監製:Diana Wan


    Hello and welcome to a new series of The Pulse. The latest Amnesty International report on Hong Kong’s protests, that have been going on for more than a hundred days, lays out a disturbing catalogue of arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings and torture in police detention. Although the protests have been underway for more than three months the Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her administration appear to be reluctant to address the issues that have caused the turmoil or to resolve the dangerous chasm that has emerged concerning the way the police have handled the protests. There has been escalating violence from both sides, with live coverage on television and social media. And as the protests have intensified, so has the online propaganda mill. Rumour, disinformation, and questionable news have spread like wildfire on social media platforms, further polarising opinion. With us to talk more about the issue is Rachel Blundy, Fact-check editor of Agence France-Presse and Chris Yeung, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    • District Council Election 2019 & discussion with Jean-Pierre Cabestan

      District Council Election 2019 & discussion with Jean-Pierre Cabestan

      There really is only one way of describing what happened in the early hours of Monday as ballot counting in the previous day’s district council elections revealed that an electoral tsunami had occurred resulting in a landslide win for pro-democracy candidates. Never before had so many people voted as over 71 per cent of the electorate, that’s 2.94 million people, turned out for the poll. Pro-democracy candidates took control of 17 out of 18 districts, with close to 400 out of the 452 seats. This left the pro-Beijing camp, which had previously controlled every single district council, with just seats 58 seats.

      And then, on Wednesday, against the backdrop of the trade war between China and the United States, civil unrest in Hong Kong and those election results, United States’ president Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Rights and Democracy Act and another law banning the sale of weaponry to Hong Kong. With me to talk about what that might mean, and the changing political landscape, is Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor of the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University.

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s initial public response to the election results on Tuesday was that she would seriously reflect on the views expressed and improve the administration’s governance. Later though, when asked whether her policies were a reason for the losses of the pro-Beijing camp, she said it wasn’t up to the government to interpret the results. Despite overwhelming demands, both locally and internationally, to set up an independent enquiry commission to look at the causes of civil unrest and police responses, Lam said she will instead set up an independent review committee. However, so far, no details are forthcoming.

    • High court ruling on anti-mask law & US congress passed HK rights bill, discussion with Martin Lee & Siege of PolyU

      High court ruling on anti-mask law & US congress passed HK rights bill, discussion with Martin Lee & Siege of PolyU

      On Monday, the High Court ruled that the anti-mask law introduced under emergency regulations in October is invalid and unconstitutional. It says it contravenes the Basic Law and restricts fundamental rights and freedoms. In response, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission slammed the court’s ruling. It said only they could decide which laws comply with the Basic Law. The following day the government said it would ask the court to suspend implementation of its ruling pending appeal. And to add another layer to the current political crisis, on Wednesday, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed the United States’ House of Representatives, much to the anger of the Chinese Communist Party. On Friday, in response to the government's appeal against its earlier judgement, the High Court allowed the mask ban to remain in effect for seven more days. With me to talk about these issues is Martin Lee, barrister, politician and former member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee. I must add that we invited several pro-Beijing figures to join us. They all declined.

      Last Saturday, about 50 PLA soldiers marched out from their barracks in Kowloon Tong and started clearing debris in the nearby streets, close to the Baptist University. The army said the soldiers had volunteered for the clean-up. Over the past two weeks, protesters have occupied and blocked roads and tunnels close to several university campuses. That’s led to intense clashes with the police. Last Sunday, violence escalated between protesters and the police at the Polytechnic University, culminating in a siege and lockdown by police that left many people trapped on the campus. By Tuesday evening, thousands of demonstrators tried to save the protesters by staging other forms of protest in nearby streets. In response, police used a flash grenade against protesters in Yau Ma Tei. And two police vehicles were filmed apparently driving at speed into the crowd. It was reported that a stampede took place, leaving many injured.

    • Battleground expanded from the street to university campuses & discussion with Margaret Ng & James Tien

      Battleground expanded from the street to university campuses & discussion with Margaret Ng & James Tien

      Last year, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack issued a report on attacks on education by armed forces and armed groups. The report stated that in the previous five years there had been a dramatic increase in violent attacks on education, particularly on higher education facilities and their staff. It identified more than 12,700 incidents, involving harm to more than 21,000 students in 28 countries. The places affected were mostly known for their instability: Congo, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and so on. Almost half of those attacks were associated with Islamic State. The coalition said the aim of these attacks was to suppress the voices of students and staff. Well, this week Hong Kong may have joined that list, despite its reputation as one of the world’s safest cities. Young people and students have been the driving force behind the current protests. Six months into the civil unrest, the battleground has expanded from the streets into university campuses.

