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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
    09/12/2017

    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."

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    08 - 12
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • 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
    • National Anthem Law & Special Educational Needs

      National Anthem Law & Special Educational Needs

      China introduced its National Anthem Law on 1st October this year. Last Saturday, the National People’s Congress voted to introduce that law to Hong Kong and Macau. With us in the studio are Executive Councillor Ronny Tong and Avery Ng, Chairman of the League of Social Democrats.

      In July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the government plans to spend an additional HK$3.6 billion per year on education, a partial fulfilment of her election pledge to increase recurrent annual expenditure on education by HK$ 5 billion. One initiative involves granting individual schools between HK$450,000 and HK$517,000 per year to hire full-time teachers to help students with special needs. But is that going to be enough?

      On Tuesday, Alex Chow, a former leader of the Occupy movement, was released on bail pending an appeal against his sentence for unlawful assembly. He is sharing his maybe temporary exit from jail with Joshua Wong and Nathan Law who were released on bail in late October. We’ll leave you with images of how that went and, without the need for any kind of appeal, hope to see you next week. Goodbye.

      11/11/2017
    • XRL co-location arrangement & Kwun Tong & Mong Kok redevelopment

      XRL co-location arrangement & Kwun Tong & Mong Kok redevelopment

      The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has been almost 20 years in the making. First proposed by the government in the Railway Development Strategy 2000, its critics see it as being a Trojan horse motivated by political aims rather than logistical ones. Despite protests from the public and hundreds of affected villagers who faced relocation, the 26 kilometre railway line received funding approval from Legco in 2010. Since then, the controversy has continued. The grounds for this controversy are extensive, including the high price tag, now - estimated to be over 84 billion dollars, through to delays in construction, and on, to government attempts to allow mainland officials to exercise legal jurisdiction in the Hong Kong station as part of the so-called co-location arrangement.

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam says there isn’t really any need for more public debate on the Express Rail Link. Official speeches on the government website will, apparently, provide all the information that anyone could require. Well, even when the public is consulted on government projects there’s been evidence that what the public asks for, even if agreed to by official organisations, doesn’t always materialise. A good example of this being consultations on Urban Renewal Authority projects.

      On Friday, Donald Trump embarked on his first Asian tour as the President of the United States. Against the background of the probe into Russian election meddling back home, his 12-day trip includes visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. We’ll leave you with images of that.
      See you next week. Goodbye.

      04/11/2017
    • XRL Co-location non-bidding motion debate, Rules of Procedure & Willy Lam on 19th NCCPC

      XRL Co-location non-bidding motion debate, Rules of Procedure & Willy Lam on 19th NCCPC

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam may have said she wanted to play nice with pro-democratic legislators and indeed there was even a moment last week when a partial rapprochement seemed possible as nine pan-democrat lawmakers turned up for lunch with her, breaking a longstanding boycott. But it didn’t last. After a long period of withholding information on the Express Rail co-location arrangements, the government has now decided that it wants legislator’s support for the plan – and it wants that to happen very fast. Last Tuesday, Ms Lam ordered the delay of a Legco debate on relaxing stamp duty for some home buyers so as to make way for the Express Rail debate. She said time is very tight for local legislation for the “Three-step Process” so it can be endorsed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in December. But pro-democracy legislators are suspicious about the sudden urgency. And confrontation has not only intensified, it has spread to arguments over Legco’s rules and procedures.

      On Wednesday, the Communist Party of China announced its new leadership line-up. President Xi Jinping cemented his position as the country’s leader and party chief and gave no indication as to who will succeed him, something that is usual in a leader’s second term. Xi said China is entering a new era, one in which “Xi Jinping Thought” has now been enshrined in the Party constitution.

      On Tuesday, activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were released on bail until 7th November when their applications for appeal are to be heard. The two were sentenced in August to respectively six and eight months in jail for unlawful assembly in Civic Square ahead of the occupation of Admiralty.
      We’ll leave you with images of their release. And hopefully see you next week. Goodbye.

      28/10/2017
    • Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Regular meetings of the Legislative Council have now resumed, but the new legislative session didn’t get off to a good start. Just one day after it began, meetings were adjourned when pro-democrats made 11 quorum calls. Now that the government has managed to disqualify six elected pro-democracy legislators, the pro-government camp believe they have the upper hand and want to amend Legco’s rules of procedure to limit debates and questioning of officials. The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chan Kin-por, is even taking steps to restrict debating time over government funding requests.

      Last week, we spoke to Chief Executive Carrie Lam about her first Policy Address. Land and housing were major priorities. Now with me in the studio to further discuss these ever controversial matters is the Undersecretary for Transport and Housing, Raymond So.

      Those expecting news of more affordable housing in last week’s Policy Address will have been very disappointed. However there were some new measures such as an increased supply of Subsidised Home Ownership units providing “Starter Homes” for middle-class families. Plus there are plans for “Light Housing” projects in idle government premises, some transitional housing and even the opportunity to live in shipping containers. Ms Lam says she wants to focus on home-ownership, yet many people can only dream of taking that first step on the housing ladder.

      Meanwhile more than 2,000 delegates from all over China are sitting in Beijing attending the 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, which will lay out new policies for the coming five years and looks to cement President Xi Jinping’s position. We’ll leave you with images of that. See you next week.

      21/10/2017
    • CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      Hello and welcome to a new season of The Pulse. On Tuesday, the day before delivering her maiden Policy Address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam released her self-assessed report card on her first 100 days in office. The 12-page document set the tone for what was to come the next day. She said the Address was to be “a new beginning” and hoped it would mark “new starting points” for many areas in Hong Kong.

      Following the Address on Wednesday, a survey conducted by Hong Kong University’s Public Opinion Programme found that 48% of respondents were satisfied with the Policy Address, 14% were not. Overall, on a scale of 0-100, respondents gave the Address a 62.4 score.

      That's it from us for this week. And just to update you - from now on, the first run of The Pulse is on RTHK 31 every Saturday at 6pm with a repeat on Sunday at 6:30am. If you prefer to watch on demand, via the RTHK website you can still catch us there or on our Facebook page – where you will find both streaming video and podcasts – or you can give RTHK’s mobile Apps a go. Wherever you catch us, we’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

      14/10/2017
    • Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      A founding member of the Democratic Party, Law Chi-kwong is the only member of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s cabinet with a pro-democratic background. He’s here with me to talk about his new role as Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

      From coping with the squatter settlements that housed mainland immigrants who poured into Hong Kong after the Communist revolution, to today’s situation where we have the world’s most expensive property market, housing a growing population has been a headache for many administrations. According to last year’s Hong Kong Council of Social Service survey, more than half of the population aged between 20 and 34 are earning less than the median wage of $14,700. Only 30% of them say they are satisfied with the economy, and a mere 20% believe that it will be possible to buy a home in the future. The government said that due to land shortages it will only be able to build 236,000 public housing flats instead of its target of 280,000 by 2027. Meanwhile, the average waiting time for public housing now stands at four years and eight months.

      We’ll be talking to the man who helped to shape Hong Kong’s post war public housing design: the 104-year-old former head of the Public Works Department, Michael Wright on London, and Marco Wu, the man who’s been dubbed the father of the Home Ownership Scheme.

      05/08/2017
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