforts of the stakeholders in promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education. Over 200 contestants from 27 countries or cities took part in the competition from Jun 3 to 10.


Hong Kong welcomes global talent

Former US National Basketball Association and Chinese Basketball Association player Stephon Marbury is featured in the first episode of a new set of promotional TV announcements to appeal to talent across professions on the Mainland and overseas to settle in Hong Kong. Launched (Jun 5) by the Hong Kong Talent Engage, the promotion campaign features the city’s vibrant and colourful lifestyle, along with nine talented individuals who share their reasons for coming to Hong Kong. Marbury describes Hong Kong as an international cultural melting pot and a “slam dunk” for new opportunities without language barriers. Hong Kong is also a gourmet paradise which features culinary delights from all over the globe, he added.


Visa restrictions on Hong Kong Government Officials objected

In a statement (May 31) that responded to the US Department of State’s imposition of “visa restrictions” on People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong SAR officials relating to the implementation of the National Security Law, the Hong Kong SAR Government iterated that Hong Kong’s law enforcement agencies take actions based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts committed by persons or entities, and not in relation to their political stances, background or occupation. Separately, it said (May 30) the verdict delivered by the court on a conspiracy to commit subversion case clearly confirmed the occurrence of the offence of conspiracy to commit subversion. The proven offence was aimed at undermining, destroying or overthrowing the existing political system and structure of the Hong Kong SAR established under the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle.

Did you know...

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong SAR. It provides the guarantees to maintain our existing way of life, including socio-economic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas. Article 23 of the BL stipulates that the Hong Kong SAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Hong Kong SAR, and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the Hong Kong SAR from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies.

Q: Will making negative comments on Hong Kong SAR’s economy constitute the offence of sedition?

A: No one will commit the offences relating to “seditious intention” by merely making well intentioned comments about the Government. The offence of “seditious intention” mainly targets the intention to induce hatred against the Government and covers, for example, inciting any other person to do a violent act in the Hong Kong SAR, or to do an act that does not comply with the law of the Hong Kong SAR. Making reasonable and genuine criticism of government policies based on objective facts, or pointing out issues, offering views for improvement, etc. does not constitute an offence of sedition. 

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