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RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

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    RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

    "The Pulse" is presented by locally and internationally known journalist and writer Steve Vines.

    Its focus? The latest events and trends that affect Hong Kong - from the corridors of power and business boardrooms, to the streets and dai pai dongs.

    "The Pulse" is politics. What's happening in the Legislative Council and on the streets right now.

    "The Pulse" is the media, informing us how well or badly our press and broadcast organisations diagnose and reflect the society around us.

    "The Pulse" is insightful, in-depth reports and interviews on current issues - examining those issues in depth, looking behind and beyond the news.

    Its focus is on the timely. The Now.

    Keep your eye ... and your finger ... on "The Pulse".

    If you want to discuss anything you've seen in "The Pulse", or anything in the public eye right now, or just to talk about the show, why not join in the debate on our Facebook page, RTHK's The Pulse. 

    The programme is aired every Saturday on RTHK 31 & 31A at 18:00, and a repeat on Sundays at 06:30.

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



    Find us on Facebook: RTHK's The Pulse

    最新

    LATEST
    18/11/2017

    On Thursday Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and chairman of the Basic Law Committee came to Hong Kong for a three-day visit. At a Basic Law seminar on Thursday, he not only echoed Xi Jinping’s insistence that the central authorities had “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, but went on to say that without the mainland’s constitution, there would be no Basic Law and no HKSAR.

    Last week Donald Trump visited China for the first time as president. Notably absent was his previous talk about climate change hoaxes and what he previously described as China’s deeply unfair trading policies. Instead he went as far as giving “China great credit” for taking advantage of America for the benefit of its own citizens.
    He also claimed that during his visit, deals totalling more than $250 billion had been signed between American and Chinese companies. With us in the studio is William Kirby, T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University.

    Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash. All are among the so-called cryptocurrencies vying to change the face of financial transactions. They’re made possible by technologies like blockchain, a system that records financial transactions and simultaneously updates users about the nature of the transaction. As cryptocurrencies do not belong to states with all this entails, and they are not what we all know as hard cash, deals can be struck between users in different nations unhindered by state financial controls. That, as you can imagine, doesn’t go down well in certain circles. Meanwhile, major investment firms have differing views on all this. Goldman Sachs is launching a new trading operation focusing on bitcoin, while JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon calls Bitcoin a “fraud” that “won’t end well”.

    On Monday night, RTHK and the South China Morning Post launched their 30th Operation Santa Claus, the annual charity fundraising event. This year donations will go to 14 Hong Kong projects. We’ll end with images of the opening ceremony at the Maritime Museum. And, in the spirit of giving, see you next week. Goodbye.

    重温

    CATCHUP
    07 - 11
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • Li Fei at Basic Law seminar, William Kirby on Trump's China visit & cryptocurrencies

      Li Fei at Basic Law seminar, William Kirby on Trump's China visit & cryptocurrencies

      On Thursday Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and chairman of the Basic Law Committee came to Hong Kong for a three-day visit. At a Basic Law seminar on Thursday, he not only echoed Xi Jinping’s insistence that the central authorities had “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, but went on to say that without the mainland’s constitution, there would be no Basic Law and no HKSAR.

      Last week Donald Trump visited China for the first time as president. Notably absent was his previous talk about climate change hoaxes and what he previously described as China’s deeply unfair trading policies. Instead he went as far as giving “China great credit” for taking advantage of America for the benefit of its own citizens.
      He also claimed that during his visit, deals totalling more than $250 billion had been signed between American and Chinese companies. With us in the studio is William Kirby, T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University.

      Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash. All are among the so-called cryptocurrencies vying to change the face of financial transactions. They’re made possible by technologies like blockchain, a system that records financial transactions and simultaneously updates users about the nature of the transaction. As cryptocurrencies do not belong to states with all this entails, and they are not what we all know as hard cash, deals can be struck between users in different nations unhindered by state financial controls. That, as you can imagine, doesn’t go down well in certain circles. Meanwhile, major investment firms have differing views on all this. Goldman Sachs is launching a new trading operation focusing on bitcoin, while JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon calls Bitcoin a “fraud” that “won’t end well”.

