Category Archives : Interview (#NoFilter)

INTERVIEW – Fengsuo Zhou: 1989 Student Leader & Once China’s Fifth Most Wanted

Earlier this month, HongWrong spoke to Chinese dissident Fengsuo Zhou who flew in from the US to visit the main Occupy site in Admiralty. Once China’s fifth ‘most wanted’, Zhou was a student leader during the 1989 protests which led to the Tiananmen massacre. He is now working to raise awareness of the issue of political prisoners in the mainland.

Fengsuo Zhou in his tent

HongWrong: What was your role in Tiananmen and what has happened since?

Zhou: I was a student. I was on most wanted list, number five of twenty-one most wanted nationwide. I was a member of Beijing’s Independence Student Association. I spent one year in prison. I went to United States in January ‘95. I stayed there since.

My recent activity mostly is as co-founder and director of Humanitarian China. We focus on providing humanitarian support for the prisoners of China. That’s one reason why I came here – to speak up for these people who are jailed for their roles in supporting Hong Kong. There are about 100 of them so far.

INTERVIEW – Benny Tai Says Citizens May Elect Their Own Leader in 2017 if Occupy Fails

No Filter interviewIn an interview with Hong Wrong & Francis Moriarty yesterday, Occupy Central organiser Benny Tai reacted to news that Beijing will not allow open elections in Hong Kong and revealed that Hong Kongers may be invited to vote in an unofficial ‘parallel’ election in 2017.

Should the civil disobedience movement fail and Beijing remain unwilling to budge on the issue of universal suffrage, Tai said that a ‘shadow’ chief executive may be chosen by citizens. The referendum infrastructure previously used in an earlier unofficial poll on democracy would be used to elect a popular leaders. Their chosen leader would hold no power and voters may be invited to boycott the official election.

Tai also admitted that those who partake in the upcoming civil disobedience activities risk arrest. Protests, rallies and class boycotts are planned by the pro-democracy movement over the coming days and weeks.

INTERVIEW – Activist Shane Claiborne Reacts to HK’s Anti-LGBT Christian Movement 1

no FilterMeet the ‘ordinary radical’ and ‘good extremist’ Shane Claiborne.

A religious activist and author, Shane is as respected as he is controversial amongst even his own Christian community. He has gone out of his way to apologise to non-believers on behalf of ‘bad Christianity’, he spent time in Iraq during the initial 2003 US bombing, he has (literally) turned guns into gardening tools and was once prosecuted for feeding the homeless. His advocacy for a more embracing ‘Jesus-like’ Christianity has won him fans amongst even the most hardened agnostics.

Last week, Claiborne was in Hong Kong for the Justice Conference. He spoke of his activism to Hong Wrong and reacted to the city’s spate of anti-LGBT protests and Christian International School’s homophobic recruitment policies.

INTERVIEW – Benny Tai: Occupy Central Organiser, Part 1 – ‘The Basics’

No Filter Interview seriesWhat is the pro-democracy ‘Occupy Central with Love & Peace’ plan and why is it dominating the news? Organiser and HKU Associate Professor at Law Benny Tai explains it like you’re 10 in a new ‘back-to-basics’ interview with Hong Wrong. The 20-minute primer about the non-violent ‘last resort’ protest movement includes:

  • The basics: Who is behind Occupy Central? What are its aims and how did we get here?
  • Beijing’s response: How does the movement fit in with Beijing’s own idea of ‘universal suffrage with Chinese characteristics’?
  • Methods: What does the complicated deliberation process entail? Does Benny have a personal preference for an election model? And how does HK’s situation compare to Taiwan’s recent occupation protest?
  • Media coverage: Is there a conscious effort to smear the campaign? How valid are the predictions of violence and accusations that the proposal is ‘illegal’?

You can listen to the interview in a number of formats…

English captions are embedded in the video above. You can also stream an audio version below.

