Private Eye notes weak UK response to Hong Kong’s protests could be related to new MTR operations there

The latest issue (1377) of the British satirical mostly-dead-tree-press newspaper/magazine Private Eye contains the following story on page 5. I present it for the record with added links to the indispensable, an online Who’s Who of Hong Kong, as well as other sources.

Eastern Promises

The Hong Kong democracy protests might not make it to Britain, but those suppressing them, for example with indiscriminate use of tear gas, have gained a foothold.

When the London Crossrail network opens in 2019 (if all goes to plan), it won’t be operated publicly or even by a British company but by MTR Corporation, the company that runs Hong Kong’s metro system. It is 75 percent owned by the special administrative region’s government and is chaired by Raymond Chi’en Kuo Fung [錢果豐; “Ch’ien” is the surname, and appropriately enough means “money”!], a director of British bank HSBC’s operation in the territory [and with many other positions besides, including director at UGL, the company who it was recently discovered secretly paid CY Leung to support its purchase of DTZ! He also received a CBE from the colonial British government in 1994. Is that who CY means by “foreign forces” interfering in Hong Kong?].

The £1.4bn deal signed with Transport for London in March, with which London mayor Boris Johnson pronounced himself “delighted”, brings the capital and the Hong Kong authorities closer and is unlikely to do much for the UK government’s spineless response to the authoritarian clampdown in its former colony. David Cameron has conspicuously failed to back the protesters’ demands for free elections and, with a main element of his capital’s transport system soon to depend on a regional government that doesn’t want to upset Beijing, he isn’t likely to either.


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