Members Area

We want reunification dialogue with North Korea, but only after nuclear program is stopped – South Korea

Enna Park, centre, during her press conference at the FCC. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Enna Park, centre, during her press conference at the FCC. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

South Korea hasn’t taken its unification hopes off the table, but North Korea will need to ditch its nuclear program before such dialogue can begin, said South Korea’s Ambassador for public diplomacy.

Enna Park was talking at a press conference held at the FCC on June 27. She said that South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, was keen to open up communication with the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) but that talks were unlikely unless sanctions, coupled with incentives to drop nuclear development, were to come to fruition.

“When the conditions are right, when North Korea feels more comfortable talking with South Korea, we will have dialogue with North Korea. We will not attempt to unify North Korea by any means. It doesn’t mean we’re not keeping up our aspirations for reunification,” she said.

When asked whether South Korea’s new government was seeking engagement with North Korea, and whether the time was right for engagement in light of the death American student Otto Warmbier at the hands of the regime, Park said: “Yes, engagement is on the menu. No, it is not the right time to engage North Korea. The government wants to open the room to engagement if conditions are right in the future. We do not have a very concrete, clear description about conditions. It is subject to further consultation.”

She added: “The death of Otto Warmbier is very horrible, it reminds us of the horrible violation of human rights by North Korea.”

On the topic of South Korea’s plans to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system, and China’s reaction by urging boycotts of South Korean companies operating in China, Park said the government’s priority was protecting its people: “Probably it’s better not to try to please everybody. It is a critical asset to us to protect our own security. The priority is our national interest, our security. The top priority is not how to please the others.”

…we cannot rule out some intentional launch of missiles towards China under circumstances in the future.

She added that she was aware that China was concerned with how the system might be used – “they have their own concerns on the possible use of system to surveil what’s going on inside Chinese territory” – but said that her government was ready to discuss those concerns with China.

Having worked for many years at the Korean embassy in Beijing, Park also shed light on the threat felt by China from its ally North Korea. “The direction of missiles launched by North Korea is usually headed to South Korea western sea or eastern sea,” she said. “I think China had some worries about a possible mistake… or we cannot rule out some intentional launch of missiles towards China under circumstances in the future.”

Park also talked of the bridges South Korea is are attempting to build with Japan, with which it also has historical conflict, namely the use of Korean females as “comfort women” for Imperial Japanese soldiers during World War II. She said South Korea’s previous government had wanted to resolve historic matters before pressing on with any regional partnership.

“The previous government took the approach that we have to solve history problems first then liaise with Japan, but this approach actually didn’t bring any good result,” Park said. “So the new government has a two track approach: on one hand we’ll continue to work on history issues. On the other hand we will work with Japan to achieve common goals – solving the nuclear problems of North Korea and establishing peace in the region… creating synergy for economy, so many things that we can work together.”

When World War II ended in 1945, Japan lost control of Korea to Allied forces, leaving Korea to be divided in two, with the Soviet Union administering the northern half and the United States administering the southern half. Since then, the threat of nuclear annihilation as the north began developing nuclear capabilities has hung over the south.

Guangdong on track to become leading science and tech hub

Professor Huang Ningsheng talked about Guangdong's bid to become an innovation hub Professor Huang Ningsheng talked about Guangdong’s bid to become an innovation hub

Investment in Guangdong’s scientific research and development is expected to take up 2.58% of the province’s total GDP for 2016, according to the Director-General of its department of science and technology.

It is a figure that looks set to increase over the coming years as the province, which neighbours Hong Kong, seeks to enhance its competitiveness and further cement its reputation as an up-and-coming scientific and technical innovation hub.

During the November 30 club lunch, guest speaker Professor Huang Ningsheng told the audience of the push to not only attract talent to the province, but also to produce talent by way of creating new R&D institutions and universities.