INTERVIEW – Hong Kong’s Welsh Male Voice Choir

Hong Kong’s very own Welsh Male Voice Choir performed at the HK Fan Zone Festival last night in the New Central Harbourfront park. Hong Wrong caught up with Simon Clennell and chairman Nigel Sharman…

Do you have to be Welsh to join your choir?

Nigel: Certainly not, no! We have a fairly small percentage of Welsh people in our choir – the rest of us come from all over the place. From England, Scotland, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Would you let a girl in? What if she was a really good baritone? 

Simon: No, you have to be male – that’s the only condition!

What is the history of Welsh Male Voice Choirs? Is it something to do with mining and Margaret Thatcher?

Nigel: It’s a bit to do with Margaret Thatcher I think, but they were going long before she had a go at them.

Simon: It’s certainly to do with mining and the traditions of the valley – every Welsh village had a pit, a chapel, a pub and a choir in the old days. Most of the mines have closed, and you could blame Margaret Thatcher partly for that but the choirs are still going. Not just in Wales but all over the world. To our knowledge, we’re the only one in Asia.

So a choir was set up in the seventies in Hong Kong – do they tend to be a thing in ex-British colonial states?

Simon: Yeah, I think it probably is a colonial thing. Though, not necessary, as we occasionally go to festivals – we sung at the Royal Albert Hall and you actually get Welsh Choirs coming from places like Slovenia, which is extraordinary but it happens. But the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice choir was formed by a group of Welsh expats in 1978, so we’re just over 35 years old. Originally it was just Welsh – it was a small group just formed to perform at the St David’s Ball that year. But it’s grown since them to around 65 members from about a dozen nationalities.

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INTERVIEW – What’s Hip in HK’s Back Yard? Win a New Guidebook

A new travel guidebook demystifies the great megalopolis beyond Lo Wu. HK’s back yard is more than just Queen’s Spa, cheap crap and dodgy dentists, so Hong Wrong spoke to the publisher of a new guidebook entitled ‘Explore the Pearl River Delta’ for some tips…

Scroll down for details on how to win a copy.

Harvey Thomlinson, what are your top 5 tips for Hong Kongers and expats visiting Shenzhen?

  1. Culture in Shenzhen is thriving as grassroots creative enterprises are making their presence felt with far more cutting-edge shows and exhibitions. The OCT Loft is a great place to check out contemporary art and design. (Subway: OCT)
  2. Shenzhen offers a surprisingly sophisticated live music scene. At B10 – home to the annual OCT Jazz Festival –  you can check out everything from Japanese pop to avant-garde German electro. (Subway: OCT/Qiaocheng East.)
  3. The well preserved Ming Dynasty Dapeng Fortress, located about a 90 minute bus ride from Luo Wu, played a critical role in China’s coastal defence for centuries. (From Luohu, take a No. H92 or E11 bus to Dapeng City and then a taxi or local bus to Pengcheng Village.)
  4. Shenzhen has a number of scenic park such as Lotus Mountain Park, which is located right in the heart of the central Futian district. On Sunday mornings, the beautiful gardens are alive with kite flyers, troops of dancers, people playing badminton and old folk singing revolutionary songs. (subway Lianhua Mountain).
  5. Shenzhen’s native Hakka cuisine is the local fare and can be found in a host of local eateries such as Shekou’s unpretentiously named Hakka Restaurant. (Subway: Seaworld)

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INTERVIEW – HK’s Own Kim Jong-Un Impersonator

Australian Hong Konger, ‘Howard’, is the world’s first Kim Jong-Un impersonator. Yesterday, a video of him wowing onlookers in Hong Kong went viral. Hong Wrong spoke exclusively to the man with the world’s most dangerous job…

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Have you tried your impersonation in other cities?

I have only done this in Hong Kong and Tel Aviv.

What is the reaction like from Hong Kongers?

Almost all of them would either smile and laugh and for some a photo opportunity is a must, especially when I went to LKF. Most people are quite surprised.