Going back on (historical) words

When asked about Hong Kong’s “rights and freedoms protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration”, on June 30, before the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said:

As for the remarks made by those from the US and the UK, I want to stress that Hong Kong is China’s SAR, and Hong Kong affairs belong to China’s domestic affairs. The Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) clearly marks the transitional period off from China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It’s been 20 years now since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, and the arrangements during the transitional period prescribed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are now history and of no practical significance, nor are they binding on the Chinese central government’s administration of the Hong Kong SAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power to rule and supervise Hong Kong after the handover. It is hoped that relevant people will come around to this.


Of no practical significance, nor are they binding. Best wishes to the people of Hong Kong, especially those still fighting for those rights and freedoms. Taiwan must take note.


How China reports “Taiwan”

Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, recently released a list of rules regarding the use of certain terms in official reporting, ranging on topics from daily life, legal jargon, religion, and of course, any reporting concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. As China places tight control over its press and media, a Chinese person who has never stepped outside of his/her country is unlikely to realize that the rest of the world does not report the news the way it is done, and will probably believe whatever is written as facts.

Looking at the points concerning Taiwan, I can’t help but shake my head at how petty some of them are. But then again I guess China isn’t exactly taking any chances on anything that might suggest Taiwan is a separate country. Among the interesting points, we have the following:

Section 4: Banned terms concerning Chinese territories, sovereignty, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau Continue reading “How China reports “Taiwan””

Ma Ying-jeou barred from visiting Hong Kong

Taiwan’s Presidential Office today announced in a press briefing that it is rejecting former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s application to visit Hong Kong to attend the SOPA 2016 Awards for Editorial Excellence, hosted by the Society of Publishers in Asia, as the keynote speaker on June 15. As per the Classified National Security Information Protection Act, government personnel who handle classified information are restricted from leaving the country for three years after leaving office and must apply to the original agency to travel internationally.

After reviewing the Ma’s application, President Tsai Ing-wen’s staff recommended rejecting the application due to:

  • Former President Ma handled extremely sensitive and classified information. As he had only left office for less than a month, the information cannot risk become de-classified.
  • More time is needed to catalog the classified information handled by Ma.
  • Hong Kong is considered to be highly sensitive in terms of maintaining Taiwan’s national security. There is difficulty in controlling the risk of a former head of state visiting there.
  • Taiwan’s National Security Agency has not worked with Hong Kong government before. There is not enough time to communicate and negotiate all the security and protocol details with both Hong Kong and PRC governments.

The Presidential Office further suggested Ma to give his speech via video-conferencing, as was suggested by his government when he was invited to speak in Hong Kong in February this year. Ma’s office later released a statement protesting the rejection and expressing his displeasure.