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Main Bar Renovations

Main Bar Renovations
We are taking the opportunity of the quieter season to do some essential renovation work in the Main Bar. These essential works have been planned for some years and were delayed pending the Club securing a fresh seven-year term on its lease. We are renewing and replacing the air conditioning ahead of the warm summer months and also improving the Club’s audio-visual system to improve the pictures and sound we show from around the Club and around the world. 
Unfortunately, this means the Main Bar will be closed between Monday 20 February and Sunday 19 March inclusive. During this time, the Main Dining Room and the Verandah will be open from 07:30 to 01:00 daily. Bert’s will be open continuously each day from Midday through to 02:00. 
The Verandah will be arranged to create a bar-like environment through the use of high tables and stools. As a result, we envisage the main wining and dining area of the club migrating to the Main Dining Room. For this reason, we will be offering the Main Bar menu upstairs with an additional grill supplement for those regular fine diners who will continue to enjoy their perfectly cooked steaks. A daily luncheon buffet will be served from Monday to Saturday. In addition, breakfast will be served on the Verandah from 07:30 to 10:30 each day (Monday to Saturday, except Sunday).  
Please contact the Front Office for any queries.


HONG KONG REMEMBERS – An evening of music, nostalgia & entertainment in aid of supporting The China Coast Community

Hong Kong chief executive election: Former High Court judge Woo Kwok-Hing makes bold pledges

Former High Court judge Woo Kwok-Hing laid out his manifesto at the January 24 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham Former High Court judge Woo Kwok-Hing laid out his manifesto at the January 24 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham

Former High Court judge Woo Kwok-Hing pledged to achieve universal suffrage for Hong Kong should his bid to become the city’s chief executive prove successful.

In what was described by FCC journalist correspondent Cliff Buddle as an ‘ambitious’ manifesto, Woo Kwok-Hing set out his vision for a city which he said was broken by years of mismanagement at the hands of previous – and current – leaders.

Addressing a club lunch on January 24 that was packed with press, Woo Kwok-Hing began by lampooning his rival bidders for Hong Kong’s top job.

“Originally I was seeking to unseat the incumbent,” he said of his early announcement to stand, “but he suddenly changed his mind. For Hong Kong, Christmas came early on December 9.”

The outspoken judge also took aim at Carrie Lam, joking that she was ‘apparently learning to live like the rest of us’ in trying to master the use of an Octopus travel card, in reference to her appearing unfamiliar with how to use the card as she took the MTR to visit Ap Lei Chau recently.

However, Woo Kwok-Hing said he represented change for Hong Kong, declaring that as chief executive he would give every Hongkonger the opportunity to vote for their next leader by 2022.

“I have 20:22 vision,” he said, “because I am only aiming to be a one-term chief executive. I hope that the next chief executive will be elected by one man, one vote – universal suffrage.”

On hearing this, the gathered audience applauded.

He said his plan was to increase the number of voters in the nominating committee – currently 1,200 members who would choose form several candidates vetted by Beijing – initially to 250,000 voters, then to 1 million by 2022. This would eventually be expanded to 3 million plus voters to include all Hongkongers eligible to vote.

Among other pledges in Woo Kwok-Hing’s manifesto were:

  • criminalise acts that interfere with Hong Kong’s internal affairs
  • alter the Basic Law to ensure future CEs are not immune from prosecution in bribery cases
  • invite members from all political parties in Legco, the legislative council, to become Exco, executive council, members

Woo Kwok-Hing, when asked whether he would drop charges against the four pan-democratic legislative members involved in last year’s oath-taking saga, said as chief executive he wouldn’t have brought the charges in the first place.

The Hong Kong chief executive elections take place in March. Also standing are Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Regina Ip.

Club announcement: Eric Wishart takes over from Tara Joseph as FCC president

Eric Wishart, right, is the FCC's new president. He is pictured here with (left to right) Carsten Schael, Cliff Buddle, Nigel Sharman, and Keith Richburg. Photo: FCC Eric Wishart, right, is the FCC’s new president. He is pictured here with (left to right) Carsten Schael, Cliff Buddle, Nigel Sharman, and Keith Richburg. Photo: FCC

Club President Tara Joseph has stood down following her move from Reuters to become president of the American Chamber of Commerce, and has been replaced by First Vice-president Eric Wishart.

BBC Hong Kong correspondent Juliana Liu has taken over as first vice-president. She is currently co-convener of the food & beverage and press freedom committees.

The changes were approved at the monthly board meeting on January 21, 2017.

Tara, who was in her second term as president, will remain on the FCC board in an advisory capacity.

“I am sad to be stepping down as club president, as it has been a great honour and pleasure,” she said. “However, I plan to stay active in the club, particularly on the professional committee.”

Eric Wishart, who works for the AFP global news management, first joined the club in 1996 and rejoined in 2005 after spending six years in Paris as the agency’s editor-in-chief.

“I’m greatly honoured to take over as president of the FCC, and on behalf of the board I would like to thank Tara for her great service to the club,” he said.

“We have big events scheduled in the coming months – a new charity fundraiser, the second journalism conference, and the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover, along with the main bar renovation – and I’m delighted that Tara will remain on the board to give us her much valued advice and support.”

Joining the board as correspondent governors are the Financial Times Asia News Editor Victor Mallet, Bloomberg FFM Asia-Pacific Editor Stewart Hawkins, and James Pomfret, the Reuters deputy bureau chief, Hong Kong, and chief correspondent, South China.


Income Statement – December 2016

December 10, 2016 Board minutes

December 10, 2016 Board minutes

Clare Hollingworth remembered in FCC celebration of her life

Hong Kong’s British Consul General Andrew Heyn paid tribute to Clare Hollingworth. Photo: Sarah Graham Hong Kong’s British Consul General Andrew Heyn paid tribute to Clare Hollingworth. Photo: Sarah Graham

Glasses were raised, tears were shed and stories told as relatives, friends and colleagues of Clare Hollingworth gathered to celebrate her life at the FCC on January 19.

Club president Tara Joseph kicked off proceedings with a warm tribute to Clare, who died on January 10 at the age of 105, and asked what she would have made of the new era of media – ‘would she approve of people retweeting tweets from presidential candidates?’.

She added: “She led a very full life… This was the woman who had the scoop of the century reporting the start of World war Two as she saw tanks and troops lined up at the Polish border.

“She went on to produce many scoops in her lifetime as a journalist.

“Another important thing for many of us is that Clare also broke barriers. She was the epitome of the swashbuckling correspondent – but that was only a few decades after two decades after women in Britain secured the vote.”

Hong Kong’s British Consul General Andrew Heyn said the Foreign Office had not always been very keen on what Clare was reporting. But he added that Clare had integrity and was an example to journalists today: “She is a role model for the younger generation, a role model for women, and also as a fierce defender of the truth.”

Clare had been a member of the FCC for more than 35 years.

Clare’s great nephew told the gathered audience how, as a correspondent, her scoop on the outbreak of World War Two had often overshadowed other achievements in her life – most notably the fact that she helped Jewish refugees flee Germany, saving many lives.

Her good friend Cathy also paid tribute to the courageous correspondent, revealing how she kept on top of news events in later years despite the fact that her eyesight and hearing was failing. And her long-time carer Susan Helen fought back tears as she recalled Clare’s kindness and quick wit.

She said: “She was very fond of singing… Every day, every hour… every minute we will sing this ‘Rule Britannia Britannia rules the world!“

Tributes were read out from dignitaries and journalists around the world, including last Hong Kong governor Chris Patten; and former Telegraph editor Max Hastings; and Stephen Robinson, who led the Telegraph’s foreign desk between 1997 and 2001.

China is on the rise – but could it be a 21st Century empire?

Author and journalist Toh Han Shih talked about whether China can be an empire in the 21st Century Author and journalist Toh Han Shih talked about whether China can be an empire in the 21st Century

China’s rise as a world leader in the 21st Century has mirrored that of the British imperialists in the 19th Century – but whether it can become an empire itself is still open to question, according to the author of a book on the subject.

Writer and journalist Toh Han Shih, guest speaker at the January 16 club lunch, drew comparisons with Britain as he posed the question of whether China, through its large and growing investment and trade with the rest of the world, can emerge as an empire in the 21st Century.

With industrialisation at its core, the former SCMP journalist said China’s march toward domination of the infrastructures of some of the world’s richest – and poorest – countries was unquestionable, but conceded that it could only take America’s position as superpower after the U.S. itself redraws the framework.

Quoting from his book, Is China An Empire?, Toh Han Shih mapped the way in which China had poured billions of dollars into overseas investments by building railways, buying up property, the high spending of its wealthy tourists, investment in financial institutions, and the placing of its companies at the centre of the world’s leading industries. It has now overtaken the U.S. as the biggest buyer of assets in the world.

“Chinese companies are well-placed to invest in the U.S. infrastructure,” he said, referring to president-elect Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he would inject $1 trillion into the country’s infrastructure over a 10-year period.

China denies it intends to become an empire, and according to Toh Han Shih, although there is no cohesive policy behind its rise, its ‘ultimate ulterior motive is to keep the 1 billion Chinese people stable’. Yet it pledges to stand at the forefront of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, he said, which would benefit everyone in the country, down to farmers in rural China.

He pointed out that the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – the Chinese-led global financial institution of which 100 countries are now members – had attracted the United Kingdom as one of its first members, a feat that had left the U.S. appearing weak.

Toh Han Shih also drew parallels with Vladimir Lenin’s 1916 book, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Lenin summised that new imperialism was an economic phenomenon and to define it one needed to accept five essential features including monopolisation, the merging of banking and industry, and the export of capital. Toh Han Shih said China was already meeting the criteria.

TOLO News wins AFP Kate Webb Prize for courageous reporting in Afghanistan

Lotfullah Najafizada, news director of Afghanistan's TOLOnews, receives the Kate Webb award from AFP Asia-Pacific director Philippe Massonnet at the FCC Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan 12,2017. Kate's brother and sister, Jeremy Webb and Rachel Miller, are also pictured. Photo: Terry Duckham/Asiapix Lotfullah Najafizada, news director of Afghanistan’s TOLOnews, receives the Kate Webb award from AFP Asia-Pacific director Philippe Massonnet at the FCC Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan 12,2017. Kate’s brother and sister, Jeremy Webb and Rachel Miller, are also pictured. Photo: Terry Duckham/Asiapix

TOLO News, a privately run Afghan TV news station owned by MOBY Group, has won the 2016 Agence France-Presse (AFP) Kate Webb Prize for its reporting in one of the world’s most dangerous countries. 21st Century Fox invested in MOBY Group in 2012 and currently has a 48 percent ownership stake in the intrepid media company.

The Kate Webb Prize, administered by the AFP Foundation, honours journalists working in unsafe conditions in Asia and promotes press freedom through journalist training in developing countries. The prize is named after New Zealand-born Kate Webb, a fearless AFP reporter who worked across the continent and became a mentor for younger Asian journalists. She died in 2007, and the first Kate Webb Prize was awarded in 2008.

“We are recognising TOLO News for its courageous work telling the stories of the people of Afghanistan, a place that is becoming ever more hostile for the media,” said Philippe Massonnet, AFP’s regional director for the Asia-Pacific region and jury chairman. “By awarding the prize to TOLO as an organisation, we are also recognising the extraordinary work carried out by all Afghan journalists in ever-deteriorating conditions.”

Lotfullah Najafizada, director of TOLO News, called the prize a great honour. “The late Kate Webb was an inspiration to dozens of our journalists, who like Kate, have earned a reputation for being fearless in the face of adversity.”

MOBY Group launched in 2003 with one FM radio station and has since grown into Afghanistan’s leading suite of television, radio and online platforms. In addition to providing the Afghan people channels to previously inaccessible information, MOBY has put women front and center in its storytelling, a decision that runs counter to the past laws of the country forbidding women on television. It has also challenged perspectives in the country with a reality series on transgender youth in a Muslim culture.

The company’s bold decisions have come with a hefty price: MOBY’s television stations were named as “military objectives” by the Taliban, and seven of TOLO News’ employees were killed in a targeted Taliban suicide bombing in January 2016.

Saad Mohseni, Chairman and CEO of MOBY Group, praised Lotfullah and the TOLO News team on their prize: “Their dedication to free and independent reporting has contributed to building a freer, more tolerant and democratic Afghanistan.”


Temporary Suspension of CABLE TV Services

Dear members,

CABLE TV will undergo a network improvement and maintenance works, TV signal will be affected and temporarily suspended at the following period:


Date: Saturday, 13 January 2018

Time: 12:00-15:00


We apologize for any inconvenience may cause.


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