Civic Party lawmakers Hon Alvin Yeung and Hon Dennis Kwok visited New York City, Oregon, and Montana of the United States from 13 to 26 August. In New York City, they met with representatives of the business, political and academic sectors and human rights organisations. They then travelled to Montana to attend the “Hong Kong – United States Legislative Exchange” by the Department of State’s invitation. Afterwards they attended the 2019 Republican Platform Convention of the Oregon Republican Party to share the latest developments in Hong Kong.
The key message Alvin and Dennis delivered in this trip is that the suppression of freedom and democracy by the Central and Hong Kong governments over the years have reached a tipping point. The sustained oppression of rights, the crisis sparked by the Extradition Bill, and the threats to personal security of people in Hong Kong have lain concrete foundation for any bill the United States Congress is to pass.
Alvin and Dennis met with international human rights organisations, Hong Kong people living in the States, and representatives of the political and business, legal, and academic sectors. At the meeting with the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, they explained how the current movement is a leaderless movement, and that protestors would often review their actions, and apologise to their fellow citizens when they misbehave. Alvin and Dennis also brought the issue of police brutality in handling of the protests to the meeting attendees’ attention.
Alvin and Dennis spoke in a breakfast briefing hosted by the Asia Society New York Headquarter on 15 August on the topic of “Perspectives of Hong Kong Protests”, attended by members of the political and academic circles. They displayed photographs of a protestor who was shot in the eye, police’s firing of tear gas in MTR station, alleged triad members’ ruthless attacks against citizens at Yuen Long MTR Station, etc to demonstrate the police’s abuse of powers and brutality during the anti-Extradition Bill protests. Alvin urged international organisations to inform relevant countries so that they would cease exportations of crowd control agents and provisions of trainings to Hong Kong Police Force. They also reiterated the five demands of Hong Kong protestors, stressing Hong Kong people’s wish for dual universal suffrage in the elections of chief executive and Legislative Council in Hong Kong.
They met with members of various political parties, including a meeting with a staffer of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss matters such as the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. They paid a visit to the New York City Bar Association to thank them for speaking up for Hong Kong against the Extradition Bill, and to explain the latest developments of the protests. They also discussed the proposed amendments to the Hong Kong Policy Act and the newly proposed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
A number of international human rights organisations they met have shown grave concern on the police’s abuse of powers and brutality, and violations of human rights in Hong Kong in general. They all agreed that prompt action must be taken to prevent the imminent humanitarian crisis.
Montana –“Hong Kong – United States Legislative Exchange”
Together with pro-democracy LegCo members James To and Ip Kin-yuen, Alvin and Dennis were invited by the Department of State to attend the first “Hong Kong – United States Legislative Exchange” held in Montana. Attendees from the United States’ side included bi-partisan senator and representatives and think tanks. They had a constructive and frank dialogue on the recent anti-Extradition Bill protests, police brutality, the demands for dual universal suffrage, and establishment of an independent commission of inquiry etc. Alvin and Dennis expressed their support towards the “Hong Kong Policy Reevaluation Act 2019” and “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019”. They also spoke of the pressure on Hong Kong businesses from Beijing, especially on Cathay Pacific.
Post-Republican Convention Speech at Oregon
Oregon Republican Party held their platform convention on 23 August. The issue of Hong Kong was on the agenda. They passed a resolution to support in Hong Kong’s quest for freedom and liberty. Alvin and Dennis were invited to attend the convention after the resolution was passed. They further explained to the audience the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Extradition Bill, the latest developments of the protests sparked by the Extradition Bill, and Hong Kong people’s strong will for democracy. Dennis gave a keynote address, while Alvin answered floor questions. They discussed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act with the audience, and expressed their support towards this Act.