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FCC Statement on Closure of Voice of Democracy in Cambodia

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is deeply troubled by the forced closure of Cambodia’s leading independent media outlet, Voice of Democracy.

Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered VOD’s licence revoked, effective Monday, over what he said was an erroneous report about his eldest son. The prime minister had demanded an apology from VOD, but refused to reconsider the revocation even after the outlet later complied.

The sudden and arbitrary closure is a devastating attack on the country’s free press and is yet another example of the increasing restrictions on press freedom in Cambodia, coming after years of harassment and intimidation of journalists, independent media outlets, and civil society groups.

The FCC notes that the closure of VOD will have far-reaching implications for Cambodia’s already fragile democracy. As the country prepares for a general election in July 2023, Cambodian citizens need access to truthful and unbiased information to help inform their choices. The right to free and independent press is essential to the functioning of any democratic society and the FCC urges the Cambodian government to respect this fundamental right.

The FCC stands in solidarity with VOD and other independent news outlets in Cambodia, and supports all journalists’ right to cover stories without fear of harassment or arrest.

Is Hong Kong ‘over’? Stephen Roach’s FCC speech becomes talk of the town

Early this year, Yale economist and former longtime Hong Kong resident Stephen Roach wrote an opinion piece in the Financial Times that became the talk of the town, thanks in no small part to its headline: “It pains me to say Hong Kong is over.” This month, he stirred up discussion again when he appeared at the FCC to expand on his dire prediction for Hong Kong’s economic future.

Roach, the former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, says his argument is based on three factors: Hong Kong’s tight links to mainland China’s sputtering economy, worsening U.S.-China relations that have caught Hong Kong in the crossfire, and the erosion of Hong Kong’s political autonomy under the Beijing-imposed national security law as well as the recently enacted local version.

“What’s really over?” he said at a fully-booked FCC Club Lunch hosted by Correspondent Governor Jennifer Jett. “What’s over, in my opinion, is the imagery that many still cling to in looking to the future of a prideful city — Asia’s world city, Milton Friedman’s favorite free market.”

Stephen Roach. Photo: FCC

“The Hong Kong of old is not the Hong Kong of today, and especially not the Hong Kong of tomorrow. The title of my article was intended as a wake-up call, an appeal for you in Hong Kong to come to grips with this seemingly harsh realization.”

Though Hong Kong’s defenders point to the city’s remarkable resilience in the face of challenging times such as the Asian financial crisis, the 1997 handover and the SARS epidemic, in Roach’s view “this time is different.”

“Without a rebound in the mainland Chinese economy, Hong Kong is unlikely to spring back to life on its own,” he said. “That’s because the linkages between the PRC and Hong Kong economies have become tighter than ever.”

Roach emphasized that he was not trying to be political but analytical, invoking Mao Zedong’s hallmark slogan to “seek truth from facts.” He urged the audience to take similarly “analytically-grounded, empirically-supported views.”

Roach said Hong Kong’s problems will get worse if left unaddressed, and that past solutions no longer suffice.

“The very real struggles of Hong Kong are not about to vanish into thin air. Like it or not, Hong Kong’s dynamism, its energy, and its independence are now in flux,” he said.

Stephen Roach. Photo: FCC

“You cannot afford to take your city’s seemingly innate resilience for granted. That’s what is over.”

Just as with his Financial Times article and a follow-up piece in The South China Morning Post, government officials and others strongly pushed back against Roach’s comments at the FCC.

In a 1,500-word statement that did not mention Roach by name, the HKSAR government said that “some individuals” had made comments on Hong Kong’s economy that overlooked the city’s advantages and “positive development momentum.”

Despite a complicated external environment, the statement said, the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese economies are growing at a faster pace than some developed economies. Hong Kong’s GDP grew 3.3% in 2023 and 2.7% in the first quarter of this year, it noted, and is projected to grow between 2.5% and 3.5% for 2024 overall.

Roach, who told The South China Morning Post that the government’s statement suggested a “worrisome sense of denial,” also cited economic growth figures in his remarks at the FCC. But he put them in broader context, noting that Hong Kong’s economic growth has decelerated in tandem with that of mainland China.

“Over the past 12 years, 2012 to 2023, the Chinese economy grew by an average of 6.3% annually; that was a 3.7-percentage-point deceleration from the spectacular 10% pace of the preceding 32 years from 1980 to 2011,” Roach explained.

“Spoiler alert: Growth in the Hong Kong economy has also decelerated by 3.7 percentage points, slowing from a 5.1% pace over 1980 to 2011 to just 1.4% from 2012 to 2023.”

That makes sense, Roach said, given increased cross-border integration.

“The Hong Kong economy has effectively been swallowed up by the mainland economy — hook, line, and sinker,” he said.

Executive Council Convenor Regina Ip also publicly criticized Roach’s FCC speech, saying in an opinion piece published by Hong Kong Free Press that Roach is no “prophet of Hong Kong.”

“It is true that Hong Kong is facing some tough economic headwinds because of geopolitical uncertainty and structural problems,” she wrote. “But its future is bright, because Hong Kong is working hard to restructure its economy.”

Ip also emphasized Hong Kong’s integration with the Greater Bay Area as a key driver of the local economy, adding that, “With strong support from mainland China, Hong Kong will never lack the resources we need to enhance our talent pool and technological capabilities.”

That reliance on China is exactly what puts Hong Kong in such a precarious position, Roach said, adding that he hoped the questions he was raising would make “good trouble” for a city he will always love.

“With China unlikely to regain its once powerful economic momentum, Hong Kong seems quite likely to follow suit,” he said. “With the case for Hong Kong’s resilience now made in China, we need to peer into the future through a very different lens.”

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

This Club Lunch is also available as our latest episode of The Correspondent, the FCC’s own podcast. Catch up with the lunchtime talk that became the talk of the town — from government press releases to Chinese and English-language opinion pieces:

Pandemic Minds: How Covid-19 Restrictions Impacted Our Mental Health and What We Can Learn From It

Multi-colored face masks. Only two people at a table before 6pm — no one afterwards. Scanning the “LeaveHomeSafe” app before entering restaurants and other public areas. Empty airports and fully booked quarantine hotels. Newborn babies torn from their mothers in the delivery room. Elderly patients dying on stretchers outside overflowing hospitals. Penny’s Bay.

These scenes from the COVID-19 pandemic that stalled daily life in Hong Kong for more than three years may seem as if they’re from a lifetime ago, but as FCC member and author Kate Whitehead reminds us, it was only last March when Hong Kong residents could go outside without wearing masks for the first time in 945 days. Though pandemic restrictions have been lifted, the mental health issues they caused have lingered, and in many cases gotten worse.

As a journalist and licensed psychotherapist, Whitehead said she thought it was important to document how the pandemic affected mental health in Hong Kong instead of simply forgetting about it now that life has moved on. Last year, she spent six months interviewing people from all walks of life for her new book Pandemic Minds: COVID-19 and Mental Health in Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press). At an FCC Club Lunch shortly after the book’s publication in May, Whitehead told First Vice President Jennifer Jett about her writing process as well as coping techniques to promote mental well-being during challenging times.

Kate Whitehead. Photo: FCC

“Half the book is made up of first-person accounts of the pandemic, and I wanted to get all those stories when people still remembered all the details of it,” Whitehead said.

In the process of interviewing and writing, she met all kinds of people — rich, poor, local, expat, young, old — who were willing to share their stories. While many of them chose to use pseudonyms, Whitehead found all of their anecdotes useful in giving a comprehensive view of mental health in pandemic-era Hong Kong.

“It’s good to share your story… If you identify with an element in a story, it just makes you feel like, ‘OK, I’m not alone,’ right? And then that might empower you to share your story with someone else. These kinds of sharing of stories and talking about it — that is what breaks down stigma,” she explained.

One of the key takeaways from her interviews and writing process was how people in Hong Kong dealt with the uncertainty that the pandemic brought, which Whitehead finds to be crucial in maintaining good mental health.

“There is always going to be uncertainty, so you’ve just got to accept [it]. First of all, look at the situation and go, ‘Well, there are certain things that I can’t change and I’m just going to have to accept them. Certain things are out of my control,’” she said.

Kate Whitehead. Photo: FCC

Whitehead also included tips and “grounding exercises” in each chapter to help readers deal with stressful scenarios in their daily lives — pandemic or not.

Pandemic Minds also includes what Whitehead described as “happy chapters” that highlight some of the positive aspects of the pandemic, including how Hong Kong built new communities and individuals triumphed over difficult circumstances. One of these happy chapters explores the healing power of nature and the local hiking boom that was born from gym closures and residents’ desire to get out of the house.

Another “silver lining” of the pandemic is that it raised awareness about mental health in Hong Kong that is based on shared experience, and made these issues easier to talk about.

“So many of us — whether it was us personally or someone close to us — [were] going through something. I think it’s a silver lining that we talk about it now,” Whitehead said.

It’s important to have these discussions about mental health, she said, so that Hong Kong can be better prepared for similar situations in the future.

“If we’re planning for when there’s going to be another pandemic — it’s on the cards, it’s not a matter of if, it’s when — let’s learn from what happened,” Whitehead said.

“We really need to learn from this pandemic to make the next one less stressful.”

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

How Mongolia earned its nickname as the “Switzerland of Asia”

Mongolia, a landlocked country between authoritarian superpowers Russia and China, doesn’t make international headlines nearly as much as its Asian counterparts. Despite this, journalists like Johan Nylander have set out to learn more about how Mongolia’s democratic efforts impact the region and the rest of the world.

“There’s so many fascinating things about this country, it’s such a beautiful place,” Nylander began. “Very friendly people, amazing history, a lot of interesting things happening at the moment.”

Speaking at the FCC with First Vice President Jennifer Jett, Nylander outlined his process for writing The Wolf Economy Awakens: Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future. The book began with Nylander’s genuine interest in the country combined with the realisation that not many people knew anything about Mongolia.

Johan Nylander, left, and Jennifer Jett, right. Photo: FCC

“A lot of people in the world, they don’t know almost anything about the country, like a lot of people don’t even know it exists,” he said.

Nylander spent a year traveling from Hong Kong to Mongolia after the COVID-19 pandemic, interacting with everyone from politicians to the average pedestrian who were all motivated to tell their stories. For his FCC talk, he focused primarily on Mongolia’s diplomatic relations and economy.

Neutral Mongolia has earned the nickname “the Switzerland of Asia” by gathering nations without official ties for formal discussions. This particularly comes into play with the yearly Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, which since the 1980s has become a unique forum where conflicting nations (primarily North and South Korea) can meet.

Mongolia was also the initial location for former US President Donald Trump to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for denuclearization talks in 2018, but the meeting was eventually moved to Singapore.

Mongolia’s economy is unique due to being primarily driven by the coal industry, giving the country another nickname: Mine-golia. In fact, around 5-6% of Mongolia’s GDP comes from coal, which Nylander explained is both a good and bad thing. Good in that Mongolia has become quite valuable to its Northeast Asian neighbors, but bad due to more resources leading to more issues in democracy and human rights.

Referencing the 2022 protests against Mongolia’s alleged “coal mafia” that has shaped the country’s economic development while excluding citizens’ social development, Nylander explained how serious Mongolia is about free speech. Mass protests are actually a common sight in the Mongolian capital and while non-violent, they are quite effective in changing the country for better.

Even when current politicians come into the public crosshairs, like current Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrain who was once a passionate protester himself, there is a mutual respect and understanding for the mission that protesters are trying to achieve for the country.

“Those are the best people,” Luvsannamsrain said when describing his critics.

Johan Nylander. Photo: FCC

Nylander then went on to highlight how the younger generations are using technology to innovate life in Mongolia, which the rest of the world could learn from. He first described e-Mongolia, an all-in-one app in which citizens can access all government services, including new passports, driver’s licenses, hospital appointments, and more.

“Wouldn’t that be great? Like, everything in one app?” Nylander said while noting that other nations that are regarded as “more developed” don’t have such an app.

When asked about other initiatives spearheaded by Mongolia’s youth, Nylander also mentioned green startups that aim to offset the environmental damage that such a large coal industry can produce. URECA is one of those startups that helps families, particularly in rural areas, transition from coal to solar power through a credit system that makes the infrastructure upgrade more affordable.

Just like the e-Mongolia app, Nylander also finds this type of technology impactful yet unparalleled in the rest of the world, and believes that more countries can adopt similar projects to combat transnational issues.

“Tech startups are the best when they can solve a local problem that also can solve a global problem,” Nylander concluded.

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

Hong Kong doesn’t need a Formula One race, says motorsport expert Matthew Marsh

With Netflix’s Drive to Survive series fuelling a huge rise in the global popularity of Formula One and off-track controversies crashing the mainstream headlines, Formula One has seen plenty of action, even if one driver continued to dominate the early races.

To discuss the current state of F1 and the year ahead, motorsport expert and former champion driver Matthew Marsh spoke alongside Second Vice President Tim Huxley at the FCC, otherwise known as the “home of informed debate and witty banter” as described by Huxley himself.

The duo began their talk by first addressing the recent headlines surrounding Christian Horner, Team Principal of World Champions Red Bull, who in early February was under investigation for alleged misconduct with a female colleague. Marsh’s take was that the details aren’t clear, leading mainstream news organisations to publish stories that don’t truly inform readers of what’s going on.

Matthew Marsh, left, and Tim Huxley, right. Photo: FCC

“The daily newspapers do the scandal stuff, but they’re not actually really able to reveal anything specific because what are the specifics of the case with Christian? We don’t actually know,” he said.

Marsh explained that media that specialise in F1 coverage can better cover these types of scandals and that their knowledge of cases like Horner’s prevents them from ostracising leading figures in motorsport.

“The point is the specialist media know the details – I believe – because that’s why they haven’t thrown him ‘under the bus’,” Marsh clarified.

Horner was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing after Red Bull completed an internal investigation in late February.

Marsh also reflected on comments he made at his last FCC talk in September 2023 when he objected to the idea of F1 introducing an 11th team. Back then he didn’t think such a move was necessary and would perhaps dilute the professional nature of the sport, but now he is reconsidering.

“My mind has changed. It’s not so much that we need it, I just think it might be good,” he said.

Cadillac entering F1 and the addition of an estimated 1,200 jobs were a couple of reasons that Marsh cited for his change of mind, but he stopped short of supporting a second tier of F1 drivers. Given F1’s tight schedule, a second tier might not fit and could exacerbate current problems that Marsh has identified, like not enough racecar testing for less experienced drivers.

“Can we just have testing?” Marsh asked rhetorically.

Matthew Marsh. Photo: FCC

He also reminded the audience of other equally exciting and professional motorsport series: Formula E, Indycar, the FIA World Endurance Championship, and Le Mans – the last of which Marsh himself raced in as the first Hong Kong driver to compete in the 24-hour classic 2007.

“Indycar is amazing racing and that could be called a second-tier F1,” Marsh added.

Marsh also shot down the suggestion of Hong Kong becoming an F1 destination in order to increase tourism and boost the local economy.

“Hong Kong is a different city in a different position in time,” Marsh began. “If I was giving advice, my advice would be, ‘Shut up and leave us alone.’”

In 2024 the Hong Kong government announced a new set of tourism initiatives, including a series of “mega events” scheduled for the second half of the year, collaborations with social media influencers, and even drone shows above Victoria Harbour.

“I don’t think Hong Kong is a tourist destination. People come here – and sometimes on holiday – but if Hong Kong becomes a tourist destination, we’ve lost. We ain’t Phuket. So we should be left alone to get on with business and we need people to stop talking every day and let us get back to business. Agreed?”

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

FCC Board of Governors 2024-2025 Election Results

    
 
Congratulations to the new FCC Board of Governors for 2024-2025. They will begin serving after the Annual General Meeting on May 30.
 
We would like to thank the outgoing Board members for their service.
 
The new Board members are listed below.
 
PRESIDENT
Lee WILLIAMSON
 
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Morgan DAVIS
 
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
Tim HUXLEY
 
CORRESPONDENT GOVERNORS
Karly COX
Jennifer JETT
Karen KOH
Kristie LU STOUT
Dean NAPOLITANO
Peter PARKS
Laura WESTBROOK
William ZHENG
 
JOURNALIST GOVERNORS
Zela CHIN
Joe PAN
 
ASSOCIATE GOVERNORS
LIU Kin-ming
Lynne MULHOLLAND
Christopher SLAUGHTER
Barbara YU LARSSON

 

 

 
23 May 2024
 

Despite declining volumes through the port, panel of experts agree that Hong Kong will remain a global maritime centre

Over 80% of everything is transported by sea, making shipping one of the most crucial industries in the world. The ongoing war in Ukraine, Houthi attacks on ships traveling through the Red Sea, pandemics, and other geopolitical events can cause disruptions to global trade — with the biggest risk being placed on the seafarers and ships themselves.

To discuss these issues, as well as Hong Kong’s role in the global shipping industry, the FCC held a Club Lunch discussion with three Hong Kong based experts: Angad Banga, COO of The Caravel Group; Olivia Lennox-King, COO of Cetus Maritime; and the FCC’s own Second Vice President Tim Huxley, Chairman of Mandarin Shipping. Moderating the discussion was First Vice President Jennifer Jett.

“We really need to put the seafarer agenda top of mind and front of mind before anything else,” said Banga as he highlighted the different ways that geopolitical disruptions affected shipping.

To avoid conflict zones like the Red Sea, ships have increased their voyages by two weeks or more on average, which results in an additional $200-300K fuel costs. Crews on ships that still choose to travel through the Red Sea aren’t trained for warzones and run the risk of being hit with missiles or drones. Attacks on ships — which may or may not be operated by personnel from warring states or carrying related assets — have seen fatalities and caused mental health issues for seafarers.

“The seafarers are innocent and they’re not involved in any geopolitical event and they’re the ones that no one’s focused on here,” Banga concluded.

Lennox-King also shared her thoughts on modern conflicts’ impact on shipping, but with more of a focus on how the overall industry can (quite literally) maneuver around these issues.

“I have been guilty of using this expression before, but we do sometimes say that shipping loves a war because disruption creates volatility and volatility creates opportunities,” she began.

Ultimately, ships rerouting to avoid conflicts can benefit from increased revenues that result from the supply of ships contracting as a result of longer voyages which prompt rates to rise, all while keeping their crews safe and unharmed.

“We try to predict what’s coming next… but I’d say that shipping, generally speaking, is very adaptable and has done a very good job of absorbing these changes,” Lennox-King said.

Aside from global conflicts, the panel also discussed Hong Kong’s role in the shipping world. The city made its name by becoming an epicenter for global trade in the colonial era, at one point being a leading centre for shipbuilding in Asia, but that is in the past and also recent years has seen a decline in the volume of cargo passing through Hong Kong’s container port. Still, Hong Kong is home to three out of six of the largest container port headquarters, which results in more container ports being managed and controlled from the city versus anywhere else in the world.