The former Dean of the Guangdong Provincial Academy of Sciences said that support from the Chinese Government had been essential in making Guangdong province home to some of China’s fastest growing tech companies. He added that even President Xi Jinping had ‘provided us with a lot of guidance’.

He said that the NPC Standing Committee of Guangdong Province was this week reviewing legislation that could speed up the transfer of science and technology findings into business results. Guangdong Province will also benefit from the Chinese government providing subsidies for venture capitalists who invest in R&D institutions and tech companies.

“We’re seeing the new round of technical revolution and industrial revolution,” he said.

Professor Huang said the key factors in ensuring the province’s continued growth as a tech hub were the creation of more incubators – which help turn research findings into products that businesses can sell – and laboratories to engage in basic applied research. He added that legislation to protect intellectual property rights was also essential in attracting talent and investment to the province.

The focus for Guangdong is the production of smart robots, telecommunications and life science and health.

China was ‘lawless’ and ‘brazen’ in booksellers abduction incident, PEN America report finds

Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, released the findings of a report into the Causeway Bay booksellers incident Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, released the findings of a report into the Causeway Bay booksellers incident

China’s lawless and brazen actions in reaching across boundaries to detain five Hong Kong booksellers has set a chilling precedent that should not be allowed to happen again, according to the conclusion of a report by PEN America.

Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, an association of prominent literary writers and editors that works to advance literature and to defend free expression, set out the findings of a report into the incident which made headlines around the world. She told a packed FCC on November 5 that the incident called into question the strength and force of the One Country, Two Systems framework, adding: “Around the world, the role and position of Hong Kong was called into question.”

Nossel also warned that China’s willingness to insist that ethnicity trumps nationality – one of the booksellers was Swedish, another British – was a ‘really worrying development’ which could in the future impact on Chinese people around the world.

Lam Wing-kee, one of the abducted men, spoke as a member of a panel at the FCC which also included the most senior member of the Hong Kong legislative council, James To, and Bao Pu, a well-known Hong Kong publisher of books about the Chinese government. Lam accused Chinese president Xi Jinping of being a ‘stubborn and close-minded’ authoritarian desperate to keep his CCP members in check. He said officials like Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai – both jailed for corruption – were ‘pushed off their thrones’ but added: “There are plenty we don’t know about.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Lam, the founder of Causeway Bay Books who was detained in China for eight months and made to give a false confession, warned that China was intent on restricting the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. He said: “This case shows undoubtedly that the Chinese government is tightening its rule over Hong Kong.”

He cited the recent announcement from Beijing that it would issue a new interpretation of the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s constitution – following the controversial swearing in of two young pro-independence lawmakers, as well as the Hong Kong government’s call for a judicial review on the matter. “This not only shows that the Hong Kong government has been reduced merely to a pawn of Beijing, it also shows Beijing wants to maintain control over Hong Kong as soon as possible.”

Lam said that the rise of the pro-democracy and pro-independence movements in Hong Kong was a result of ‘the Chinese government’s severe interference with Hong Kong affairs’ since the handover. But he added: “Hong Kong people are still fighting and should not give up.”

Bao explained to the press conference how the Chinese government was using its AVIP project – China’s crackdown on what it sees as insulting or vulgar content – to silence those publishing any material potentially embarrassing to the government. Since 2010 it was also tasked with ensuring that such material was not distributed in Hong Kong, including a move to suppress media outlets in the city and target those printing such material.

He added that the legal framework supporting One Country, Two Systems was Hong Kong’s greatest asset, and that China’s recent actions were ‘not strictly legal.’

Rémi Carrier: War on terror could lead to a battlefield without doctors

Rémi Carrier tells an FCC audience how the rules of war have changed - and they're no longer protecting medics Rémi Carrier tells an FCC audience how the rules of war have changed – and they’re no longer protecting medics

A change in military strategies due to the war on terror risks a battlefield without doctors. That was the stark warning from guest speaker Rémi Carrier, executive director of Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) during a talk about the increasing level of attacks on hospitals and aid convoys in war-torn areas.

