Hong Kong: Freedom Under Attack

Hong Kong experts Chi-Sang Poon, Michael C. Davis, and Mark Simon join a panel discussion on the situation in Hong Kong and why it matters to free people around the world.

Currently on display at the First Amendment Museum is a copy of the last edition of the famous Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily. 

Founded by Hong Kong freedom of speech and freedom of the press advocate Jimmy Lai in 1995, Apply Daily was shuttered by the Chinese Communist Party in 2021. Its demise symbolized the death of the free press in Hong Kong and is just one of many assaults on the universal freedoms of Hong Kong citizens by the Chinese Communist Party. 

Zoom/FB recording from April 28, 2022

About the Panelists

Mark Simon, a Virginia native, has been involved in media since his days as Media Board Chairman in University. After a brief stint as an intelligence analyst with the US Navy, Mark came to Hong Kong in 1992 and started a career in shipping, and also began to write once again. Over the years Mark has written for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Post, and was often a guest on radio and television from Hong Kong.

Mark joined Jimmy Lai in May 2001 at Apple Daily. He has held positions with the Next Digital Group, Apple Daily’s parent, from General Manager, and Chief of Crime News, to Group Director.

Mark sees himself primarily as a businessman as over the years he has also taken on roles in private equity and real estate. Yet, even up until when he had to leave Hong Kong in the spring of 2020, Mark was still writing his column, “Second Opinion”, a column that by Comscore was Hong Kong’s most-read English language column inside Hong Kong’s largest news media platform, Apple Daily.

Professor Michael C. Davis is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, a Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asia Institute at Columbia University, and a Professor of Law and International Affairs at O.P. Jindal Global University in India.

Long a public intellectual in Hong Kong, he was a professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Hong Kong until late 2016. His scholarship engages a range of issues relating to human rights, the rule of law, and constitutionalism in emerging states, with frequent publication in such public affairs journals as Foreign Affairs and the Journal of Democracy, as well as academic journals. Amnesty International and the Hong Kong FCC awarded him a 2014 Human Rights Press Award for his commentary in the South China Morning Post on the 2014 Hong Kong “umbrella movement.”

His latest book on Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law (November 2020) is available on Amazon and from Columbia University Press.

Chi-Sang Poon (潘志生) is a retired scientist from MIT where he served as a health sciences and technology visiting associate professor and then principal research scientist for thirty years.

A native of Hong Kong, he obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Hong Kong, a master’s degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Ph.D. degree from UCLA. While at MIT, he was vocal on racial discrimination and civil rights issues and was the creator of a musical CD in memory of 9/11.

He is the author of a series of articles on defending freedom of the press and of speech under Hong Kong’s looming sedition law, which has been recently decreed as part of Hong Kong’s National Security Law.