“I certainly would not want to be in any other maritime centre than Hong Kong,” said Huxley, who also doubted the idea of the United States returning as a global shipbuilder despite recent threats to impose tariffs on non-U.S. built ships calling there.

While the US was a leader in ship building during WWII in order to combat Axis forces, the decades that followed have seen other countries — primarily Japan, South Korea, and China — become the major locations for the shipbuilding industry. China currently builds over 58% of the world’s ships, and while there may be a future for shipbuilding in Vietnam and The Philippines due to cheaper labour costs, Huxley remained firm on his prediction that the US ship building industry was a thing of the past.

“It is just this evolution of economies, and that’s what we’re seeing now. Any prospect of the Americans coming back as a global ship builder, I mean, I don’t think in my lifetime that I’ll be going to a ship launching in America.”

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

Liberal democracies may be leading downward, according to renowned Chinese political scientist

China’s rise as a global superpower over the span of just a short few decades has been met with both praise and criticism from the international community. The country has made advancements in technology, infrastructure, economics, and overall governance through a political system that rejects the widely-accepted ideologies of its peers — and its leadership shows no signs of compromise or change.

Eric Li, Chairman of Chengwei Capital and widely-known political scientist, makes his defense of China’s political system in his book Party Life: Chinese Governance and the World Beyond Liberalism. The book was published in October 2023, and the FCC was the first venue Li chose to talk about the book in March.

Speaking at the FCC alongside Correspondent Board Member Karen Koh, Li explained his political analyses by first outlining the three major crises that China has faced in the past decade: official corruption, economic inequality, and environmental degradation. China is only able to combat these issues through centralized, top-down policies.

“We need stronger leadership to correct the three major problems we talked about… Some people don’t agree with me. There could be a time — circumstances change — that we need more distributive power. That’s possible too, but it’s not now,” Li said.

Li also said that while “tremendous” improvements have been made on these issues, they are not “totally resolved”. Still, he finds that the Chinese government’s efforts to improve these three areas are proof that a political system unlike liberal democracies can still succeed.

When asked about his book’s overall theory on the future of liberalism, Li hypothesized that liberal democracies like the United States and other Western nations are leading civilization downwards when compared to the centralized Chinese government.

While Li admitted to being a believer of liberalism, free press, and elections during the 1990s, he doesn’t entirely agree with those concepts anymore. Given that he was speaking at the FCC — Hong Kong’s only press club — he further elaborated on his thoughts on freedom of speech, press, and information.

“I think press plays an important role in our society,” Li began. “Media [and] journalism are important, but if not regulated and managed well, it could do a lot of harm. It could harm actual human beings.”

To him, speech is an act, and if left unregulated, speech could result in disastrous consequences.

“Words matter. Words harm. And words must be constrained and regulated in a healthy, forward-looking society,” Li said.

Li was also asked about the United States’ recent proposal to ban Tik Tok, the international version of the popular video-sharing app Douyin from mainland China. Both Tik Tok and Duoyin are owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, yet cannot be accessed in Hong Kong.

Li reiterated the stance of former US President Donald Trump: don’t ban Tik Tok because Facebook is worse. Facebook, officially known as Meta, is inaccessible from mainland China, yet like Tik Tok has also come under fire for misinformation, hate speech, and other harmful content.

“It’s not a glorious case for freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is in trouble in America. It’s in deep trouble because it’s causing so much harm,” Li concluded.

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

FCC Statement on World Press Freedom Day

    
 
This World Press Freedom Day, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong reinforces its commitment to pushing to maintain freedom of the press in Hong Kong and around the globe.
 
As journalists and media organisations in Hong Kong face rising pressure and uncertainty due to the recent passing of the Safeguarding National Security Act, May 3 acts as a reminder for government officials to respect their stated commitment to press freedom. It is also a day for media professionals to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
 
Today we celebrate the media’s role in providing a platform to tell stories which keep our society informed and engaged about issues which affect us all. We advocate for journalists’ right to continue to carry out their work unhindered, free of harassment and danger.
 