Carrier appealed to all governments to revoke their ‘license to kill all’ and once again guarantee protection to those brave medics working at the front line. He was also critical of the UN Security Council and U.S. government in failing to help establish responsibility for recent attacks on hospitals in Syria and Afghanistan.

“We seek accountability, not justice,” he said.

Speaking on November 3 at a talk titled Targeting Hospitals and Aid Convoys: Old War Crime or New Tactic?, Carrier explained how previously governments in war-torn countries had honoured the Geneva Conventions that cover the rules of war, as well as other international laws designed to protect hospitals and medical staff. However, in recent years the war on terror has led to a change in the rules and many countries now do not safeguard hospitals on the frontline. This has led to devastating attacks on medical facilities including Aleppo and last year’s atrocity in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Of the Kunduz incident, in which 42 people – including medical staff – were killed after a sustained bombing of the hospital, Carrier said that the only official response to questions of why it had happened had come from the U.S., who had produced a report citing ‘mistakes’ and technical errors. Carrier told how the raid had begun in the early hours and lasted 45 minutes, during which time patients burned and those fleeing the hospital were shot from the air. There had been a strict no weapons policy at the hospital, meaning there was supposed to be an understanding that it was not a legitimate target.

FCC Correspondent Governor Florence de Changy with Rémi Carrier ahead of his talk today on the dangers faced by medics on the frontline FCC Correspondent Governor Florence de Changy with Rémi Carrier ahead of his talk today on the dangers faced by medics on the frontline

He said MSF did not accept the findings of the report and was pushing for an independent inquiry to provide accountability. When pressed, Carrier said: “(There were) Special Forces on the ground. There was technology. A very expensive plane. A report about technical issues and radios with no batteries. It’s a bit too much… We’re doubting and we do not believe what we have read.”

Carrier said new anti-terror framework now meant that international laws were being ignored, and that governments believed they could go after their enemies in ‘unrestrained fashion’ – meaning ‘today everybody is an enemy’.

He added that the recent escalation in attacks on medical facilities had led to extremely low morale among some of the 35,000 medics working for MSF. “It’s terrible. It has been a big shock for the organisation.”

MSF plans to reopen the hospital at Kunduz, although it is seeking a new facility because ‘our staff on the ground are saying they don’t want to work again in places their colleagues have been killed’.

Donate to MSF here

Philippe Metoudi: Why China’s billion dollar investment in Israel is only going to grow

Guest speaker Philippe Metoudi on Israel's relationship with China Guest speaker Philippe Metoudi on Israel’s relationship with China

China’s two-way trade with in Israel has gone from zero to US$4bn in the last three years, as the mainland seeks to position itself at the cutting edge of technological development, according to Philippe Metoudi, guest speaker at the October 25 club lunch.

Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing has the largest investment in the Middle Eastern country – with more interests there than he has in the U.S. – but it appears online shopping giant Alibaba is also looking to invest significantly in Israel after owner Jack Ma bought Visualead, a QR code generator created in Tel Aviv. In fact, a growing number of China’s state-owned enterprises are acquiring Israeli tech companies, Metoudi said.

Why? In part because Tel Aviv is now widely considered second only to Silicon Valley in terms of its development of technology. And China’s powerful manufacturing capability at low cost is an attractive prospect for many Israeli firms, he said.

Metoudi, co-author of Israel and China: From Silk Road To Innovation Highway, recounted the long relationship between China and the Jewish state, a relationship set to prosper even further under President Xi Jinping’s plan to connect China with Eurasia – the so-called Silk Road Economic Belt – a feat Metoudi said could not be achieved without going through Israel. He said even Cathay Pacific was, from next year, going to introduce a new route to Israel for the first time.

But as far as Hong Kong’s tech start-up scene was concerned, the outlook wasn’t so rosy. Asked whether Hong Kong could catch up to Tel Aviv or even Silicon Valley, Metoudi said it was unlikely.

