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Interview mit Emily Lau
Die engagierte Demokratin zur Zukunft Hong Kongs und Chinas

Hinzugefügt am 8. September 2008
Das demokratische Lager hat bei den Wahlen in Hong Kong 23 von 60 Sitzen gewonnen. Emily Lau, die zu den wiedergewählten gehört, kommentierte das Ergebnis mit den Worten:
“Hong Kong has gone backwards on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. So now that I’m back in, I'm going to fight for these core values.”

Biografie von Emily Lau
Artikel vom 17. Juli 1999

Die am 21. Januar 1952 in Hong Kong geborene Emily Lau besuchte dort von 1962 bis 1972 die Schule, studierte von 1973 bis 1976 an der University of Southern California in den USA (B.A. in Broadcast Journalism), 1982 an der London School of Economics an Political Science (M.Sc. in International Relations). Von 1976 bis 1978 war sie Reporter für die South China Morning Post. 1978 bis 1981 war sie Reporter to Senior Producer bei Hong Kong TVB News. 1982 bis 1984 war sie Assistant Producer in Current Affairs bei BBC-TV in Grossbritannien. 1981 bis 1984 war sie zusätzlich die Londoner Korrespondentin für Hong Kong TVB News. Von 1984 bis 1991 betätigte sie sich als Hong Kong Korrespondentin der Far Eastern Economic Review. 1987 war sie zusätzlich Lecturer im Departement of Journalism and Communications der Chinese University of Hong Kong. 1987 bis 1990 arbeitete sie als Lecturer, Certificate in Journalism, im Departement of Extra-Mural Studies an der University of Hong Kong. Vor allem bekannt geworden ist Emily Lau aber als unerschrockene Demokratin. Sie wurde auf der Basis ihres vor allem Demokratie und Menschenrechte betonenden Programms von den Wählern der New Territories East als unabhängige Kandidatin direkt in das von den Briten eingerichtete Parlament gewählt, wo sie von September 1991 bis Juli 1995 und von September 1995 bis Juni 1997 als Legislative Councillor tätig war. Im August 1996 bildete sie zusammen mit anderen Aktivisten die politische Organisation The Frontier, die sich für Demokratie, Menschenrechte, Rechtsstaat und das Recht des Volkes auf die Verabschiedung einer eigenen Verfassung einsetzte. Von einigen Mitgliedern der Demokratiebewegung wurde The Frontier als zu "radikal" beurteilt, da sie bezüglich der erwähnten Programmpunkte zu keinerlei Kompromissen bereit waren. Nach der "Uebergabe" Hong Kongs an China wurde Emily Lau am 1. Juli 1997 aus dem Legislative Council, Hong Kong's Parlament, hinausgeworfen. Daraufhin war sie ein Jahr lang arbeitslos, führte aber ihr ward office weiter. Sie wurde durch Spenden unterstützt. Im Mai 1998 wurde sie dann in den ersten Wahlen unter chinesischer Herrschaft erneut ins Parlament gewählt.

Martin Lee

Im Zusammenhang mit der Situation der Demokraten in Hong Kong sei auch auf Martin Lee verwiesen. Er steht der 1990 gegründeten Demokratischen Partei als Chairman vor. Die Partei steht für Freiheit, Demokratie, Menschenrechte und Rechtsstaat. In allen bisher stattgefundenden Wahlen gewann seine politische Formation die meisten Stimmen auf allen drei Regierungsebenen. Ginge in Hong Kong alles nach demokratischen Regeln vor sich, so wäre er heute Regierungschef anstelle des von Peking ernannten Tung Hee-hwa. Er wurde wie Emily Lau und andere bei der Uebernahme durch China am 1. Juli 1997 aus Hong Kongs Parlament hinausgeworfen, wurde aber wie andere auch in den Wahlen vom 24. Mai 1998 vom Volk in den Legislative Council (LEGCO) zurückgewählt. Obwohl die Demokratische Partei einen überwältigen Wahlsieg feiern konnte, erhielt sie auf Grund des undemokratischen Wahlsystems nur rund einen Drittel der Sitze.
 
Der 1938 in Hong Kong geborene Martin Lee studierte Recht an der University of Hong Kong (B.A.) und am Lincolin's Inns in London. Er wurde 1979 von der Krone zum barrister ernannt (Rechtsanwalt, der vor höheren Gerichten plädiert). 1980-83 stand er der Hong Kong Bar Association vor. Seit 1985 wurde er immer wieder in den LEGCO gewählt. 1996 verlieh ihm die Liberale Internationale den Prize for Freedom. Er ist verheiratet und hat einen Sohn.

Books about Hong Kong from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.







Interview with Emily Lau
July 17, 1999

 
In 1988 in Geneva, members of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations had some harsh words for Great Britain and their responsibility for the undemocratic situation and human rights violations in Hong Kong. Was the introduction of democratic rights in the very last years of British rule over Hong Kong just a fig leaf for the British conscience? With the handover in 1997, the British put the destiny of democratic Hong Kong in the hands of a dictatorship, without any consideration for the Hong Kong people's right to self-determination. What is your opinion today of British colonial rule?
 
The British Government did not try to introduce democratic government in Hong Kong in the final years of colonial rule. Mr Chris Patten proposed a drop of democracy just to show that Britain did make an attempt. You can call that a fig leaf for their conscience. It was woefully inadequate, very little and very late!
 
The British were wrong to deny the Hong Kong people the right to self determination, but the people did not fight for that right either.  This was because most Hong Kong people regarded themselves as Chinese, so the question of self-determination did not arise. Others were too scared of the Chinese Communist Party to do any thing.
 
