Hong Kong Situation Update from Teneo, 17 October 2019

Overview – Thursday, 17 October:
·         Chief Executive again faces disruption at LegCo during Policy Address Q&A
·         Leader of Civil Human Rights Front Jimmy Sham attacked in Mong Kok
·         HK Human Rights & Democracy Act nears US Senate review and vote
 
For issues management support or advice, contact Damien.Ryan@Teneo.com,+852 6302-6922
 
For suggested additions to the daily distribution list, email Marie.Phillips@Teneo.com
 
HK Protests & Related Developments

Carrie Lam’s Policy Address Q&A with legislators was suspended today due to further disruptions in LegCo. Twelve democrats were removed from LegCo. Despite the resumption of LegCo and policy address, protest activity in HK has remained minimal thus far. (link)

Leader of Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) Jimmy Sham was attacked last night in Tai Kok Tsui. (link) CHRF issued a statement condemning the act. (link – Chinese) Sham has also called for forgiveness of perpetrators (link – Chinese), while Chief Secretary Cheung said the government condemns the attack. (link)

The Registration and Electoral Office has announced a temporary injunction into the public viewing of final elector and voter lists for the forthcoming District Council elections in November, filed by the Junior Police Officers’ Association (link). 400,000 additional voters have registered for the elections, and all 452  council seats expected to be contested, unlike the previous election where 68 candidates an unopposed (link).

Best Mart 360 issued a statement outlining that fifty-nine of its retail stores have been damaged in recent weeks, and is in discussions with its insurance company on repair costs. (link)

Two people have been arrested following a raid in Tai Kok Tsui in connection with a bomb that exploded outside the police headquarters on Sunday. In a press conference, police spokespeople also announced they had seized other explosives in recent weeks. (link)

HK protesters were said to have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Guri Melby of Norway’s Liberal Party on Wednesday (link).

Regional & Global Political Affairs
 
Singapore Prime Minister Lee commented that Hong Kong protestors are making unrealistic demands to try to take down the government. (link) He also warned the trade war’s worldwide impact has led to “much less buoyancy” for the rest of the world. (link)

US Senators, Republican and Democratic leaders have furthered calls over the past day for the Senate to vote on the HK Human Rights bill. (link) Majority Leader McConnell and Senator Rubio were said to have received updated versions of the bill with strengthened sanctions measures for passage. (link)

Business & Industry Developments

The Government announced yesterday that the number of overseas companies and start-ups continued to grow in HK. (link) The number increased by 9.9% from 2017 to 2019, with mainland China being the largest source in terms of country of origin.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority convened a meeting of nine major banks to discuss the roll-out of further supportive measures for SMEs in Hong Kong. (link)

Additional Articles & Themes of Interest

SCMP: China’s targeting of the NBA shows why it may fail at building soft power – and the Chinese dream
The attack on Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey ’s tweet put China’s vision for a new world order in stark relief for an American audience, showing the lengths to which China will go in its campaign to squelch free speech. It’s tempting to think that China’s rise is unstoppable and that resistance to its attempts to set the rules for what can be spoken is futile. The opposite may be true. China has badly overreached in the NBA case. It’s alerted sports fans to China’s tactics.
 
Foreign Policy: Trump Is Beijing’s Best Asset
Trump’s weaknesses are more important than his bluster. During numerous off the record discussions with Chinese government officials and scholars, we are finding that an increasing number are hoping for Trump’s reelection next year. At a time when China’s political influence and military capabilities are growing, they argue that in spite of his anti-China bluster, Trump has afforded Beijing the space to expand its influence across Asia and, more importantly, comprehensively weakened Washington’s global leadership.
 
Xinhua: Opposition’s political calculation puts Hong Kong’s livelihood, future at risks
Despite threats from radicals, [Carrie Lam] insisted on delivering [her] policy address in the LegCo chamber, reflecting the resolve of the HKSAR government to brave challenges, tackle practical problems, and genuinely improve people‘s livelihood. Unfortunately, her efforts to move forward were again frustrated by the opposition lawmakers. The LegCo again slipped into the state of deadlock, while the split in society became more acute. It is crystal clear that the opposition cares nothing about the people’s livelihood or the future for Hong Kong, but only political calculation and personal interests.

