News / Asia

    China's Role in Hong Kong Under Spotlight

    Editorial staff members of the Ming Pao newspaper hold the front page of their newspaper with the headline on the former editor Kevin Lau, who was assaulted and injured during a protest outside the Ming Pao office in Hong Kong on Feb. 27, 2014. Editorial staff members of the Ming Pao newspaper hold the front page of their newspaper with the headline on the former editor Kevin Lau, who was assaulted and injured during a protest outside the Ming Pao office in Hong Kong on Feb. 27, 2014.
    x
    Editorial staff members of the Ming Pao newspaper hold the front page of their newspaper with the headline on the former editor Kevin Lau, who was assaulted and injured during a protest outside the Ming Pao office in Hong Kong on Feb. 27, 2014.
    Editorial staff members of the Ming Pao newspaper hold the front page of their newspaper with the headline on the former editor Kevin Lau, who was assaulted and injured during a protest outside the Ming Pao office in Hong Kong on Feb. 27, 2014.
    Reuters
    A senior Chinese official on Thursday condemned the daylight stabbing of an influential newspaper editor that has exposed deep-rooted anxieties about possible interference by Beijing in the financial hub's affairs.
     
    Police have made no arrests nor established any motive for the stabbing of Kevin Lau, a former chief editor of the Ming Pao newspaper, by two men, that left him fighting for his life.
     
    Suspicions have spread, however, that powerful individuals from mainland China or pro-Beijing allies opposed to the city's push for full democracy, may have had a hand in the attack.
     
    Former Ming Pao chief editor Ken Lau is pictured outside his office in Hong Kong on Jan. 31, 2014.Former Ming Pao chief editor Ken Lau is pictured outside his office in Hong Kong on Jan. 31, 2014.
    x
    Former Ming Pao chief editor Ken Lau is pictured outside his office in Hong Kong on Jan. 31, 2014.
    Former Ming Pao chief editor Ken Lau is pictured outside his office in Hong Kong on Jan. 31, 2014.
    Lau's condition stabilized on Thursday and he was able to communicate by writing.
     
    His stabbing could spark a backlash against Beijing.
     
    Hong Kong, a former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, enjoys considerable autonomy and broad freedom of speech as a capitalist hub.

    It has been locked in a battle with Beijing's leaders to push through reforms that could culminate in an direct election for its leader in 2017.
     
    Resentment has surged at attempts by Chinese authorities to tighten their grip on Hong Kong as well as proposals to control which candidates can stand in the 2017 poll.
     
    A senior Chinese official in Hong Kong condemned the attack and urged authorities to crack the case swiftly.
     
    “We're closely watching the attack...and strongly condemn the unlawful act of the criminals,” said Yang Jian, deputy director of China's representative office in Hong Kong, the Liaison Office.
     
    “We firmly support the Hong Kong government to spare no effort, arrest the culprits and punish them in line with the law,” he said in remarks broadcast on local television.
     
    The attack took place days after 6,000 protesters massed outside government headquarters to demand the city's leaders uphold press freedom against perceived intrusions from China.
     
    It also followed Lau's replacement by a Malaysian editor with suspected pro-Beijing leanings. That move sparked a newsroom revolt.
     
    Investigative reports on China's Elite
     
    Some insiders at Ming Pao say recent exposes on assets hidden offshore by China's elite - in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - could have been a factor in the attack.
     
    Martin Lee, a founder of the city's main opposition Democratic Party, said he could not rule out the possibility that political or criminal elements might have staged the attack, thinking they might “do Beijing a favor”.
     
    “I suppose [some] people think in their own hearts this could have been related to Beijing,” Lee said by telephone.
     
    “I don't see it unless it is some hot-headed fellow...thinking that what was actually done would be in accordance with the wishes of Beijing.”
     
    Lee, together with newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai, was the target of a foiled assassination plot in 2008 as he led Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement into a heated election campaign.
     
    The United States and European Union expressed concern over the assault and diplomats in Hong Kong said it underscored fears that the city's freedoms were being eroded.
     
    “There's been a growing sense that, like the rule of law, they [media freedoms] are vital if Hong Kong is to maintain its role as an international center,” said one Western diplomat who declined to be identified.
     
    “This case has only highlighted those fears. The Hong Kong government should know the importance of cracking this case, wherever it leads.”
     
    Journalists were defiant and planned fresh weekend protests.
     
    Around 100 Ming Pao reporters dressed in black gathered outside the paper's headquarters, holding up copies of Thursday's edition carrying a black masthead. Its owners offered HK$1 million ($130,000) as a reward for information.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Frankie Fook-lu Leung from: Los Angeles
    February 28, 2014 12:18 AM
    There have been so much bad news involving the media professionals in Hong Kong. One wonders whether China is tightening the grip over Hong Kong, especially its hitherto daring media which have been at liberty to criticize and attack the Central government in addition to CY Leung's misadministration.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora