The Corner


From Hong Kong

Tanya Chan at the United Nations in Geneva (Courtesy UN Watch)

She is from Hong Kong, yes — but, when I spoke to her earlier this week, she was in Geneva, where she had testified before the U.N. Human Rights Council (at the invitation of UN Watch, an invaluable organization, an NGO accredited at the U.N.). She is Tanya Chan, a legislator and democracy leader in Hong Kong. Our Q&A podcast is here.

Chan is a native of Hong Kong. I asked her a personal question: “Do you feel like a Hong Konger, or like a Chinese woman, or some blend?” Like a Hong Konger, is the answer. I asked her about the democracy movement in Hong Kong: What is its current mood? What does it want? Is what it wants obtainable? For that matter, who calls the shots in Hong Kong: the local government — we keep seeing the face of Carrie Lam — or the Party rulers in Beijing?

What about police brutality? (Every day, there are horrific reports, often accompanied by videos.) What about the presence of American flags on the streets? Are there saboteurs — people inserted into the democracy movement by the Party?

There is a lot to discuss, and Tanya Chan answers clearly, succinctly — even sweetly. She knows a lot. She has been in this city, and in this fight — this struggle, if you will — for a long time.

Earlier this year, she was sentenced to prison, owing to her support for Hong Kong rights. Her sentence was suspended, however. She had undergone a medical examination, in order to reassure her mother that she would be all right in prison — that she would survive the experience. Doctors discovered a brain tumor. She was operated on. She says she has made a full recovery.

I think you will enjoy meeting and listening to Tanya Chan, as I did. Again, the podcast is here.

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