SCMP: Condemning protest violence in HK won’t solve the problem
No sensible person could condone the violence perpetrated by protesters. However, condemning the violence will not help when the police force, executing the repressive policy of a recalcitrant government, is not held to account. It is not shameful to hold those armed with power, public authority and weaponry to account. This is what the Bar Association should do in defending the rule of law.

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
Saturday,
19 October
7:30-9:00pm
International Humanitarian Aid HK SOS Rally ·         Chater Park, Central ·         In support of the US Congress’s decision to pass the human rights act
Sunday,
20 October
2:00pm
Kowloon March ·         From Salisbury Garden to HSR West Kowloon Station ·         Organized by Civil Human Rights Front
·         Applying for Letter of No Objection from HKPF
·         Gather at 1:30pm and start at 2:00pm
Monday,
21 October
7:00-11:00pm
Sit-in Yuen Long Station ·         Yuen Long Station ·         Three months from the attack at Yuen Long Station on 21 July
Thursday,
31 October
7:00-11:00pm
Never forget 31 August, give us the truth ·         Prince Edward Station ·         To commemorate those injured during the 831 incident
·         To urge the government to investigate police’s use of violence
27 October to 30 November
12:00-6:00pm
“Umbrella Movement” 5th Anniversary Exhibition ·         June 4th Museum, Mong Kok ·         Seminars, screenings, sharing and various activities will be held during the exhibition period.
·         Organized by Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

Potential Additional Protests

Date & Time Event & Location Location &
Potential Size
Additional Details
Every Monday Secondary School Student Strike ·         Students ·         Rallies and strikes at schools
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
·         Asking the public to take photos/videos of those who do not follow and report to the organizer
Friday, 18 October
12:00pm
Student Anti-Police Violence Assembly ·         Design Boulevard, HK Design Institute, Tseung Kwan O ·         Protest against police in response to the suspicious death of a secondary school student
Friday,
18 October
5:00pm
Students’ Anti-Police Violence Assembly ·         Sun Yat-Sen Place, University of Hong Kong ·         Protest against police in response to the suspicious death of a secondary school student
Friday, 18 October
8:00pm
18 Districts Masked Human Chain ·         MTR stations along Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, Island Line, and East Rail Line ·         Protestors may gather at 7:00pm and start a human chain at 8:00pm
·         In support of secondary school students whose opinions were repressed and to voice dissatisfaction over the emergency law
Sunday, 20 October
8:00-11:00pm
Human Chain in Sha Tin ·         From Riverpark to Shatin Park ·         Participants will form a human chain from The Riverpark to Shatin Park
Friday,25 October
7:00am
Going to Work with You ·         Hong Kong Island
·         Kowloon
·         Participants asked to wear masks due to influenza peak season
Saturday,
26 October
1:00pm
Anti-white terror; anti-totalitarianism
rally
·         Tamar Park, Admiralty ·         Stand with the sacked employees because of political stance

 
Injunctions

Date of Grant Plaintiff Effective Date Injunction Orders
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 – October
 

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.
U. K Foreign Ministry Updated: 16 October

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: 11 October ·         Large-scale protests have been taking place across Hong Kong since June 2019 which have become increasingly unpredictable.
·         These protests can take place with little or no notice and could turn violent. Road closures and traffic disruptions in the aforementioned areas are expected.
·         Singaporeans are advised to defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, given current developments. If you are already in Hong Kong, you should take all necessary precautions to ensure your personal safety. You are advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities.
·         You should avoid protests and large public gatherings and stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe.
Ireland Foreign Ministry Updated: 11 October
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.
Australia Foreign Ministry Updated: 4 October
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.
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.
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Updated: 14 August

Still current

·         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.
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.
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 Attendees 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
4 – 17 October Nomination period for District Council   ·         The nomination period will occur in an ordinary fashion
·         District Council elections have been speculated to be delayed
Thursday,
31 October
Joint Business Community Luncheon with CE Lam ·         Chief Executive Lam ·         Business Community Luncheon with Chief Executive Lam
·         HK Convention & Exhibition Centre
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

Taylor Brown
Senior Associate
Teneo
13/F, Wyndham Place,
40-44 Wyndham Street
Central,
Hong Kong
O:
+852 3655 0521
M:
+852 5244 9875

teneo.com