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«This was not an election but a selection»

A conversation with Anson Chan

Anson Chan, former Chief Secretary of Administration the Hong Kong Special Administration Region (HKSAR), although retired for many years from public service, has not lost her verve and spirit when discussing Hong Kong. At Asia Society Switzerland’s inaugural event in Geneva in cooperation with the GCSP she examined Hong Kong’s relations to Mainland China and the recent election of Carrie Lam as the new Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

Anson Chan sees little reason to celebrate the 20-year-anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to the PRC. In her opinion there is a growing propensity to rewrite the basic law by PRC officials. A steady erosion of basic rights and freedoms as well the erosion of the independence of its judiciary does not bode well for the city according to her. Whilst the basic law stipulated, that by 2007 a decision can be taken on „One Man One Vote“, 10 year on – according to Anson Chan – they are further away than ever.
„This was not an election but a selection“, comments Anson Chan on Carrie Lam, the incoming Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Carrie Lam has the lowest popularity rates of any incoming Chief Executive, so her first task will be to win an uphill battle for the hearts and minds of the young people. While Anson Chan is harsh in her assessment of Hong Kong’s political establishment and relations with Mainland China, she is hopeful, that the city’s youth can still make a difference. They are ready to stand up in public and defend the city’s main „software“ and USP versus other Chinese cities: the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a clean civil service and due process.