Former Consuls General Statement on Hong Kong

A bunch of us signed on to a statement about the situation in Hong Kong; widespread and strong support. Others did the drafting and work, but thanks to miracle of alphabetical order, I ended up on top of the list. Apologies to Joe Yun at the end.

Hong Kong Open Statement

We, the undersigned, want to express our grave concerns about China’s recent actions to undermine the rights of the people of Hong Kong, and to voice our strong support for congressional action to ensure that the United States supports the people of Hong Kong in these difficult times.

When the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China agreed in 1984 to a transition of governing power over Hong Kong in 1997, the people of Hong Kong were promised at least 50 years to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, as well as the maintenance of Hong Kong’s open and free society, respected common law system, and democratic traditions.  In recent years, China has reneged on that promise, encroaching on its promise of “one country, two systems”. Beijing’s latest move to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, even as it circumvented the city’s elected legislature, has undermined the rights of the people of Hong Kong and signaled a fundamental breaking of China’s promises. The United States must work closely together with countries around the world to support the people of Hong Kong who are threatened by this new law.

We support efforts in Congress to help the people of Hong Kong who will now be at greater risk of imprisonment and persecution under the new national security law. That is why we support the bipartisan Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act that would offer asylum to Hong Kong activists, protestors and those most at risk of persecution under the new law. We also support the bipartisan Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act, which would provide Temporary Protected Status for Hong Kong residents already living in the United States, expedite Special High Skill Visas for highly-skilled Hong Kong residents, and offer additional immigration opportunities to Hong Kong residents in the event of an even deeper crackdown by Beijing.

By passing both these bills, Congress would show that America is prepared to open its doors not just to brave activists and peaceful protestors but also other Hongkongers that Beijing fears will leave. The situation in Hong Kong is urgent and requires a strong U.S. response rooted firmly in our values and long history of providing safe harbor to those fleeing tyranny.

Richard Boucher, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Amb. James B Cunningham, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel and Afghanistan

Glyn Davies, Ambassador (ret.), former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs 

Joseph R. Donovan, Jr., Ambassador (ret.), former Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Michael Fuchs, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Nina Hachigian, former U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN

Clifford A. Hart, Jr., former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

James Keith, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Kelly Magsamen, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Richard W. Mueller, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Laura Rosenberger, former Director for China on the National Security Council

Amy Searight, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs 

David B. Shear, former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Susan Shirk, Research Professor School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Susan Thornton, former Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Kurt Tong, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Richard Williams, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Stephen M. Young, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Joe Yun, Ambassador (ret.)

July 5, 2020 – Ming Pao Interview — Sad days for Hong Kong

Ming Pao published on July 5 some additional questions and answers with me on Hong Kong. See the Chinese articles here and here. The full text in English is here.

TL-DR: All my life, I’ve been bullish on Hong Kong, even at critical moments like the Handover.  No more.  I’m afraid that, over time, the city so many of us love will lose its energy and its lustre.