HKW Report: "Patriots Only": Hong Kong Officials and Lawmakers' Property Overseas

April 21, 2022



A new report published by Hong Kong Watch today, finds that 9 Hong Kong officials and 12 members of Hong Kong’s “patriots only” legislature and their families have property overseas, including in the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, Japan, and France.


The full report can be read here.


All of the officials and lawmakers in question have pledged allegiance to Beijing and expressed their public support for the National Security Law, the ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists, the free press, and civil society, under the guise of combating “foreign forces”.


In light of this ongoing hypocrisy, which sees prominent members of the Hong Kong Government and “patriots only” legislature responsible for gross human rights violations and their families own property overseas, the report recommends that like-minded countries consider auditing the assets of Hong Kong officials and introducing a Hong Kong specific sanctions list covering those named.


Commenting on the publication of the report, Sam Goodman, Hong Kong Watch’s Senior Policy Advisor, said:


“Despite decrying “foreign interference” and criticising the democratic world our research shows that the Hong Kong officials and lawmakers who are complicit in the ongoing human rights crackdown in Hong Kong are more than happy to continue to use the West as a safe haven for their hidden wealth.


It is high time the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan listen to the overwhelming view of lawmakers, their public, and international partners, and introduced Hong Kong specific sanctions lists, cutting off Hong Kong officials access to Western property, bank accounts, and equities.”


Commenting on the launch of the report, former pro-democracy lawmaker and prominent activist in exile, Ted Hui, said:


“These Beijing-loyalists and their families that hold properties in free countries, like Australia, USA, UK, Canada, and Japan, enjoy the freedom and protection these countries offer for what they own.


Ironically, these same people are ordering the confiscation of assets of many of us dissidents as punishment for pursuing freedom and democracy. Leaders of free countries must not continue to let human right abusers take advantage of freedom in their respective lands to hide their money and assets away.”


Hong Kong Watch Patron, Lord Alton of Liverpool, who has previously called for an audit of the assets of Hong Kong officials in the UK, said:


“At a time when the UK Government is scrambling to locate the assets of Russian oligarchs in London, Ministers should adopt the recommendations of this report by undertaking a proper audit of the assets of Hong Kong and Chinese officials in the UK.


This report rightly highlights the dishonesty of Hong Kong officials who publicly do Beijing’s bidding by cracking-down on basic rights in Hong Kong, but continue to hide their wealth in property abroad, including in the UK.


It is well past time the UK Government led on this issue and adopted a Hong Kong specific sanctions list, that includes many of the officials named by Hong Kong Watch.”

Members of the Hong Kong Executive Council with properties in the UK

Official: Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health

Property: She currently owns three properties in London, UK, including a flat co-owned by her sister in Gatwick.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

Sophia Chan has also publicly supported Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system which have barred pro-democracy candidates from running.

Official: Patrick Nip, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Civil Service

Property: He currently owns a residential flat in Islington (London), UK, alongside his partner.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

Patrick Nip has also fired civil servants that refused to sign an oath of allegiance to Beijing.

Official: Arthur Li, Former Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong

Property: He currently owns two properties in west London, UK.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

Arthur Li has also presided over the firing of academics perceived to be aligned with the “pro-democracy” movement and supported the removal of the “Pillar of Shame” commemorating the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre from the University of Hong Kong.

Official: Chow Chung-kong, Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing

Property: He currently owns a flat in London, UK.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in the UK

Official: Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, President of the Legislative Council

Property: He currently owns property in the UK.

Rationale: As the President of the legislature, Andrew Leung has actively advocated for the idea of “patriots ruling Hong Kong”, supports the National Security Law, and supported the expulsion of pro-democracy lawmakers in 2020.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.

Lawmakers with property in the UK: Andrew Leung, Frankie Yick Chi-ming, Lam San-keung, Duncan Chiu, Rock Chen Chung-nin, Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, and Kenneth Fok Kai-kong.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Members of the Hong Kong Executive Council with properties in the USA

Official: Bernard Chan, the Non-official Convenor of the Executive Council

Property: He currently owns a residential property in San Francisco, USA, and a property in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

As a delegate of the National People’s Congress (since March 2008), Bernard Chan also voted to approve the imposition of the National Security Law and Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

Official: Laura Cha, Chairperson of the Financial Services Development Council

Property: According to Laura Cha’s declaration of financial interests she currently owns a residential flat in the USA and a flat in Japan.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

As a delegate to the National People’s Congress, Laura Cha also voted to approve the imposition of the National Security Law and Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in the USA

Lawmakers with property in the USA: Chan Siu-hung and Johnny Ng Kit-chong.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.

Members of the Hong Kong Executive Council with properties in Canada

Official: Wong Kam-Sing, Hong Kong’s Secretary of Environment

Property: He currently owns a property alongside his wife in Vancouver, Canada.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in Canada

Lawmakers with property in Canada: Andrew Lam Siu-lo and Kennedy Wong Ying-ho.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.

Members of the Hong Kong Executive Council with properties in Australia

Official: Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Property: He currently owns a residential property with car-parking in Australia and a residential property in Singapore.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

Christopher Hui introduced a new tax amendment which states that any group that is seen as endangering national security will lose its charity status, tax exemptions and other privileges, pathing the way of the government’s further crackdowns against pro-democracy civil society organizations. That same month, Christopher Hui removed charitable tax status for Apple Daily’s charitable foundation.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in Australia

Lawmakers with property in Australia: Chan Siu-hung and Johnny Ng Kit-chong.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.

Members of the Hong Kong Executive Council with properties in Japan

Official: Laura Cha, Chairperson of the Financial Services Development Council

Property: According to Laura Cha’s declaration of financial interests she currently owns a residential flat in the USA and a flat in Japan.

Rationale: As part of the Executive Council publicly supports and is responsible for collectively implementing the National Security Law.

As a delegate to the National People’s Congress, Laura Cha also voted to approve the imposition of the National Security Law and Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in Japan

Lawmaker: Duncan Chiu.

Property: Owns property in Japan.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.

“Patriots Only” Legislative Council with properties in France

Lawmaker: Kenneth Fok Kai-kong.

Property: Owns property in France.

Rationale: As lawmakers handpicked by Beijing under its new “electoral system” they have voted for laws to introduce mainland style “exit bans” to restrict freedom of movement out of Hong Kong, film censorship laws, and laws to criminals.

Alongside the Executive Council, the Legislative Council will be required to vote on pending Article 23 domestic national security legislation which will likely introduce further charges against “espionage” and “fake news”.



Source: hongkongwatch.org