Hong Kong Situation Update by Teneo, 12 November

Overview – Tuesday, 12 November:

  • Tear gas fired again in Central, with incidents breaking out across HK
    · Chief Executive Carrie Lam calls protestors “enemies of the people”
    · Commentary on HK by US government, politicians and ex-officials continues

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HK Protests & Related Developments

Tear gas was again fired in Central today (link). Police also entered the Chinese University of HK campus after a stand-off with protestors (link). Significant travel disruptions continue across the transport network. (link)

State media in China today said that a return to peace is a prerequisite for the District Council elections to take place. (link)

At a press conference this morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government did not want to postpone November’s District Council elections. Yesterday evening, she commented that the general strike is destructive and suggested radical protestors are “enemies of the people”. (link – Chinese)

HK Police are investigating the incident in which a man was set on fire yesterday as attempted murder. (link)

An annual K-pop festival has cancelled its HK event this year due to protests, Reuters reports (link). The city has hosted the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) since 2012.

Regional & Global Political Affairs

The US State Department issued a statement on HK, which “repeats President Trump’s call for a humane resolution to the protests” and noted the city’s autonomy and protection of civil liberties are “key to preserving its special status under U.S. law”. (Link)

Senators Rubio, Hawley and Scott have all also commented on the escalation in protests among other US politicians.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested China’s treatment of the NBA recently should constitute a “violation of American sovereignty” when speaking with media at an event in UAE. (link)

Business & Industry Developments

Inland Revenue Department statistics showed a significant increase in Buyer’s Stamp Duty in October from recent months. Buyer’s Stamp Duty is applied to purchases of property in HK by non-permanent residents. (link)

DBS Bank reported a 14% year-on-year increase in profitability from its HK business (link). Standard Chartered CEO Bill Withers also said that HK remains an attractive place to do business. (link)

Investors at a Reuters summit highlighted their concerns over the market impact of protests in HK. (link)

Additional Articles & Themes of Interest

The Straits Times: East Asia Watch: Beijing and Hong Kong – a political tug-of-war (subscription)
The district council elections in Hong Kong later this month are in danger of being scuttled as unrest in the city escalates…even before this, the pro-establishment camp had questioned whether the elections would be fair…This is as the pro-establishment camp, which currently holds sway over the district councils, is seen to be headed for defeat, leading to speculation that it might be seeking postponement or cancellation of the polls to avoid a drubbing…Voter interest is at an all-time high and, for the first time, all seats are being contested. In some ways, the elections can be viewed as a bellwether of Hong Kongers’ views on Beijing and democracy.

The New York Times: Behind Hong Kong’s Protesters, an Army of Volunteer Pastors, Doctors and Artists
Hong Kong’s protests have been notable for their longevity, and for the huge throngs willing to defy the authorities…Behind the scenes, this largely leaderless movement has been sustained by a vast network of ordinary people who hand out bottled water and red bean soup at marches, drive home stranded protesters late at night and donate the gas masks that fortify demonstrators during their pitched battles with police. Graphic artists create the eye-catching protest posters across the city. Psychologists provide free counselling to the emotionally distressed. And emergency room doctors, working in clandestine clinics, set shattered bones.

EJInsight: Five things govt can do to restore hope among the youth
Hong Kong’s young people…who have been at the forefront of the street demonstrations are engulfed in feelings of anxiety, anger and frustration…When violence becomes the new norm…the only consequence is that our core values…will get…distorted to such an extent that the youth may no longer distinguish between right and wrong… In my opinion, there are five urgent tasks lying before the administration in this regard…[1] the chief executive must overhaul her governing team and reformulate her governance strategies…[2] enhance civic education in our existing school curriculum…[3] schools in the city must bear the responsibility of upholding professionalism among teachers and maintaining order on the campuses…[4] the government must…listen to the views of the young people …and incorporate their opinions as well as suggestions into the policymaking process…[and 5] address the issue of blocked social mobility.

Note: The views presented in this email are those of the authors and are included for informational purposes only. Teneo does not endorse any of the material or views shared.

Potential Significant Protests

*NOTE: The below includes an overview of potential upcoming events, many of which are subject to change as developments unfold. This is provided only as an FYI of potential impact on travel or logistics arrangements in Hong Kong

Date & Time Event & Potential Size Location &
Affected Areas
Additional Details
Daily Wear a Mask Day · Hong Kong · Encouraging HK citizens to wear a mask under the anti-mask law
Wednesday,
13 November
Daybreak Movement · Hong Kong · Protestors to block traffic on roads and MTR stations.
· Anticipated lunchtime march in Central and possibly other business areas
Thursday,
21 November
7:00pm
Never Forget 7.21 Sit-In · Yuen Long MTR Station
· YOHO Mall
· To remind the public to seek the truth of the 7.21 Yuen Long Attack

Potential Additional Protest Events

Date & Time Event & Location Location &
Potential Size
Additional Details
Every Monday Secondary School Student Strike · Students · Rallies and strikes at schools
Monday,
11 November
08:00-21:00;
12 November
08:00-21:00;
13 November
07:00-21:00
40-hour Prayer Meeting · Edinburgh Place, Central · Organized by Rev. LAU Siu Hong Timothy, Rev. CHOW Wing Fu, and Rev. Paul CHAM
Every day in November Salute to Police Month · Hong Kong · Supported by DAB, Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, and Junius Ho
· Calling for citizens to salute or bow to police officers. Ask the public to take photos/videos of those who do not follow and report to the organizer