“There are two things lacking in Hong Kong. One is the mix of engineers. In Israel you get British engineers, Russian, French…” He said of the second: “A lot of people would be reluctant to be in Hong Kong due to the proximity of China.”

Having presented slides showing the China’s growing investment in Israeli companies, Metoudi concluded: “This is only the beginning. In five years I can guarantee that all the numbers I have shown you will be higher.”

Invitation for specialists on House Committee

Dear Members

 

Invitation for specialists on House Committee

 

The FCC would like to reach out to members with strong experience working as project managers on building projects to join the House Committee as it prepares for a number of capital projects in the coming year. We are seeking individuals with professional experience who can devote time to scrutinizing contractors and assist in the preparation of tender documents. Projects include a refurbishment of the main dining room to take place next summer; a short list of interested designers has been identified and the committee is in the process of preparing a referral-for-proposal. In addition, the club plans a significant upgrade of its audio visual systems and would welcome input from members with professional experience in the field.

 

If you are interested to get involved, please contact Joanne Chung on [email protected] with a cover letter/CV outlining your relevant professional experience.

 

Simon Pritchard
House Committee convener & Club Secretary

Clare Hollingworth’s 105th Birthday Party

Friends are invited to toast the grande
doyenne of war correspondents on
Monday, October 10, 2016
In the Bunker
12:30pm
Canapés by FCC, drinks on members’ own accounts
Please let us know if you would like to come, (tel) 2521 1511
(fax) 2868 4092 or (email) [email protected]

 

Invitation for Tender: Video & Sound Recording and Uploading FCC Club Events

Invitation for Tender

 

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is looking for a suitable individual or company to carry out the following project:

 

Video & Sound Recording and Uploading FCC Club Events

 

Contract period: 1 December 2016 – 30 November 2017

 

Deadline for tender: Friday, 28 October 2016 by 6:00pm

 

MISSION

Filming and editing videos and sound recordings at Club events to a professional standard and uploading them promptly to the FCC website.

 

BACKGROUND

The FCC is Hong Kong’s most prominent speaker venue. Over the past decades, the Club has welcomed hundreds of guest speakers to have their saySome have more to say than others, some say it better than others, but the speakers’ list at the Club over the years is a veritable who’s who of who-does-what-to-whom in Hong Kong, Asia and the world.

 

In order for our members and interested parties from all over the world to be able to review these speeches, FCC records and posts the videos and sound files recorded in these events to the FCC website. Several hundred of the Club’s speaker events can now be viewed online and we  aim to continue building this valuable archive.

 

ROLE OF THE CONTRACTOR

  • The contractor reports directly to the Communications Conveners, and will liaise on logistics through the Club management. Hence, the contractor’s services are peripheral to the Club’s operation and are not integrated into it;
  • Hiring assistants to fulfill the job requirement is entirely up to the contractor’s decision at its own costs, however it is expected to include the proposed plan in the response to tender;
  • Payment will be released per event upon successful upload to FCC website and submission of invoice;
  • FCCHK holds all copyrights to all materials, and retains final approval for all content before release. FCCHK also reserves all rights to add, edit and remove any content before and after release.

 

EXPECTATION ON THE CONTRACTOR

  • Knowledge in operating multi-media software in order to film and edit videos recorded from Club events, to maintain and update the related web page on the Club’s website, plus associated social media platforms;
  • Knowledge in working web and possesses HTML formatting skills;
  • Basic archiving knowledge to maintain the video archive;
  • Provide its own tools and equipment to carry out the project.