We could read in the past that the PRC hadn't touched further the political independance and the economic liberties of Hong Kong. A short while ago, for the first time, the Permanent Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing annuled a decision by the highest court in Hong Kong. Are these the signs of the beginning of a new era?
 
I deeply regret the decision by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr C. H. Tung, to ask the National People's Congress Standing Committee to reinterpret the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini constitution, therely overturning the judgment of the right of abode of children of Hong Kong people born in mainland China. The controversial move was bitterly criticised by the legal profession and by pro-democracy political organizations. There is deep concern that the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law has been undermined. This has been anticipated but is still very disturbing. There is no doubt Hong Kong is under Chinese rule, we hope it won't become just another Chinese city.
 
What support does the democratic movement in Hong Kong get from the population? Has the Asian crisis eclipsed the discussion over democracy in an already traditionally materialistic society?
 
The Hong Kong people would like to see a democratically elected government but are not prepared to take to the streets to assert such a right.  However in the last election to the lawmaking Legislative Council in May 198, about two-thirds of the voters supported candidates from the pro-democracy moverment.  If we were to have a referendum, most people who vote would support democracy.  However I do believer the people get the government they deserve, if Hong Kong people are reluctant to stand up and fight, they are destined to colonial rule.
 
Even without the Asian financial crisis, the Hong Kong people were not seen to be energetic supporters of democracy. The financial difficulty has heightened the people's concern on economic issues, particularly unemployment.
 
What is your appreciation of the degree of support dissidents and dissident mouvements get by the population in the PRC? In Western media, we can often read that the new generation of students is only interested in their economic future, for instance.
 
I am not an expert on the situation in mainland China, I can't even go there because the Chinese Government would not give me a home visit permit to travel to the mainland. My impression is that the Chinese people do not appear to be too concerned about democratisation, but them who had predicted the uprising which culminated in the June 4th massacre in Beijing in 1989.
 
How is the relation between PRC dissidents and the democratic mouvement in Hong Kong? Are their any conflicts between them, founded on different interests?
 
There is not a strong tie between the PRC dissidents and the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. This is because the Chinese government would condemn such a link, and Hong Kong groups could be branded as subversive or ever Counter-revolutionary.  Not too many Hong Kong groups want to take that risk. There may be some secret ties, but publicly no obvious liaison.
 
Beijing, but also Western officials and observers, often claim that China has a "different" history and culture and therefore the right to go its own way. This statement is largely based on economic interests by the Chinese communists and Western officials and companies - for some of the latter racist prejudice plays also a part in this appreciation. Given these facts, can ROCOT (Taiwan) be held up as an example for the possible future democratisation of the PRC? Or are the highly regarded former Prime Minster Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore the model for Beijing?
 
Taiwan can definitely be an example for the PRC, but the tension caused by Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui's comment the relation between Taiwan and the PRC should be conducted on a state-to-state basis has increased tension in the region. There is no telling how the reunification of Taiwan will be done, if at all. It is apparent that many Taiwanese people do not want to be part of China and are afraid of being attacked.
 
I certainly hope that the Chinese people will not look to Singapore and Mr Lee Kuan Yew for inspiraiton. It's too authoritarian and undemocratic.
 
After bombs destroyed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Beijing organised the protest against the USA. Was this, besides the fact that it was based on a dilettantish and inacceptable error by the USA, a tool to force the Americans to make concessions on the Chinese application for membership in the WTO? Or was it a maneuver to divert the people's attention from domestic difficulties?
 
It's difficult to speculate what the Chinese Government hopes to achieve with the row with the USA on the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, or whether it was an attempt to divert attention from domestic problems. However one mustn't under-estimate nationalism as a powerful force, although that might have been stirred up be the Chinese Government.
 
In the beginning of June, Beijing closed down around 300 Internet-cafés in China. What type of independent information tools do the Chinese have?
 
I am not too familiar with the kinds of independent information tools the Chinese people have, although there is no denying the impact the internet has made. There's no doubt China is opening up, may be too slowly.
 
What is your appreciation of the possibility of a democratic future for the PRC? Does the West have any means to influence China's development?
 
China is certainly changing, and becoming more open and liberal, but it has a long way to go. China is a big and poor country and democratisation would take time. I have often said I don't think I'll see democracy in Hong Kong or in China in my life time. I'm 47.  However I'll do my level best to democratise Hong Kong. The West can certainly play a part because China is very conscious of international public opinions. May western business and political leaders have access to Chinese leader. They can make a difference if they want. Sadly many of them prefer to concentrate on trade and commerce, and ignore human rights and democracy.

How do you see China's human rights situation? Has it changed in recent years?
 
The human rights situation in China has deteriorated in the past few years, although it is true that some famous dissidents have been expelled rather than imprisoned. Because the West is too pre-occupied with making money, there's little pressure on China to respect human rights.
 
What are the interests and ideas that drive the Chinese leaders? Do you see a power struggle going on for "the right way" to lead China? Are there any groups ready to give up the communist power monopoly? Or, to use your own words of 1998, is the outlook still grim?
 
I put my [hope] on the next generation of leaders in Beijing, like Taiwan, I hope the well educated people will rise to the top and run the country in a more humane and civilized manner. As far as one can see, there doesn't seem to be a group of people ready to take over from the Communist should there be a change of power.
 
In my words, the out look of Hong Kong and China is grim but the fight must go on. One day, democracy will prevail.

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.