Johnny Patterson

Johnny Patterson is the Director of Hong Kong Watch

Carrie Lam’s disastrous legacy in Hong Kong

When Carrie Lam became Hong Kong’s chief executive in 2017, she positioned herself as a candidate for unity. Five years on, having announced this morning her decision to step down, she will be remembered as Hong Kong’s most divisive leader.  There is a grim irony that Lam – who was Beijing’s favoured choice for the top job – used ‘WeConnect’ as

The Pillar of Shame and the erasure of Hong Kong

In the dead of night one of the most prominent memorials to the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Pillar of Shame, was removed from Hong Kong University this week. The eight-metre high statue – commemorating the thousands killed in Beijing’s brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in June 1989 – was filmed being loaded into a container

The Supreme Court’s shameful statement on Hong Kong

In a statement which will doubtless surprise the scores of lawyers, democratic politicians and human rights activists who are currently in jail awaiting show trials under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, the UK Supreme Court today made an announcement which is the best piece of free PR that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has

Boris’s China plan is a missed opportunity

From Brexit to China, ‘cakeism’ – the idea that it is possible to govern without making hard choices – appears to be the defining philosophy of Boris Johnson’s government. A hawk to the hawks and a dove to the doves; the Prime Minister wants to be all things to all men. The result is that the

Disney’s Mulan is everything Xi Jinping could wish for

The last year has seen a litany of corporates bend the knee to the mighty Chinese Communist party. From HSBC’s ringing endorsement of China’s controversial national security law, to the NBA choosing to denounce a pro-Hong Kong coach, big business has decided that, when it comes to China, profit trumps principle. But Disney’s latest film release, Mulan,

Welcome to authoritarian Hong Kong

The national security law in Hong Kong has been passed for just over a month, but the scope of Beijing’s plans are now clear. This is a constitutional coup. The safeguards which have historically defended human rights in Hong Kong have been shattered. Rule of law has been replaced with rule by law – and

Will Boris Johnson stand with Hong Kong?

Hong Kong, ‘Asia’s World City’, is becoming a place where legislators fear that they could face years in prison for talking to politicians from other countries, including British MPs. So many of us have fond memories of Hong Kong. Dynamic and vibrant, the city is a melting pot of different cultures, which represents the meeting

Washington is furious at Boris’s Huawei bid

Boris Johnson faced his first major rebellion of the new parliament on Tuesday. Parliamentarians are waking up to the fact that this decision has far greater diplomatic ramifications than was originally appreciated. Despite their sizeable majority, the government narrowly avoided defeat and will be vulnerable when future bills relating to Huawei are tabled. The reaction

How coronavirus can save Hong Kong

The coronavirus has enforced a hiatus in Hong Kong’s widespread political unrest with worries about transmission stalling protests. Dissatisfaction with the government still festers, fuelled by the mishandling of the health crisis – all the ingredients are there for protests to reignite. But the lull in the unrest gives the Hong Kong government and their