 

Project Description

The Contractor is required to:

  • Attend each required Club event to perform filming and recording;
  • Upload the edited video and a synopsis of each Club event to the FCC website within 24 hours;
  • Backup the recorded videos onto two hard disks provided by the Club when a new video is uploaded to the web. The hard disks shall be returned to the General Manager of the Club after every backup;
  • Update Club events, announcements or other content as directed to the Club’s Social Media pages (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn);
  • Keeping track of traffic and reporting monthly in person to the Communications Conveners at the meeting about video viewing records;
  • Complete ad hoc tasks assigned by the Communications Conveners;
  • Prepare a summary report of the project by 21 October 2017 to the Committee through the Club management. In the report it should include but not limited to all working files and access codes to any multimedia platforms. Release of the final payment is subject to a satisfactory submission.

 

Interested parties please submit your tender & a copy of your business registration before the deadline to:

FCC
North Block
2 Lower Albert Road
Central HK

 

Please quote reference code “CCC2016” and indicate “Tender for Video & Sound Recording 2016/2017” on your tender submission.

 

Any questions should be directed to the undersigned or our Administration Department Ms Joanne Chung at (tel) 2844 2830 or (email) [email protected]

 

Gilbert Cheng
General Manager
Tel: 2844 2844 / Email: [email protected]

Invitation for Tender: FCC Club Events Coordination Service

Invitation for Tender

 

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is looking for a suitable individual or company to carry out the following project:

 

FCC Club Events Coordination Service

 

Contract period: 1 November 2016 – 31 October 2017

 

Deadline for tender: Friday, 7 October 2016

 

MISSION

FCCHK strives to provide a platform for distinguished speakers to interact with media and the membership from diverse professional fields.

 

BACKGROUND

The FCC is Hong Kong’s most prominent speaker venue. Over the past decades literally hundreds of speakers have had their say. Some have more to say than others, some say it better than others, but the speakers list at the Club over the years is a veritable who’s who of who-does-what-to-whom in Asia and the World.

 

A professional and experienced individual or company is therefore required to invite speakers who will be of interest to the membership, and coordinate between the Club and committed speakers on related aspects.

 

ROLE OF THE CONTRACTOR

  • The contractor reports directly to the Professional Committee, and will liaise logistics through the Club management. Hence, contractor’s services are peripheral to the Club’s operation and are not integrated into it;
  • Hiring helpers to fulfill the job requirement is entirely up to the contractor’s decision at its own costs, however it is expected to include the plan in the tender;
  • Payment will be released on the following terms upon submission of invoice:

1. A payment for handling all monthly emails, agendas and minutes; and

2. A payment on event basis.

  • FCCHK holds all copyrights to all materials, and retains final approval for all content before release. FCCHK also reserves all rights to add, edit and remove any content before and after release.

 

EXPECTATION ON THE CONTRACTOR

  • Experience in working with journalistic organizations and media;
  • Fluency in English, Cantonese and Mandarin
  • Provide its own tools and equipment to carry out the project.

 

Project Description

The Contractor is required to:

  • Prepare flyers for each event;
  • Attend each Club event;
  • Play a role as the bridge between speakers and the Club;
  • Revert ideas and thoughts of the Professional Committee to speakers in a timely manner, and vice versa;
  • Prepare agenda and take minutes for the monthly Professional Committee;
  • Complete ad hoc tasks assigned by the Professional Committee;
  • Prepare a summary report of the project by 21 October 2017 to the Committee through the Club management. In the report it should include but not limited to all working files. Release of the final payment is subject to a satisfactory submission.

 

Interested parties please submit your tender & a copy of your business registration before the deadline to:

FCC

North Block

2 Lower Albert Road

Central HK

 

Please quote reference code “ProfComm2016” and indicate “Tender for Club Events Co-ordinator 2016/2017” on your tender submission.

 

Any questions should be directed to the undersigned or our Administration Department Ms Joanne Chung at (tel) 2844 2830 or (email) [email protected]

 

Gilbert Cheng

General Manager

Tel: 2844 2844 / Email: [email protected]

Expulsion of Ursula Gauthier

2196_001_0-650x919

We measure site performance with cookies to improve performance.