      On Monday night, RTHK and the South China Morning Post launched their 30th Operation Santa Claus, the annual charity fundraising event. This year donations will go to 14 Hong Kong projects. We’ll end with images of the opening ceremony at the Maritime Museum. And, in the spirit of giving, see you next week. Goodbye.

      18/11/2017
    • National Anthem Law & Special Educational Needs

      National Anthem Law & Special Educational Needs

      China introduced its National Anthem Law on 1st October this year. Last Saturday, the National People’s Congress voted to introduce that law to Hong Kong and Macau. With us in the studio are Executive Councillor Ronny Tong and Avery Ng, Chairman of the League of Social Democrats.

      In July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the government plans to spend an additional HK$3.6 billion per year on education, a partial fulfilment of her election pledge to increase recurrent annual expenditure on education by HK$ 5 billion. One initiative involves granting individual schools between HK$450,000 and HK$517,000 per year to hire full-time teachers to help students with special needs. But is that going to be enough?

      On Tuesday, Alex Chow, a former leader of the Occupy movement, was released on bail pending an appeal against his sentence for unlawful assembly. He is sharing his maybe temporary exit from jail with Joshua Wong and Nathan Law who were released on bail in late October. We’ll leave you with images of how that went and, without the need for any kind of appeal, hope to see you next week. Goodbye.

      11/11/2017
    • XRL co-location arrangement & Kwun Tong & Mong Kok redevelopment

      XRL co-location arrangement & Kwun Tong & Mong Kok redevelopment

      The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has been almost 20 years in the making. First proposed by the government in the Railway Development Strategy 2000, its critics see it as being a Trojan horse motivated by political aims rather than logistical ones. Despite protests from the public and hundreds of affected villagers who faced relocation, the 26 kilometre railway line received funding approval from Legco in 2010. Since then, the controversy has continued. The grounds for this controversy are extensive, including the high price tag, now - estimated to be over 84 billion dollars, through to delays in construction, and on, to government attempts to allow mainland officials to exercise legal jurisdiction in the Hong Kong station as part of the so-called co-location arrangement.

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam says there isn’t really any need for more public debate on the Express Rail Link. Official speeches on the government website will, apparently, provide all the information that anyone could require. Well, even when the public is consulted on government projects there’s been evidence that what the public asks for, even if agreed to by official organisations, doesn’t always materialise. A good example of this being consultations on Urban Renewal Authority projects.

      On Friday, Donald Trump embarked on his first Asian tour as the President of the United States. Against the background of the probe into Russian election meddling back home, his 12-day trip includes visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. We’ll leave you with images of that.
      See you next week. Goodbye.

      04/11/2017
    • XRL Co-location non-bidding motion debate, Rules of Procedure & Willy Lam on 19th NCCPC

      XRL Co-location non-bidding motion debate, Rules of Procedure & Willy Lam on 19th NCCPC

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam may have said she wanted to play nice with pro-democratic legislators and indeed there was even a moment last week when a partial rapprochement seemed possible as nine pan-democrat lawmakers turned up for lunch with her, breaking a longstanding boycott. But it didn’t last. After a long period of withholding information on the Express Rail co-location arrangements, the government has now decided that it wants legislator’s support for the plan – and it wants that to happen very fast. Last Tuesday, Ms Lam ordered the delay of a Legco debate on relaxing stamp duty for some home buyers so as to make way for the Express Rail debate. She said time is very tight for local legislation for the “Three-step Process” so it can be endorsed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in December. But pro-democracy legislators are suspicious about the sudden urgency. And confrontation has not only intensified, it has spread to arguments over Legco’s rules and procedures.

      On Wednesday, the Communist Party of China announced its new leadership line-up. President Xi Jinping cemented his position as the country’s leader and party chief and gave no indication as to who will succeed him, something that is usual in a leader’s second term. Xi said China is entering a new era, one in which “Xi Jinping Thought” has now been enshrined in the Party constitution.

      On Tuesday, activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were released on bail until 7th November when their applications for appeal are to be heard. The two were sentenced in August to respectively six and eight months in jail for unlawful assembly in Civic Square ahead of the occupation of Admiralty.
      We’ll leave you with images of their release. And hopefully see you next week. Goodbye.

