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RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

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    監製:Diana Wan


    RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

    "The Pulse" is presented by locally and internationally known journalist and writer Steve Vines.

    Its focus? The latest events and trends that affect Hong Kong - from the corridors of power and business boardrooms, to the streets and dai pai dongs.

    "The Pulse" is politics. What's happening in the Legislative Council and on the streets right now.

    "The Pulse" is the media, informing us how well or badly our press and broadcast organisations diagnose and reflect the society around us.

    "The Pulse" is insightful, in-depth reports and interviews on current issues - examining those issues in depth, looking behind and beyond the news.

    Its focus is on the timely. The Now.

    Keep your eye ... and your finger ... on "The Pulse".

    If you want to discuss anything you've seen in "The Pulse", or anything in the public eye right now, or just to talk about the show, why not join in the debate on our Facebook page, RTHK's The Pulse. 

    The programme is aired every Saturday on RTHK 31 & 31A at 18:00, and a repeat on Sundays at 06:30.

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



    Find us on Facebook: RTHK's The Pulse

    最新

    LATEST
    20/01/2018

    Last Sunday, the pan-democratic camp held its primaries to decide who should run in the upcoming March by-elections. Despite a lack of polling stations, facilities and money to spend on publicity, there was a high turnout that surprised even the organisers. This week, candidates from the pro-government camp have also been throwing their hats in the ring. With us in the studio to talk about that is political scientist and co-founder of Power of Democracy Joseph Cheng.

    Some observers were amused to see Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, recently paying a bar bill with a credit card, rather than with his smartphone. Yes there he was, the founder of the online cashless payment platform Alipay, reverting to an older payment technology. Digital payment is big in mainland China, which has some 668 million active internet users and 594 million mobile internet users. Instead of forking over notes and coins, many people are making even the smallest transactions via smartphones, QR codes and cards. The PRC is now the world’s largest e-commerce market. Its digital payment market is 50 times larger than that of the United States. But while digital payment gathers momentum in China and India, people in many other places, including Hong Kong, are adapting more slowly, often due to concerns about privacy and security.

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    01 - 11
    2018 - 2017
    RTHK 31
    • By-elections pan-dem primaries, interview with Joseph Cheng & eWallet

      By-elections pan-dem primaries, interview with Joseph Cheng & eWallet

      Last Sunday, the pan-democratic camp held its primaries to decide who should run in the upcoming March by-elections. Despite a lack of polling stations, facilities and money to spend on publicity, there was a high turnout that surprised even the organisers. This week, candidates from the pro-government camp have also been throwing their hats in the ring. With us in the studio to talk about that is political scientist and co-founder of Power of Democracy Joseph Cheng.

      Some observers were amused to see Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, recently paying a bar bill with a credit card, rather than with his smartphone. Yes there he was, the founder of the online cashless payment platform Alipay, reverting to an older payment technology. Digital payment is big in mainland China, which has some 668 million active internet users and 594 million mobile internet users. Instead of forking over notes and coins, many people are making even the smallest transactions via smartphones, QR codes and cards. The PRC is now the world’s largest e-commerce market. Its digital payment market is 50 times larger than that of the United States. But while digital payment gathers momentum in China and India, people in many other places, including Hong Kong, are adapting more slowly, often due to concerns about privacy and security.

      20/01/2018
    • SJ Teresa Cheng's house scandal, interview with SC Philip Dykes & recycling natural Christmas trees

      SJ Teresa Cheng's house scandal, interview with SC Philip Dykes & recycling natural Christmas trees

      Things haven’t got off to a particularly good start for the newly appointed Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, whose very first day of work was also the day for apologies. Nine illegal structures have been found in her and her husband’s adjacent homes in Tuen Mun. It has since emerged that Ms Cheng signed a mortgage deed that makes no mention of her illegal basement. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reiterated her support for Cheng and asked for “more tolerance”. She was then asked whether that plea for more tolerance extended to all civil servants and Hong Kong people or just to high-ranking officials. Given all of this, eyebrows were raised when the new Secretary for Justice used the opening of the Legal Year on Monday to speak about how “law exists in practice”.

      With us in the studio is senior counsel Philip Dykes who's running for the Chairman of the up-coming Hong Kong Bar Association's election. I should add that we did invite the current chairman of the Bar Association Paul Lam to join us but he declined.

