CHINA HK legislator granted honorary doctorate, criticizes ‘flawed’ Western academic freedom


HK legislator granted honorary doctorate, criticizes ‘flawed’ Western academic freedom

Global Times

06:45, December 07, 2019


Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. (Photo: Global Times)

Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu received an honorary doctorate in law at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) on Friday in Beijing, after a British university stripped him of one. 

Ho said he feels deeply honored to be granted the honorary doctorate, which is a very high honor, the lawmaker said in a post published on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo. Dozens of staff and student representatives attended the ceremony, which is one of the country's top universities listed under project 211 and project 985.  

As an outspoken pro-establishment legislator, Ho has been targeted by opposition and external forces during months of anti-government protests, which have descended into chaos and violence. 

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge withdrew Ho's honorary law degree in October, claiming he "has caused increasing concern," after a member of the British parliament urged the ARU to withdraw his degree based on an allegation of Ho shaking hands with individuals allegedly related to an attack on a passenger train at Yuen Long in July. 

Ho said he was completely disappointed as the so-called Western academic standards now serve the entire political spectrum, without even differentiating truth from rumors. Without letting Ho defend his position, the British university withdrew his honorary degree based on one allegation, which shows that the cornerstone of academic freedom and freedom of speech has been completely destroyed, his Weibo post said. 

Since mid-July, Ho has emerged as a prime target of the increasingly violent protesters for his outspoken and persistent support for the Hong Kong Police Force and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government. He also provided evidence that the months of protests were allegedly plotted by anti-government and some external anti-China forces.

"Today, CUPL granting me this honor not only affirms my legal work over the past 30 years but also shows the country's firm support for me to seek justice," he said. 

All patriotic Hong Kong people deserve this honor, as today's color revolution in Hong Kong could strip anyone of any honor following political battles, he noted. 

Ho, who had ran for re-election in the Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun at the recent district council elections, lost to Cary Lo Chun-yu, a candidate of the pan-democratic group, by over 1,000 votes. However, he called for not losing hope and restarting the journey, regaining public support through hard work at the community level. 

"At such a difficult time, we, our patriotic Hong Kong people, should encounter challenges with wisdom. With a firm attitude and courage, we support the country, support Hong Kong, and our country will surely give us help," Ho said. 

Thousands of online users congratulated Ho, who is also a popular figure on the social networks. He has over a million followers on Weibo. 

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