OxHKScholars was delighted to cohost a speaker event with OxHKPASS (Oxford University Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society) on 21 October 2019 at St John's College. We were honoured to have Mr Alan Leong, SC（梁家傑 資深大律師） to give a sharing entitled "What are the obgliations of the UK and international community to Hong Kong?". We were also grateful to have Prof. Rana Mitter to chair the discussion.
Since the proposal of the Extradition Bill, there have been a number of protests against the Bill, and soon escalated to a city-wide social movement. Even with the formal withdrawal of the Bill after 13 weeks of protests, people’s concern has been already shifted from the Bill itself to larger political issues. The movement has been ongoing for more than 18 weeks. As student societies at Oxford, we would like to facilitate more dialogue with the international community. On the other hand, we would like to offer our friends in Oxford, far away from home, a platform to voice out their thoughts.
Alan Leong SC is the Chairman of Civic Party, the second largest political party in the Pan-democratic Camp in Hong Kong. A former chair of the Hong Kong Bar Association and legislator, Mr Leong was also a founding member of the Civic Party, ran against Donald Tsang in the 2007 Chief Executive elections, and served as Convenor of Pan-democrats during the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
Rana Mitter is the Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China and the Director of the University of Oxford China Centre. He studies the emergence of nationalism in modern China, both in the early twentieth century and in the contemporary era. He is particularly interested in the impact of China's war with Japan in the 1930s and 1940s on the development of Chinese politics, society, and culture. He is a fellow of St Cross College.
In the sharing, Mr Leong talked about the contrasting "Chinese model" and "Liberal democratic model" prevailing in the current global stage. He emphasied Hong Kong has an indispensable and special role in embodying the liberal values and systems as a Chinese city. He also shared about his European tour in which he visited the European Union, the European Commission, the French Parliament, and the UK Houses to advocate the democracy and human rights in Hong Kong. We were grateful that we gathered more than 100 participents, many of who came from different parts of the world. The audience engaged in lively dialogue with Mr Leong where they raised their own concerns.
After the sharing, the student representatives invited Mr Leong and other guests for a dinner to continue the vivid discussion.