      This week the UK government set out its plan to reduce levels of plastic waste. Previously much of the world’s waste, including British waste, was taken to China for recycling. By 2012, more than half of all international plastic waste was ending up there. However Beijing began the year by imposing restrictions on imports of 24 types of waste, including waste plastic, glass, slag, waste wool, ash, cotton, yarn and unsorted paper. But China and Hong Kong’s festive celebrations bring waste of their own, much of it organic, and – even though it’s biodegradable – it still places an extra burden on the environment.

      Well that’s it from us. Echoing the remarks of the new Secretary of Justice, we’re “far too busy” to linger longer. But before we go we’ll leave you with images of Ms Cheng’s “Villa de Mer” residence where the consequences of busyness are all too evident. See you next week. Goodbye.

      13/01/2018
    • New Year prices increase, cleaners on strike & interview with physicist Brian Cox

      New Year prices increase, cleaners on strike & interview with physicist Brian Cox

      Happy New Year! One that’s predictable about 2018 is that it's going to be more expensive than 2017. Among the prices already slated to go up are those of one popular fast food chain, electricity, public transport, postage, medical expenses, and even leisure activities. Add Hong Kong’s already high property prices and ongoing political uncertainty and it may not come as a surprise that a recent survey ranked Hong Kong as the world's seventh unhappiest city. With us in the studio to talk about labour rights and employment are Lee Cheuk-yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and Felix Chung leader of the Liberal Party.

      For some the beginning of the new year is a time to reflect or maybe set new goals and make resolutions. If you are of a philosophical frame of mind, it may even be a time to consider the really big things like where we’re all going. If hell and handbaskets aren’t the first thing to come to mind you could even consider the nature of the universe, human existence, or whether there really was a big bang. Who better to address some of those issues than British physicist, Professor Brian Cox, a man who’s done much to make physics accessible to TV audiences around the world? Producer Liz Yuen went to talk to him.

      Finally this week, on Friday morning Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that Beijing had accepted the resignation of Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen. He’s to be replaced by Senior Counsel Teresa Cheng. We’ll leave you with a fondish farewell to Mr Yuen and wish you all the best for 2018, and we’ll see you next week.

      06/01/2018
    • XRL Co-location arrangement discussion with Tanya Chan & Lawrence Ma, retiree contribution to society

      XRL Co-location arrangement discussion with Tanya Chan & Lawrence Ma, retiree contribution to society

      On Wednesday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted that part of the West Kowloon terminus should be regarded as mainland territory governed by mainland laws, a move that critics say further erodes the SAR’s autonomy and contradicts the Basic Law. With us in the studio are Tanya Chan, barrister, Civic Party legislator and member of the Panel on Transport, and Lawrence Ma, DAB member, barrister and chairman of the CA Legal Exchange Foundation to talk about the issue.

      The average lifespan for men in Hong Kong is 81 years and four months. Women get about six years longer. Those figures come from a study released in Japan last year, where those aged above 65 account for 12% of the workforce, and two-thirds of this age group say they want to stay gainfully employed. Hong Kong’s retirees rarely have the choice, with even the government enforcing retirement on its own employees at 60 or 65. Not only that, those who are retired can’t expect a lot of support.

      Architect Rocco Yim says that when he designed the government complex at Tamar he had in mind the idea of “an open door and not a barrier”. Well instead of an open door, fences have been put up around the complex and metal barricades are erected outside the Legislative Council building itself whenever the government expects rowdy protests. Since 2014, the so-called “Civic Square” the forecourt of the government headquarters, has been cordoned off after sit-ins that sparked the Occupy Movement. On Thursday, the government reopened that area as a passageway for visitors and staff, protests at this site will be permitted by appointment, and only on Sundays and public holidays. We’ll leave you with images of that interesting form of “re-opening”.

      See you next week in the new year for which best wishes from all of us here at The Pulse. Goodbye.

      30/12/2017
    • Long-term housing strategy, interview with Stanley Wong & Letters to Santa Claus

      Long-term housing strategy, interview with Stanley Wong & Letters to Santa Claus

      On Wednesday this week, Transport and Housing Bureau rolled out its Long Term Housing Strategy Annual Progress Report for this year. The government itself has previously estimated that up to 200,000 people may be living in coffin-like cubicles or subdivided flats. With more than 280,000 applicants currently in the queue for public housing the waiting time for a unit is, at 4.7 years. at a record high. The government has upwardly revised its ten-year plans for new public housing by 1,000 units to 280,000 so the shortfall has been reduced a little. But it’s still likely to be far from enough. With us in the studio to talk about that is Stanley Wong, Chairman of the Taskforce on Land Supply.