      28/10/2017
    • Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Regular meetings of the Legislative Council have now resumed, but the new legislative session didn’t get off to a good start. Just one day after it began, meetings were adjourned when pro-democrats made 11 quorum calls. Now that the government has managed to disqualify six elected pro-democracy legislators, the pro-government camp believe they have the upper hand and want to amend Legco’s rules of procedure to limit debates and questioning of officials. The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chan Kin-por, is even taking steps to restrict debating time over government funding requests.

      Last week, we spoke to Chief Executive Carrie Lam about her first Policy Address. Land and housing were major priorities. Now with me in the studio to further discuss these ever controversial matters is the Undersecretary for Transport and Housing, Raymond So.

      Those expecting news of more affordable housing in last week’s Policy Address will have been very disappointed. However there were some new measures such as an increased supply of Subsidised Home Ownership units providing “Starter Homes” for middle-class families. Plus there are plans for “Light Housing” projects in idle government premises, some transitional housing and even the opportunity to live in shipping containers. Ms Lam says she wants to focus on home-ownership, yet many people can only dream of taking that first step on the housing ladder.

      Meanwhile more than 2,000 delegates from all over China are sitting in Beijing attending the 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, which will lay out new policies for the coming five years and looks to cement President Xi Jinping’s position. We’ll leave you with images of that. See you next week.

      21/10/2017
    • CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      Hello and welcome to a new season of The Pulse. On Tuesday, the day before delivering her maiden Policy Address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam released her self-assessed report card on her first 100 days in office. The 12-page document set the tone for what was to come the next day. She said the Address was to be “a new beginning” and hoped it would mark “new starting points” for many areas in Hong Kong.

      Following the Address on Wednesday, a survey conducted by Hong Kong University’s Public Opinion Programme found that 48% of respondents were satisfied with the Policy Address, 14% were not. Overall, on a scale of 0-100, respondents gave the Address a 62.4 score.

      That's it from us for this week. And just to update you - from now on, the first run of The Pulse is on RTHK 31 every Saturday at 6pm with a repeat on Sunday at 6:30am. If you prefer to watch on demand, via the RTHK website you can still catch us there or on our Facebook page – where you will find both streaming video and podcasts – or you can give RTHK’s mobile Apps a go. Wherever you catch us, we’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

      14/10/2017
    • Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      A founding member of the Democratic Party, Law Chi-kwong is the only member of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s cabinet with a pro-democratic background. He’s here with me to talk about his new role as Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

      From coping with the squatter settlements that housed mainland immigrants who poured into Hong Kong after the Communist revolution, to today’s situation where we have the world’s most expensive property market, housing a growing population has been a headache for many administrations. According to last year’s Hong Kong Council of Social Service survey, more than half of the population aged between 20 and 34 are earning less than the median wage of $14,700. Only 30% of them say they are satisfied with the economy, and a mere 20% believe that it will be possible to buy a home in the future. The government said that due to land shortages it will only be able to build 236,000 public housing flats instead of its target of 280,000 by 2027. Meanwhile, the average waiting time for public housing now stands at four years and eight months.

      We’ll be talking to the man who helped to shape Hong Kong’s post war public housing design: the 104-year-old former head of the Public Works Department, Michael Wright on London, and Marco Wu, the man who’s been dubbed the father of the Home Ownership Scheme.

      05/08/2017
    • XRL Co-location controversy & HK 1967 Riots

      XRL Co-location controversy & HK 1967 Riots

      The whole point of the Express Rail Link, 26 kilometres of which crosses Hong Kong, is that it’s supposed to be an “Express” rail link. It will service 16 cities in China. Travel times from Hong Kong to Beijing will be around nine and a half hours and seven and a half hours to Shanghai. The government says that convenience will be lost if travellers have to pass through two border controls so it wants mainland officials to operate in Hong Kong, imposing mainland law. Critics say this will knock a huge hole in the Basic Law. With me in the studio are legislator and Convenor of Roundtable, Michael Tien and former legislator and Senior Counsel Alan Leong.

