This undated photo shows the Hong Kong Science Park. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong-based scientist Chan Ching-chuen voiced his support on Friday for the city’s proposed amendments to its extradition laws, saying the changes will ensure the special administrative region’s stability and thus pave the way for its innovation and technology development.
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Hong Kong’s first academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chan said a peaceful and free academic environment is what scientists want, as this is crucial for ensuring that the city attracts scholars dedicated to their scientific research.
The proposed extradition bill plugs legal loopholes in the city’s current judicial system, which in turn will guarantee Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, Chan said
The proposed extradition bill plugs legal loopholes in the city’s current judicial system, which in turn will guarantee Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, he said in an interview on Friday.
What’s more, only stable and peaceful circumstances can enable Hong Kong to catch up with its rivals, including Singapore and Shenzhen, in innovation and technology, the renowned “father of Asian electric vehicles” added.
Hong Kong, which is widely recognized as an international financial center, is intensifying its efforts in innovation and technology development. Under the Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is expected to play a key role in molding the Bay Area into a world-class innovation and technology hub.
The changes to the extradition laws will not erode Hong Kong’s academic freedom, Chan stressed.
The amendments only allow Hong Kong to transfer suspects who committed serious crimes to or from other jurisdictions with which the city hasn’t signed extradition agreements, Chan said. “Academic disputes are not in that domain,” he added.
Chan, honorary professor of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, expressed his concern over the violent confrontations between young people and police during the Wednesday protest.
Clashes between police officers and protesters broke out near the Legislative Council Complex in Admiralty. Some radical demonstrators were seen throwing bricks, metal poles and wood planks at police. Many demonstrators were youngsters, including high school and university students.
“I fully understand students who are concerned about our society as I used to be a student,” Chan said.
But there is a clear line between rioting and expressing opinions rationally, he added.
He cautioned young people not to be exploited by those with ulterior motives, and not to break the law — actions for which they would pay a heavy price.
The mission of universities is to nurture talents and educate people, while students’ main focus should be to study and equip themselves with knowledge, Chan said.
“Our young generation is promising,” he said, encouraging the city’s youngsters to make full use of the “golden time” of their lives and achieve their value.
As Hong Kong faces growing chaos and political bickering over the extradition bill, the top priority for the city should be to calm down and resume public order, Chan said, urging residents to make their voices heard via rational and appropriate channels.
• 1937: Born into a Chinese entrepreneur family in Indonesia.
• 1959: Graduates from Tsinghua University in Beijing.
• 1976: Moves to Hong Kong.
• 1982: Earns a doctoral degree from the University of Hong Kong.
• 1984: Pioneers the application of alternating current and induction motors in electric cars, making him known as “the father of Asian electric vehicles”.
• 1992: Named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA) for his contributions to modern electric drives and vehicles.
• 1994-2000: Works as the head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at HKU.
• 1997: Becomes the first Hong Kong academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
• 1997: Elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK).
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