      For Christians, Christmas Day, December 25th, is primarily a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In the West, it’s been, fairly arbitrarily, observed on that date on the Gregorian Calendar since around the fourth century. Some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate it on the December 25th on the Julian Calendar, which falls on January 7th. For the less religious, and particularly children, the figure of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, may be even more synonymous with the season. He’s a bit of a merger of different figures from different traditions. But whether we know him by his older names of Captain Christmas or Sir Christmas, or as Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, children around the world write to him every year to tell him their wishes. And many of those letters do get answered.

      On Thursday, 12 members of Greenpeace scaled the Ferris wheel in Central to hang a large banner in protest against the government’s lack of control of plastic waste pollution. We’ll leave you with some images of that. A reminder to us all maybe to be a bit less wasteful over the holidays. Well, on that green note, the holiday season is upon us and it’s time for many to celebrate. From all of us at The Pulse, and at the risk of inciting the wrath of Donald Trump, Happy Holidays. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

      23/12/2017
    • Enigma Network with David Webb & public space at waterfront

      Enigma Network with David Webb & public space at waterfront

      In May activist investor David Webb published a report: “The Enigma Network: 50 stocks not to own”. The chart showed complex connections between 50 Hong Kong-listed small-cap companies. This involved a web of cross-shareholdings linking these companies. On 27th June, the value of many of those stocks plummeted, some by over 90%, wiping out more than 6 billion US dollars’ worth of investments. Last Thursday, in an unprecedented joint raid by the Securities and Futures Commission and the ICAC eight premises were searched and four senior company executives arrested. An earlier raid in October examined other connected companies. Trading in six companies has now been suspended.

      Whether its greenery in the heart of the city or in country parks, that are supposedly protected by law, there’s hardly a scrap of land that developers wouldn’t like to get their hands on. In some cases, they bring submission after submission to town planning boards in the hope that opponents of their developments will give up. Buildings that have a waterfront view today often find that view blocked by a new building tomorrow. We now have a Central waterfront promenade, but much of the north side of Hong Kong island is still off-limits to the public. Other areas where the public have tentative access may soon be lost.

      16/12/2017
    • Change in Legco's Rules of Procedure & gender recognition consultation in HK

      Change in Legco's Rules of Procedure & gender recognition consultation in HK

      With the disqualification of six legislators, the pan democrats have lost their veto power in the Legislative Council and pro-government lawmakers and the government are determined to take advantage of that before by-elections take place. In the name of curbing “filibusters”, 38 pro-government lawmakers are supporting changes to the council’s rule. They have the heartfelt support of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who says Legco’s rule book is “out dated” and she backs Council President Andrew Leung’s decision to impose a deadline for the debate to end before Christmas.

      In a recent survey of 100 world city’s openness to the LGBT community, Beijing ranked last, Shanghai was 89th and Hong Kong – in 83rd place – wasn’t much better. Several criteria were taken into consideration, including the openness and friendliness of the city’s residents to LGBT individuals. Confirmation of this ranking was arguably provided by Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s distinct lack of enthusiasm after Hong Kong won the right to host the international “Gay Games” in 2022, It’s not quite the same thing but a similar mindset seems to be at work explaining why it has taken the Hong Kong government four years to put together a consultation exercise on law reform for people who wish to change their gender.

      On Thursday, Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as soley being the capital of Israel. He said the state department is to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The reaction has not been unexpected. World leaders have condemned his announcement. The United Nations Security Council has called for an emergency session to discuss the issue. And the U.S. State Department has banned diplomatic staff from visiting Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank for non-essential reasons, and asked U.S. citizens in Israel to "avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence."

      09/12/2017
    • Interview with Paddy Ashdown, former leader of UK Liberal Democrats, Kwok Cheuk-kin

      Interview with Paddy Ashdown, former leader of UK Liberal Democrats, Kwok Cheuk-kin "King of JR"

      The former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, Lord Paddy Ashdown, stressed this week that Britain should not shirk its duty to keep the Hong Kong and Beijing governments accountable. A patron of the UK-based group Hong Kong Watch, he arrived in Hong Kong last Sunday for a two-day fact finding visit. While he was here, Lord Ashdown met Legco President Andrew Leung and the three activists, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. We caught up with him at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

      There’s been increasing debate in Hong Kong over the function of judicial reviews – a legal mechanism that gives members of the public a chance to challenge the decisions of public bodies and it’s a means of testing wider constitutional issues. It has been argued that this mechanism is being abused but it’s hardly an easy process. Since 2006, Kwok Cheuk-kin has filed more than 30 legal challenges against the government and its policies that have cost more than HK$40 million in legal fees. But he is now planning to call it quits.

