How Hong Kong’s Freedom of Expression has Been Crushed

Wednesday 28 June 2023 / 10:00 - 11:00 / Zoom

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During 2019 and 2020, the people of Hong Kong took to the streets to protest en masse for a more democratic governance under Beijing’s rule. The protests and China’s ensuing crackdown on the city’s democracy movement received much international attention at the time.

In the wake of China’s implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, many activists and opinion-makers have since left the city. And the protests, which in 2019 could mobilize a quarter of the city’s population, have since been marginalized under the Chinese governments shrinking tolerance and increased pressure. Unable to voice their opinion in Hong Kong, advocates for the city’s democracy continue to debate and spread awareness from abroad instead.

ISDP has the honor of inviting Dr. Chung Kim-wah, who left Hong Kong for the United Kingdom in 2022, to give a public lecture on the topic of Hong Kong’s eroding freedom of expression.

During this lecture, Dr. Chung will discuss his perspective on how freedom of speech has eroded in Hong Kong following the handover of the city from the United Kingdom to China in 1997. He will discuss the guarantee provided by China to the people of Hong Kong and the international community that the city’s autonomy would remain unchanged after the handover. Dr. Chung will also expound on the drafting of Hong Kong’s basic law as a former hope for a constitutional framework and the repeated promises made by China leading up to the situation worsening in recent years in the name of national security. Dr. Chung will explore a perspective that the change in China’s political situation and the totalitarian state under the CCP has made the current developments in Hong Kong an inevitability.

Dr. Chung is an Associate Fellow at the Hong Kong Studies Hub at the University of Surrey as well as the Adjunct Associate Professor of the Felizberta Lo Padilla Tong School of Social Sciences, Caritas Institute of Higher Education. He was formerly the Assistant Professor of Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as well as the Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies of the Department of APSS. Dr. Chung also served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI).

Moderator: ISDP Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow, Professor Joseph Yu-shek Cheng

Commentary: ISDP Head of Stockholm China Center, Professor Torbjörn Lodén