Injunctions

Date of Grant Plaintiff Effective Date Injunction Orders
Thursday,
31 October
Secretary for Justice The interim injunction will remain in force up to and including Friday, 15 November 2019 at 10:30 am Link to the injunction order
Friday,
25 October
Department of Justice The interim injunction will remain in force up to and including Friday, 8 November 2019 at 10:30am Link to the injunction order
Friday,
23 August
Airport Authority This Order will remain in force until trial or further order Link to the injunction order
Friday,
23 August
MTR Corporation Limited This Order will remain in force indefinitely unless it is varied or discharged by a further Order of the Court Link to the injunction order

HK Travel Advisories – November

Location Updated Key Advisory Notes
Hong Kong Airport Still current · Until further notice, only bona fide passengers with a valid air ticket or boarding pass for a flight in the next 24 hours and a valid travel document will be allowed to enter the terminal buildings.
· Passengers should arrive at least three hours before departure to allow sufficient time to pass through newly added control points.
· Other members of the public, including those who may want to accompany departure passengers or receiving arrival passengers at the airport, should not travel to the airport unless absolutely necessary.
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Updated:
12 November
· Hong Kong (All the country): Level 1: Please be careful (new)
· Protests, some guerrilla-like, take place despite police disapproval. There is also a tendency for conflicts between protesters and police authorities to escalate.
· Protests are taking place in a wide range of Hong Kong, including airports and some tourist spots.
Australia Foreign Ministry Updated:
11 November

Still current

· Exercise a high degree of caution.
· Protests continue and are less predictable. There is an ongoing risk of violent confrontation. Protests may cause traffic disruptions and affect transport services, including to and from the international airport.
· ‘Flash mob’ demonstrations can take place with little or no warning, clashes between opposing groups and individuals have become less predictable and are expected to continue.
U. K Foreign Ministry Updated:
9 November

Still current

· While a number of peaceful activities have taken place, many other protests have led to clashes between police and protesters involving significant violence.
· Some Mass Transit Railway (MTR) metro stations have been closed – including in major tourist areas – due to damage caused by the protests. You should follow the MTR website for the latest updates before commencing your journey.
· The situation around protests and public gatherings can change quickly, with the potential for violence, especially during unauthorised protests.
· Protests can deviate from planned routes or rally locations and spill over into nearby public spaces, such as shopping centres, housing estates and public transport hubs.
· For important safety and security information surrounding protests, see Political situation
Singapore Foreign Ministry Updated:
8 November
· High degree of caution
· The violence intensified around the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October and further demonstrations are likely to take place in the coming days and weeks.
· Such demonstrations can close off large sections of the city and affect public transport. While Causeway Bay and Admiralty and surrounding districts have been the focal point of demonstrations, protests have occurred in many other areas of Hong Kong.
· Urge people to be extra vigilant and are strongly advised to avoid areas where protests and unplanned public gatherings are taking place and to follow the advice of the local authorities.
Ireland Foreign Ministry Updated:
8 November

Still current

· High degree of caution
· The violence intensified around the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October and further demonstrations are likely to take place in the coming days and weeks.
· Such demonstrations can close off large sections of the city and affect public transport. While Causeway Bay and Admiralty and surrounding districts have been the focal point of demonstrations, protests have occurred in many other areas of Hong Kong.
· Urge people to be extra vigilant and are strongly advised to avoid areas where protests and unplanned public gatherings are taking place and to follow the advice of the local authorities.
Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Updated:
15 October

Still current

· Since the beginning of June 2019, large-scale demonstrations, unannounced protests and calls for strike have repeatedly led to disruption of public life, inner-city traffic, such as the closure of metro stations (MTR), as well as partial interruptions of air traffic at Hong Kong International Airport.
· Violent clashes between demonstrators and the police also take place during the protests, in part with the use of water throwing and tear gas. The protests are occasionally increasingly without prior notice in districts for which no demonstrations or rallies are allowed.
U.S Department of State- Bureau of Consular Affairs Updated:
7 October
· Hong Kong – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
· While protests are generally peaceful, they sometimes become violent and disrupt transportation across Hong Kong.
· The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighbourhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies.
· U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.
Canada Foreign Ministry Updated:
2 October

Still current

· High degree of caution due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.
· Although many protest sites are made public in advance, authorised and unauthorized demonstrations can take place with little or no notice. They can quickly spread to surrounding areas, including those frequented by tourists.
Consulate General of India Updated:
13 August
· Indian passengers are advised to be in touch with airlines to find alternative travel routes to avoid inconvenience, till normalcy is restored in airport operations.
· Indian passengers who are already in Hong Kong and waiting to depart are advised to be in touch with their respective airlines for information about likely timelines for resumption of their flights.

Upcoming Key Events

Date Event & Location Relevant Parties Potential Developments
Tuesday,
Weekly
HK Executive Council Meeting · Chief Executive Lam and all senior administrative officials · Chief Executive has held occasional press conferences prior to private ExCo meetings
· Has been a primary government channel on the protests to date
Sunday,
17 November
Xi and Trump’s APEC Meeting · Chinese President Xi
· US President Trump
· Trump said on 11 October the US and China have reached phase one of a trade deal, and that a finalized agreement could take three to five weeks
Sunday,
24 November
HK District Council Elections · Local political parties and groups · Pending announcement of the nomination period
· Young individuals with no political affiliation are seen setting up Facebook pages to promote visions
· Election Affairs Commission
Saturday,
11 January
Taiwan General Election · Presidential and local elections · HK and ‘One Country, Two Systems’, may become the defining issue of the election, alongside economy

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Taylor Brown
Senior Associate

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