      After a fire two weeks ago that killed 19 people, 17 of them migrant workers in an industrial neighbourhood of southern Beijing. The city’s officials launched a 40-day crackdown. The campaign is to demolish buildings and evict tens of thousands of migrant workers living in the crammed, poorer parts of the city. They’re called the “low-end population” or “diduan renkou” (低端人口), a term that this week was banned on the mainland’s WeChat messaging app and blocked by Weibo’s search engines after many people took to the internet to express their outrage. An estimated 8.1 million migrant workers live in Beijing, thousands of them are now out on the streets in the bitter cold. We’ll leave you with images of the demolition and hope to see you next week. Goodbye.

      02/12/2017
    • Interview with Henry Tang & teaching Chinese history in schools

      Interview with Henry Tang & teaching Chinese history in schools

      The attempt to bring Hong Kong into line continues. Last week, as we reported, pupils from fifty schools received their dose of national education by being required to sit through a lecture on the HKSAR’s mini constitution delivered by the chairman of the Basic Law Committee Li Fei. On Thursday, it was the turn of government officials and senior civil servants, when Leng Rong, the director of the Communist Party Literature Research Centre, conducted a closed-door seminar on the 19th Party Congress. Earlier this week, I went to talk to Henry Tang, former Chief Secretary, Chief Executive candidate and Standing Committee Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference about his views on the political climate, and his new role as Chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

      At the beginning of August, the Mainland’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng told Chief Executive Carrie Lam in Beijing that “President Xi Jinping expects Hong Kong to strengthen education on the Chinese constitution, the Basic Law and Chinese history and culture.” It’s a fair bet that she paid close attention to these words. But the teaching of history is something of a political minefield. There are already signs of this in the revised Chinese history course devised by Hong Kong’s Education Bureau. It is notable for its omission of a number of more recent events that are problematic in today’s political environment.

      On Thursday, Bangladesh signed a deal with Myanmar to return hundreds and thousands of Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar within two months. Since the crackdown in August, more than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. However, conditions of the return remain unclear. We’ll leave you with images of what’s been happening there and will see you next week. Goodbye.

      25/11/2017
    • Li Fei at Basic Law seminar, William Kirby on Trump's China visit & cryptocurrencies

      Li Fei at Basic Law seminar, William Kirby on Trump's China visit & cryptocurrencies

      On Thursday Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and chairman of the Basic Law Committee came to Hong Kong for a three-day visit. At a Basic Law seminar on Thursday, he not only echoed Xi Jinping’s insistence that the central authorities had “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, but went on to say that without the mainland’s constitution, there would be no Basic Law and no HKSAR.

      Last week Donald Trump visited China for the first time as president. Notably absent was his previous talk about climate change hoaxes and what he previously described as China’s deeply unfair trading policies. Instead he went as far as giving “China great credit” for taking advantage of America for the benefit of its own citizens.
      He also claimed that during his visit, deals totalling more than $250 billion had been signed between American and Chinese companies. With us in the studio is William Kirby, T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University.

      Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash. All are among the so-called cryptocurrencies vying to change the face of financial transactions. They’re made possible by technologies like blockchain, a system that records financial transactions and simultaneously updates users about the nature of the transaction. As cryptocurrencies do not belong to states with all this entails, and they are not what we all know as hard cash, deals can be struck between users in different nations unhindered by state financial controls. That, as you can imagine, doesn’t go down well in certain circles. Meanwhile, major investment firms have differing views on all this. Goldman Sachs is launching a new trading operation focusing on bitcoin, while JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon calls Bitcoin a “fraud” that “won’t end well”.

      On Monday night, RTHK and the South China Morning Post launched their 30th Operation Santa Claus, the annual charity fundraising event. This year donations will go to 14 Hong Kong projects. We’ll end with images of the opening ceremony at the Maritime Museum. And, in the spirit of giving, see you next week. Goodbye.

      18/11/2017
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