- Erosion of Hong Kong’s rule of law
- Shenzhen takes mobility lead
- Carrie Lam resigns in June
- Wang speaks with Ukraine and Hungary
- Taiwan tests new weapon system
- Shanghai is most important port for German cargo traffic
- Beijing lowers duties on paper products from New Zealand
- Profile: Pantekoek focuses on dialogue with China
It was an ominous promise that Deng Xiaoping once made in the name of the People’s Republic: 一国两制 (yì guó liǎng zhì) – “one country, two systems“. There is only one China, Deng said. But within that China, different systems might well remain – in Hong Kong, for example. The United Kingdom agreed to it: On the one hand, it was a way to respond to Beijing’s pressure to end the colonial era and return Hong Kong to its motherland after decades of foreign rule. On the other hand, it was a way of assuring Hong Kong’s Western-oriented citizens that authoritarian Beijing would not abolish all the freedoms of the financial metropolis. This was supposed to last for 50 years.
But “one country, two systems” already seems to be a thing of the past. In his analysis, Marcel Grzanna reveals how the resignation of two British judges from the highest court in Hong Kong is tied to this and how the role of such foreign judges has changed in recent years. At least since the introduction of the National Security Law, they have basically served as a mere fig leaf for the leadership in Beijing. Grzanna’s verdict: These most recent resignations highlight how deep the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary has eroded.
In the meantime, Shenzhen is about to become the first city ever to open up its main roads to autonomous cars. Some 4,000 companies in China are involved in the automated driving sector, 20 percent of which are based in Shenzhen. Frank Sieren shows how the high-tech metropolis in southern China manages to introduce driverless traffic into everyday life.
Be it AutoX, DeepRoute or Baidu – the test runs by Chinese companies are already far along. And the administration is also working at full speed. While drunk driving may now be a thing of the past, the rules for cybersecurity and data protection will have to be amended. Sieren is convinced: Shenzhen’s plans could serve as a model for the entire country.
‘Overdue’ resignations at Hong Kong’s highest court
Lord Robert Reed’s change of heart took seven months. Only last August, the judge of the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court had deemed Hong Kong’s judiciary to be “largely independently of government” and its decisions to be “consistent with the rule of law.” Based on this assessment, Reed and his counterpart Lord Patrick Hodge continued as non-permanent members of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), the highest body in the Hong Kong legal system, until further notice.
Then, a few days ago, this changed radically. Reed and Hodge resigned from their posts on the CFA with a bang (China.Table reported). The two representatives of the British Supreme Court announced that they could not continue their work “without appearing to endorse an administration which has departed from values of political freedom, and freedom of expression.” The introduction of the National Security Act in Hong Kong in July 2020 had been a critical factor in this development. It is the first time that foreign judges have specifically blamed the Security Law for the erosion of Hong Kong’s democracy.
Several legal experts, like Eva Pils, who taught law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong until 2014, told China.Table that the British duo’s move was “overdue“. On Twitter, others commented, such as Eric Lai of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington: “The UK Supreme Court’s statement appears to imply the resignations are votes of no confidence to the city’s administration.”