      With us to discuss the current crisis are barrister Margaret Ng and Honorary Chair of the Liberal Party James Tien.

    • CPC's fourth plenary session, Xi Jinping met Carrie Lam: discussion with Willy Lam & effects of chemical weapons have on public health

      CPC's fourth plenary session, Xi Jinping met Carrie Lam: discussion with Willy Lam & effects of chemical weapons have on public health

      On October 28th, more than 300 members of China’s Central Committee gathered for a keynote meeting. The aim was to devise policy both in the short and longer terms. Unsurprisingly civil unrest in Hong Kong was high on the agenda. With me to talk about the meeting's implications on Hong Kong is Willy Lam, Adjunct Professor of the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

      Since the start of the protests in June, the police have fired around 6,000 tear gas canisters, often in tightly packed residential neighbourhoods. But this is a not highly target method of crowd control and tear gas can have long term effects on children and other vulnerable individuals. Last month, a group of Chinese University scholars posted a letter in the medical journal The Lancet. They questioned the widespread use of tear gas in densely populated areas and urged the government to provide guidelines for health protection and cleaning. The government wasn’t inclined to listen. Secretary for Health Sophie Chan dismissed the letter and has so far provided no advice to the general public. And tear gas is not the only chemical weapon the police have been using.

    • Interview with  lawyer & human rights advocate Sharon Hom & Doxxing

      Interview with lawyer & human rights advocate Sharon Hom & Doxxing

      The almost five months of protests have deepened the political divide across Hong Kong. One solution the government seems to think will solve the current crisis is applying for interim court injunctions. Last Friday, the government filed one to stop people from doxxing police officers and their families. And on Thursday night, the court held an urgent meeting when the government filed another to stop people willfully publishing online or via messaging apps any material that promotes, encourages or incites the threat of violence. The government specifically named two popular platforms: LIHKG and Telegram. Joining me now to talk about these issues is Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China and Professor of Law Emerita of the City University of New York. She testified as a witness on 17th September at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Washington DC, where a hearing was held to examine the impact of the ongoing protests on Hong Kong and the future of U.S.-Hong Kong relations.

      The current anti-mask law does not apply to police officers. In the ongoing protests, officers not only wear full protective gear, many mask their faces and don’t display numbers or warrant cards that would identify who they are. The force acknowledges that the rift between the police and many members of the public is worsening, with officers and their family members having their personal details exposed by doxxing and being subjected to malicious attacks on the internet.
      They say they want more protection. But journalists and protesters are facing identical online threats.

    • Chan Tong-kai case, discussion with Joseph Cheng & volunteer lawyers

      Chan Tong-kai case, discussion with Joseph Cheng & volunteer lawyers

      According to Chief Executive Carrie Lam it was a murder case in Taiwan involving Hongkonger Chan Tong-kai that led her to push the extradition bill. Chan was released on Wednesday after serving 19 months for money-laundering. He now says he wants to surrender to Taiwan authorities, but even that is causing another political storm. With me in the studio is political scientist Joseph Cheng.

      Close to 2,400 people have been arrested since the protests started in June. Nearly a third of those arrested were under 18 years old. For any of us, let alone young people, navigating the legal terrain in these situations can be very challenging. A group of about 200 lawyers is providing pro bono legal assistance for protesters.

    • Policy Address, interview with Lam Pun-lee & the economy after months of protests

      Policy Address, interview with Lam Pun-lee & the economy after months of protests

      On Wednesday, after disruption in the Legislative Council chamber, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, in an unprecedented move delivered her Policy Address via a pre-recorded video. She warned that Hong Kong¡¦s political turmoil, had brought the SAR to the brink, and that a "technical recession¨ in the third quarter was now underway. The government will hand out HK$19.1 billion in sweeteners and is focusing on housing and land supply. Mrs Lam says housing is the "toughest¨ livelihood issue and "a source of public grievances". But when it came to offering solutions to the current political crisis, she had nothing to say. We talked to economist Lam Pun-lee about the Address.

