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
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.
This math teacher turns to history once a year to keep Tiananmen alive
Peter Lee is a mathematics teacher. But every year around this time, he gathers his teenage students for a history lesson. He shows them video footage of scenes from Tiananmen Square in Beijing and tells them about the student protests that ended in a bloody military crackdown on June 4, 1989. “I hope to let my students know about the tragedy and help keep the memory alive,” said Lee, 52, who teaches in a secondary school in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district. Lee is one of many residents in the former British colony whose lives profoundly changed after Chinese troops and tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square 30 years ago and crushed protests calling for democratic reforms in China. In much of the