High Tide (January 19th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Police confirms Lee Bo’s presence in mainland; HKU students to launch week-long class boycott.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Police confirms Lee Bo is in mainland after his associate’s ‘confession’ on state media
– Police received a reply letter from Interpol Guangdong Liaison Office stating that “having understood that Lee Po is in the Mainland”, along with a letter from Lee Bo himself
– The letter came one day after state media CCTV aired an interview with Gui Minhai, Lee’s associate at the Causeway Bay Bookstore, in which Gui ‘confessed’ to his crime
– Stockholm summoned the Chinese ambassador to express concern over the case and requested to meet Gui, a Swedish national
– Police requested to meet with Lee Bo to further understand the situation

Hong Kong and Russia sign CDTA
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan, on behalf of the HKSAR Government, signed a comprehensive agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (CDTA) with Russia’s State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Finance Yuriy Zubarev
– “Under the agreement, Russia’s withholding tax rate on royalties, currently at 20 per cent (for companies) or 30 per cent (for individuals), will be capped at 3 per cent. Russia’s dividend withholding tax rate on Hong Kong residents will be reduced from the current rate of 15 per cent to 5 per cent or 10 per cent, depending on the percentage of their shareholdings,” the press release read
– Meanwhile, the ninth Asian Financial Forum was opened with this years’ theme being “Asia: Shaping the New Paradigm for Growth”

Government blasted for allowing more small houses in developer-owned land in Sai Kung enclave
– The Government approved a request by villagers in Pak Sha O (ch), Sai Kung, to enlarge the Village Type Development zone in the outline zoning plan to allow a total of 29 small houses to be built
– It was reported that more than half of the extended area was bought by a developer
– Pak Sha O is close to the Hoi Ha Marine Park

General Politics

HKU to launch class boycott in fight for university structural reform
– A class boycott committee (ch) set up by students from the University of Hong Kong announced to bring their plan into action starting from tomorrow until next Tuesday when the university’s council meets
– The committee slammed lay members of the council for “ravaging” the university and trashed CY Leung’s appointment of the “notorious” Arthur Li as its chairman

Seven contenders in LegCo by-election
– The nomination period for the LegCo New Territory East constituency by-election (ch) ended yesterday and seven contenders will seek to replace former Civic Party member Ronny Tong as lawmaker in the remaining seven months of the LegCo term
– The candidates included Alvin Yeung of Civic Party, Holden Chow of DAB, independent Sai Kung District Councillor Christine Fong, Third Side’s Nelson Wong, HK Indigenous’s Edward Leung, and independent Lau Chi-shing and barrister Albert Leung