      It’s fifty years since, in the long hot summer of 1967, the mass insanity of the Cultural Revolution spread to Hong Kong in the form of riots, bombings and murder. The disturbances began as labour disputes, but local leftists saw this as an opportunity to spread communist fervour, some of those involved even believed that the mayhem would force the British to return Hong Kong to Chinese rule. Most of the local population did not share their fervour, particularly when bombs killed innocent victims, including children. Bomb disposal experts were called to defuse as many as 8,000 suspected explosive devices, of which 1,100 were real. For almost eight months, the territory was embroiled in violent demonstrations, strikes, murder and intimidation.

      29/07/2017
    • Disqualification of 4 legislators, elderly scavengers in HK & Liu Xiaobo's commemoration

      Disqualification of 4 legislators, elderly scavengers in HK & Liu Xiaobo's commemoration

      Last Friday, in response to a legal action brought by then Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, the High Court disqualified four pro-democracy legislators for the way they took their oaths of office. This with the earlier disqualifications of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, effectively invalidates some 180,000 public votes for pro-democratic politicians.

      According to a report released by the Census and Statistics Department last month, the richest households in Hong Kong now earn around 44 times more than the poorest. The gap between the rich and poor is at a historic high. Hong Kong’s home to 1.16 million elderly, 2.6% more than five years ago. Almost a third are classified as poor elderly. Although they receive a small government payment of so-called “fruit money”, they find it hard to survive. Meanwhile, Chief executive Carrie Lam said, “subdivided flats” is just to be regarded as a general term. After all, not all of them are illegal or contravening fire safety and building regulations. Ms Lam’s Transport and Housing minister Frank Chan is even suggesting the government get in on the act by building and renting more of them as a temporary solution to our housing problem. If it’s hard for young working people to keep a roof over their head, spare a thought for Hong Kong’s elderly, a third of whom officially live in poverty. Some try to do a little manual work to survive, but a sometimes-hostile government bureaucracy only adds to their problems. For a society that claims to respect its elders, Hong Kong is not necessarily doing so well.

      It’s just over a week since the death of Nobel laureate and activist Liu Xiaobo. His body was cremated just three days later, his ashes scattered in the sea. The government says his wife Liu Xia and his friends are free to move as they wish, but it's understood they are being kept incommunicado. News of his death, and responses to it, is highly censored across the mainland. The aim of scattering the ashes at sea was likely to avoid creating any site for his supporters to gather in tribute. It may have backfired. The sea makes up two thirds of the world’s surface, and people in China and elsewhere are turning there to pay their respects. We’ll leave you for this week with images of the commemoration in Hong Kong and Liu’s friends in Beijing.

      22/07/2017
    • Liu Xiaobo's death, Hongkongers identity & 4 legislators disqualified

      Liu Xiaobo's death, Hongkongers identity & 4 legislators disqualified

      On Christmas Day, 2009, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment and two years deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power”.
      Two days before his sentence, he wrote his “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement”. It was intended to be read out in court but he was not allowed to finish reading it.
      A year later, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His death on Thursday made him the second winner of that prize to die in captivity. The first, Carl von Ossietzky, who was awarded the prize in 1935, also died in hospital while detained by the Nazi regime. Like Liu, he had been banned from collecting the award himself. Governments and organisations around the world had pleaded for Liu to be allowed to leave China for treatment. Here in Hong Kong, pro-Beijing lawmakers refused to allow his plight to even be debated in Legco, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it’s not her role to exert “pressure” on the central government over Liu’s fate. Coverage of Liu Xiaobo’s death in China has been muted. On social media, messages saying “RIP” or even showing candle emojis are being deleted. With me in the studio is William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International Hong Kong.

      When Chinese President Xi Jinping came to town two weeks ago to mark the 20th anniversary of the Handover, he laid down red lines Hong Kong should not cross. He said that, on day-to-day matters, we must “be guided by a strong sense of “one country”, and firmly observe the principle of “one country””. Any attempt to endanger China’s sovereignty and security and challenge the power of the central government is “an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible.” The president’s hard line and incidents such as the treatment of Liu Xiaobo and other dissidents continue to unnerve many Hongkongers, some of whom are planning to leave, but many mainlanders Hong Kong are keen to live here as they the SAR as a land of opportunity.

      15/07/2017
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