We show solidarity with Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia for over a year, and the hundreds of journalists imprisoned or killed as a consequence of doing their jobs covering conflicts in Myanmar, Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere.  
 
The Israel-Gaza war, in particular, calls attention to the need for governments to do more to safeguard journalists’ ability to inform the public. We mourn the 97 journalists and media workers killed in the course of covering that war, and express our deep concern for the 45 others reported injured, missing or arrested.1
 
The FCC will continue to monitor the press freedom situation in Hong Kong, make statements and question government policy with an aim to ensure that journalists can carry out their work without fear or favour.

“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forgo” – Mahatma Gandhi



1Committee to Protect Journalists, 29 April 2024 https://cpj.org/2024/04/journalist-casualties-in-the-israel-gaza-conflict

Nominees for the Election of the Board of Governors 2024-2025

Dear Members,

Here are the nominations for the FCC Board of Governors 2024-2025. Below are links to each nominee’s bio and policy statement. Please read them before voting.

 

Notes:    
  a. Please indicate your vote by putting a “✓” in the appropriate bracket. Any mark other than a “✓” shall invalidate this Ballot paper.  
  b. If vote(s) casted exceed(s) the number allowed in respective capacity, this Ballot paper shall be invalid.  
  c. Bio & policy statements of the candidates are available at the FCC website <www.fcchk.org>.  
  d. The completed Ballot paper must be received by the Club, either by mail or in the Ballot box, not later than 3pm on Thursday, 23 May 2024.  
     

CANDIDATES


PRESIDENT
(The position of President can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)
1. Lee WILLIAMSON – SCMP
     

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
(The position of First Vice President can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)

2. Morgan DAVIS – IFR Asia
     

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
(The position of Second Vice President can be voted by Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than one)

3. Tim HUXLEY – Mandarin Shipping
     

CORRESPONDENT MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Correspondent Governor can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than eight)

4. Karly COX – Tatler Asia
5. Jennifer JETT – Asia Digital Editor, NBC News
6. Karen KOH – Freelance broadcast journalist
7. Kari Soo LINDBERG– Bloomberg News
8. Kristie LU STOUT – CNN International
9. Connor MYCROFT – SCMP
10. Dean NAPOLITANO – The New York Times International Edition
11. Peter PARKS – AFP
12. Stephanie Barrio THORN – The New York Times
13. Laura WESTBROOK – Feature Story News
14. William ZHENG – SCMP
     

JOURNALIST MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Journalist Governor can be voted by Correspondent or Journalist members)
(Vote for not more than two)

15. Zela CHIN – TVB
16. HO Man Kit Raymond – Metro Broadcast Corp. Ltd.
17. Joe PAN – NFTMetta News
     

ASSOCIATE MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Associate Governor can be voted by Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than four)

18. CHAN Nap Kee Joseph – Oriental Patron Financial Group
19. LIU Kin-ming – KM & Associates
20. Lynne MULHOLLAND – The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels
21. Christopher SLAUGHTER – AIA Group
22. Barbara YU LARSSON – PAKT Limited
23. Alexandra YUNG – Creasians Company Ltd

FCC Statement on border entry denial of Reporters Without Borders representative

    
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is concerned that a representative of global press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been denied entry to Hong Kong by the city’s immigration officials.
 
Aleksandra Bielakowska travelled to Hong Kong twice in 2023 without incident, both times in her professional capacity as an Advocacy Officer at RSF, but was denied entry on this trip. Her colleague Cédric Alviani, who was travelling with Ms Bielakowska on April 10, was granted entry to Hong Kong.
 
The FCC has reached out to the Immigration Department to ask why Ms Bielakowska was denied entry.
 
While we appreciate that the Immigration Department does not normally comment on individual cases, we respectfully request an explanation in order to improve the transparency of the system, and so that the public may better understand the reasons behind the decision.
 
 

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