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Hong Kong Protest Update 09.10.2019 | Avrom Goldberg

As companies move talent across the globe, they must also remain attuned to occurrences both natural and man-made that could impact their assignees and programs. Part of our role as trusted partner is keeping clients appraised of such occurrences, and offering seasoned insight and advice. Political unrest in Hong Kong has been making news recently, and in this post, Avrom Goldberg, our SVP of Client Services for the APAC, EMEA and LATAM regions, offers an update on conditions.

Over the past two weeks, the Hong Kong protests have grown with the emergence of radicalized sub-groups within the larger protest movements. These groups are causing property damage, especially seen in Mass Transit Railway (MTR) or subway stations ticketing machines resulting in some stations to close for a day.

Airports are being affected tremendously as a target site for the protest movements, with the traffic to Hong Kong International Airport being disrupted on weekends, and access roads to the airport, as well as entry to the airport itself now tightly monitored and controlled.

It is highly advisable for travelers to arrive at the airport several hours early for check-in and contact Airline Customer Services for updated flight and airport information before departure.

For those who are living or visiting Hong Kong during these protests, it is best to avoid visiting or moving around some areas at night, especially late at night – and always check the news (e.g. the South China Morning Post (SCMP) app) before visiting districts such Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Admiralty, Mong Kok, Prince Edward, Sham Shui Po, Yuen Long and Tung Chung where unrest has tended to recur.

Police have greatly increased their predisposition to respond quickly, in force and with force – so it is becoming quite routine to see confrontations between police and protesters in multiple locations across Hong Kong involving violence of some sort and multiple arrests. However, such confrontations till now have been limited to weekends or nighttime.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Wednesday 4 September the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill which was the initial and key demand of the mass protest movement in Hong Kong. Ms. Lam also announced she will set up a platform to look into key causes of protest crisis. But she has rejected calls for meeting any of the further four demands of the protest movement which include setting up an independent commission of enquiry into police actions during the protest.

A representative from the China Central Government has conducted a couple of Press Conferences in Hong Kong to further elaborate the importance of “One Country, Two Systems” philosophy.

What is next for Hong Kong?

  • It is unlikely that protests will cease until the four remaining demands from the protest movement are addressed by the Government.
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam has begun her campaign to resolve the situation after the announcement of the withdrawal of the Extradition Bill. Her plan involves:
  • Senior Government officials including herself to meet with local neighborhoods for face-to-face consultation;
  • The introduction of two new members to join the Independent Police Complaint Counsel for more thorough investigation of complaints against the police;
  • Research for a solution to minimize social and political misunderstanding in society.

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Written by Avrom Goldberg

Avrom is the Senior Vice President, Global Client Services for the EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions. He has written extensively on Asia Pacific mobility trends and best practices for such publications as China Staff magazine, HRM China, Human Capital Hong Kong, Bo Le Journal for Strategic Management, Mobility magazine and HR World. Avrom was twice distinguished by The Forum for Expatriate Management, having won the EMMA award for “Outstanding Contribution to APAC Global Mobility” in 2016 and “Global Mobility Professional of the Year” in 2012.

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