Gary Cheung

Gary Cheung

Senior Writer, Hong Kong

Gary is a contributor to Inkstone. He is Senior Writer at the South China Morning Post and the author of Hong Kong’s Watershed: The 1967 Riots (Hong Kong University Press, 2009).

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
Hong Kong politics, government policies, Hong Kong history
Hong Kong security law: fleeing activists evoke sea escapes of the past
The recent capture at sea of 17 young Hong Kong activists as they attempted to escape to Taiwan was an all-too-familiar tale for older Hongkongers who risked life and limb in perilous journeys into or out of the city by water, but for three men, the story was deeply personal. Memories of their own brushes with danger came flooding back for Cai Chongguo, Lew Mon-hung and Tsang Kin-shing when news emerged on Wednesday that the mainland Chinese coastguard had arrested 12 local activists allegedly en route to Taiwan. Wednesday’s arrests came just days before Taiwanese media reported that five other Hong Kong activists had been intercepted by marine authorities from the self-ruled island late las
Hongkongers convicted under new security law could be imprisoned for life
People convicted of crimes under a new national security law Beijing is imposing on Hong Kong could face life imprisonment, sources told the South China Morning Post. China’s top legislative body on Sunday kicked off a special three-day meeting fast-tracking the legislation, which is being tailor-made for the former British colony to prevent, stop and punish acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security. Opposition politicians and critics said the bill could be used to suppress dissent and erode freedoms in the city, which is governed under a “one country, two systems” framework that gives Hong Kong considerable autonomy.  The legisl
Hong Kong is getting a special police unit for its new national security law
Hong Kong police are setting up a dedicated unit to enforce the coming national security law, one that will be ready to function on the “very first day” the controversial legislation comes into effect, the city’s security minister told the South China Morning Post. John Lee, the minister, said the new unit, would be commanded by Hong Kong’s police commissioner Chris Tang. It would have intelligence-gathering, investigation and training capabilities, Lee said. But he declined to elaborate on how police would work with the new agency the mainland’s national security authorities are expected to set up in Hong Kong after the law is in place. The revelation came a week after the security minister
Why ties between Beijing and Hong Kong’s property bosses are unraveling
As far back as the early 1980s, when talks with Britain over Hong Kong’s future began, the city’s property tycoons were Beijing’s main political allies.  As the handover in 1997 neared, Beijing’s main preoccupation was to ensure Hong Kong’s continued stability. That meant retaining the confidence of the business community. “Winning the support of major property developers was its top priority,” said Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, former secretary for transport and housing. But two decades later, the relationship is coming under strain. If Beijing once looked to the property tycoons to help keep Hong Kong stable, it now appears to believe that they have failed to deliver. There are signs that the
Hong Kong officials will watch China’s flag rise indoors to avoid clashes
Hong Kong is set to tone down celebrations on China’s big day, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The local government said it would move guests indoors at a flag-raising ceremony on China’s National Day, on October 1, to avoid potential disruptions by anti-government protesters who are poised to escalate their actions to embarrass Beijing. This means Hong Kong’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and other officials and dignitaries will watch the ceremony on a screen.  “I think Beijing has come to terms with the reality that ceremonies like these can’t be held in a decent manner amid the long-standing protests,” Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy s
Mass arrests of Hong Kong protesters could backfire in long run
Since the beginning of protests in Hong Kong that eventually spiraled into an anti-government movement, more than 1,000 people have been arrested. According to two leading academics, these mass arrests might help reduce violence in the short-run but could backfire in the long term. Lingnan University’s Samson Yuen, who has been observing protesters on the ground since unrest against the now-abandoned extradition bill erupted in June, said the police tactic of stepping up arrests had been in force since the middle of August. “It appears police are adopting a deliberate strategy of arresting as many frontline protesters as possible,” he said. Police held 159 people in connection with protests
A history of dissent in Hong Kong
Temperatures are rising, tensions are boiling over, and Hong Kong’s leaders are feeling the heat of the worst political unrest since Britain handed back its colonial jewel to China more than 20 years ago. Since an estimated 2 million-plus people – more than a quarter of the city’s population – took to the streets last month to oppose a bill that would allow for extraditions to territories the city does not currently have agreements with, including – and most controversially – mainland China, the government’s efforts to cool fraying tempers have had precious little effect. With no end in sight to the troubles, the city is bracing for more clashes at a planned demonstration this weekend after
After Hong Kong protests, everyone is talking about a 1984 treaty
Clashes in Hong Kong over a contentious extradition bill have spilled to the diplomatic front. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday warned that Beijing, which runs Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous region, would face serious consequences if it failed to honor a decades-old treaty. The 1984 treaty, called the Sino-British Joint Declaration, paved the way for the former British colony’s return to Chinese control in 1997 in an arrangement under the framework of “one country, two systems.” But demonstrations in recent weeks over the bill have exposed concerns that the firewall between the two systems is being eroded. Here is what you need to know about the treaty that has come into ren
Why did Hong Kong’s ‘Iron Lady’ back down?
Days after Hong Kong’s biggest street demonstration in decades, the city felt like a powder keg. Young, masked teenagers clashed with police, while the city’s leadership stubbornly stood by an unpopular extradition bill. But on a clear, sunny Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the start of an even bigger protest, Hong Kong’s top leader made a surprising U-turn, agreeing to “suspend” the proposal. “I feel deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factors have stirred up controversies and dispute in society,” Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s “Iron Lady,” told reporters at a tense press conference. Her use of language drew much criticism. The public wanted to
Canadian journalist tracks down Chinese protester he filmed 30 years ago
When Canadian journalist Arthur Kent filmed two student protesters on the steps of a monument in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square at about 3am on June 4, 1989, he had no idea who they were. He never found out what became of them, and has spent the last three decades trying to track them down. Last week, Kent finally got hold of one of the two protesters, whom he described as a “young couple” in the footage he shot, which has been newly restored. Kenneth Lam Yiu-keung, a Hong Kong student leader who took tents and funds to Beijing in May 1989 in support of protesters, told the South China Morning Post he was certain the film’s release would help refresh people’s memories of the bloody suppression.