Whilst the releasing this week of the Paradise Papers has lead to much debate on the legal and ethical issues concerning the operation of offshore financial entities, Evan notes little is written or said about the wider context of the relationship between ethics, law, taxation, sovereignty and the social contract. This, he argues, is what many people find so disconcerting: that the industry exposes an internal contradiction within the foundation of what we have come to accept as a modern and just society.
編按： 本週流出的「天堂文件」引發了諸多爭論，當中主要圍繞離岸金融實體運作的法律和倫理問題。 Evan 指出，關於倫理、法律、稅收、主權和社會契約之間更廣泛的關係，並未有太多的討論。他認為，這些關係是許多人覺得如此令人不安：這個行業暴露出的矛盾，卻是遠超我們所接受的現代公正社會基礎之外。
Evan argues that Hong Kong today is no place for the moderate, sharing with us his own experiences and that of a friend who has unfairly been called a 50-center. He says that for there to be a discourse, moderates must again find their voice. However, this is unlikely as the push to the extremes is a reflection not of new, but our national politics — in reality the CCP is the only voice that we are allowed to hear, and it does not do dialogue.
Evan writes that there is an internal contradiction to the logic of barring Benedict Rogers from Hong Kong, and that the decision itself only adds fuel to the fire of rumours that Beijing is not serious about preserving Hong Kong’s core values.
“Where are you from?”
As a Eurasian I am often asked this question. I do not believe it is because I am for any reason particularly noteworthy in either my looks, habits or actions. I’ve tended to be one for blending in to a crowd. I do not stand tall, model-like, proclaiming my desirability with a toothy smile and tight jeans. So it pains me to admit it’s unlikely to be a chat up line.
And the question where I am from is often followed by a guess.
At Times Square in Causeway Bay there are two long flights of escalators. The first carries people from street level up in to the atrium. The second carries shoppers further up and on to the first of several shopping levels.
I got to know Times Square and the surrounding neighbourhood twenty years ago when, as a secondary school student, I made some extra pocket money running errands for a company whose offices were in Tower 1. Each day that summer I would take the escalators.
The first flight of escalators brought me to the office lifts. It was a Times Square that I slowly discovered – a place of drab cubicles, laminated desks and hissing photocopiers; and a place of work. The second escalator brought me to the Times Square I knew. It was a more familiar and welcoming place. My mother would buy tennis shoes for the family here, and a few storeys up was the games arcade where I would meet friends. I never particularly liked the mall, but it was still an environment I recognised, and a place I could understand within the context of living in Hong Kong.
Evan writes that it was likely the British government knowingly signed the Joint Declaration with no expectation of the treaty being honoured. He argues that whilst Britain may seem powerless, it has a legal and moral obligation to call out a wrong. Doing so would not only likely earn Britain greater respect in Beijing, but also represent the values of the British people.
After pro-independence posters appeared at the Chinese University of Hong Kong last week, Joseph J.Y. Sung, acting in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor, sent an open letter to all students, staff and alumni of the university.
In this extraordinary – and therefore one must presume significant – letter that was sent whilst he was “attending an academic conference overseas,” he writes:
The idea of an independent Hong Kong is not only in breach of the Basic Law of Hong Kong but also contrary to what I personally believe. Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China; this is beyond dispute.