      In September, Fitch, one of the world¡¦s leading credit rating firms, downgraded Hong Kong¡¦s rating for the first time since 1995. The sovereign debt rating has been marked down from AA+ to AA and the outlook has changed from stable to negative. Fitch says persistent conflict is testing the "One Country, Two Systems" framework and has created "long-lasting damage to international perceptions of Hong Kong's governance system and rule of law."

    • MTR crisis, discussion with Michael Tien & First aiders in protest sites

      MTR crisis, discussion with Michael Tien & First aiders in protest sites

      The government’s decision announced last Friday, to use the colonial Emergency Regulations Ordinance to implement an anti-mask law, triggered an immediate response with protests escalating over the long holiday weekend, occasionally bringing Hong Kong to a standstill. The MTR, which says it has an average weekday patronage of around 5.9 million passengers, was shut down entirely last Saturday for the first time in its 40-year history. Following that many stations were closed and all train services were suspended at various hours of the night. That’s led to shops, malls and businesses also having to close early. On Thursday, we spoke to Michael Tien, founder of Roundtable and former chairman of the Kowloon Railway Corporation, who’s running in the upcoming District Council elections in Tsuen Wan. As of Thursday, also running in the constituency is Deliberation TW’s Lau Cheuk-yu.

      Humanitarian and medical aid have become increasingly important in Hong Kong over the past four months of protests that have seen tear gas, live rounds, and supposedly non-fatal rounds fired by the police while demonstrators have responded with fire bombs, hurling projectiles and the like. Hundreds of people have been injured. Many do not seek treatment at public hospitals for fear of arrest. Volunteer first aiders on the ground are the first responders for the injured at protest sites.

    • Discussion with Dennis Kwok & Law Yuk-kai on emergency and anti-mask law, and silver-hair in extradition bill protests

      Discussion with Dennis Kwok & Law Yuk-kai on emergency and anti-mask law, and silver-hair in extradition bill protests

      The 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China was designated by the government in Beijing as a major day of celebration but in Hong Kong it was a day of turmoil.
      Dire police warnings of terrorist actions kept many off the streets nevertheless a peaceful, although not authorised, protest went ahead but what followed was far from peaceful. Large shopping malls and more than half of Hong Kong’s MTR stations were closed. Protesters took to the streets in many districts, some setting fires and committing acts of vandalism. On October first, the police fired a record 1,400 tear gas canisters, more than 1,300 projectiles and six live rounds. They arrested around 270 individuals and made international headlines when an officer shot a 18-year old student in the chest at point-blank range. Given the amount of tear gas and pepper spray used, masks have been a highly visible element in the protests worn by police, pro-Beijing groups and protesters. Pro-Beijing politicians have long campaigned for an anti-mask law to deter protestors and facilitate law enforcement. With me in the studio is Dennis Kwok, the legal sector representative in the Legislative Councillor and Director of Human Rights Monitor, Law Yuk-kai. I should stress that we also invited several pro-Beijing figures and members of the group advocating a mask law to take part in this discussion, but they declined to be here.

      It’s almost four months since the protests against the Extradition Law began. Apart from the headline-grabbing violence, millions of people from all walks of life have taken to the street in peaceful protests. But many of these protests have turned violent with young people most prominent on the frontlines.
      Sometimes though, groups of elderly people are standing with them.

    • Freedom from Fear & ethnic minorities taking part in the extradition bill protests

      Freedom from Fear & ethnic minorities taking part in the extradition bill protests

      The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to four freedoms. One is freedom from fear: nobody should be in fear of their government, its armed forces, the police, their neighbours, or even political victimisation from employers. And yet many in Hong Kong say they feel immense pressure not to support the protests. And it was topic that figured high on the agenda on Thursday night when Chief Executive Carrie Lam held her first “community dialogue” in Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Security was tight. Police said they had deployed 3,000 officers. One hundred of whom were in full riot gear inside the venue. The stadium seats around 3,500, but only 130 randomly selected members of the public were allowed in, and just 30 got to speak.

      Many of the anti-extradition bill protests have been characterised by their lack of identifiable leadership and their fluid nature. Operating under the advice to “Be Water”, protesters have organised actions communally through messaging apps and online fora. Of course, the most active of the demonstrators are Hong Kong Chinese, but some members of Hong Kong’s ethnic minority groups have also been following or reporting on the movement, which, as Hongkongers, also affects them.