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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
    21/04/2018

    Three years ago China passed a national security law and designated 15th April as National Security Education Day. Mainland law does not apply in Hong Kong but last Sunday, the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute organised a high-profile symposium to mark this day. Speakers took it as an opportunity to attack law academic Benny Tai’s s remarks on independence at a seminar in Taiwan last month, and to put extra pressure on the SAR to enact its own national security law. With me in the studio is the former leader of the Liberal Party, James Tien. I should add that we also asked a number of individuals who have supported introducing a National Security Law to talk to us, but they declined.

    Within ten days in March, there were three suspicious fires at the Nam Sang Wai wetlands, affecting more than 12 hectares of land. Less than a month later, there was a fourth. This one damaged a small ferry pier and a boat. Police and fire fighters say the fires are suspicious. The wetland has been in the sights of developers for some time.
    Among the reasons for the suspicion about these fires is the fact that reducing the ecological value of areas makes it easier to get permission for development. This is what’s known as the strategy of “destroy first, build later”.

    Well, that’s it from us for this week. We’ll end with footage of this week’s visit to Hong by retired Chinese official, Qiao Xiaoyang to speak at a seminar on the Basic Law.
    This is the second seminar of this kind within a week, and you may be thrilled to learn that there are probably many more to come. In part this is because the government has poured almost HK$24 million, 30% more than last year, into training civil servants to understand the correct nationalist perspective.
    Correct, of course, is what we do at The Pulse so we’ll correctly see you next week.

    重温

    CATCHUP
    02 - 04
    2018
    RTHK 31
    • James Tien on national security law & land battles

      James Tien on national security law & land battles

      Three years ago China passed a national security law and designated 15th April as National Security Education Day. Mainland law does not apply in Hong Kong but last Sunday, the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute organised a high-profile symposium to mark this day. Speakers took it as an opportunity to attack law academic Benny Tai’s s remarks on independence at a seminar in Taiwan last month, and to put extra pressure on the SAR to enact its own national security law. With me in the studio is the former leader of the Liberal Party, James Tien. I should add that we also asked a number of individuals who have supported introducing a National Security Law to talk to us, but they declined.

      Within ten days in March, there were three suspicious fires at the Nam Sang Wai wetlands, affecting more than 12 hectares of land. Less than a month later, there was a fourth. This one damaged a small ferry pier and a boat. Police and fire fighters say the fires are suspicious. The wetland has been in the sights of developers for some time.
      Among the reasons for the suspicion about these fires is the fact that reducing the ecological value of areas makes it easier to get permission for development. This is what’s known as the strategy of “destroy first, build later”.

      Well, that’s it from us for this week. We’ll end with footage of this week’s visit to Hong by retired Chinese official, Qiao Xiaoyang to speak at a seminar on the Basic Law.
      This is the second seminar of this kind within a week, and you may be thrilled to learn that there are probably many more to come. In part this is because the government has poured almost HK$24 million, 30% more than last year, into training civil servants to understand the correct nationalist perspective.
      Correct, of course, is what we do at The Pulse so we’ll correctly see you next week.

      21/04/2018
    • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Maco Bridge's artificial island controversy: discussion with Albert Lai & Raymond Chan

      Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Maco Bridge's artificial island controversy: discussion with Albert Lai & Raymond Chan

      Taxpayers are paying something like HK$200 billion for Hong Kong’s contribution to two controversial infrastructure projects, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge and the Express Rail Link. Concerns have been raised about both projects and the degree to which Hong Kong has relinquished control over aspects of their construction and operation. On Tuesday last week, the last carriage of an Express Rail train was derailed during testing. Two days later, news media revealed aerial images of an artificial island that’s included in the bridge project. This appeared to show that part of it was drifting away. With me in the studio are Albert Lai of the Professional Commons & Raymond Chan, former Head of the Geotechnical Engineering Office.

      Talking of things that are complicated brings us to the grilling given to Facebook founder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg by US legislators this week. Top of their agenda were questions over Facebook’s collaboration with Cambridge Analytica which harvested the data of an estimated 87 million Facebook users and used the results for political campaigns. Some people thought that Zuckerberg dodged tough questions others were struck by the level of ignorance among lawmakers about how the internet works. Zuckerberg was asked at one point whether he was willing to reveal which hotel he was staying at while in Washington DC. He was not. The point being that information of this kind can easily be obtained from unwary Facebook users. Meanwhile we’ll see you next week, possibly by means of Facebook - hum.

      14/04/2018
    • Interview with Ireland Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney & Foreign investment in China

      Interview with Ireland Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney & Foreign investment in China

      Local government elections are set to take place in England on 3rd May. 150 council seats are up for grabs. It’s the first nationwide election since Prime Minister Teresa May’s ill-advised attempt to strengthen her party’s position to negotiate Brexit by calling a snap general election. As then, these local elections will be seen as reflecting public opinion on Brexit. The UK is slated to depart the European Union on the 30th of March next year, but much remains to be agreed, including what will happen to the 300-mile border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Last month, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, came to Hong Kong. He’s also the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, with special responsibilities for Brexit. We spoke to him during his visit here.

      A trade war between the United States and China seems to be heating up. On Tuesday, the US published a list of 1,300 Chinese products to be targeted for a 25% tariff. Beijing retaliated by announcing tariffs on 106 US products. Two days late Donald Trump, as is his way, decided to retaliate against the retaliation. Apparently another US$100 billion in tariffs is now under consideration. The PRC is America’s third largest export market for goods and, of course many other countries also have strong trading ties with China, but doing business in the mainland is far from easy. At the 19th Chinese Party Congress last October, and again at the two meetings last month, Xi Jinping said that the PRC plans to reduce some areas of restriction on market access for overseas companies. It’s hardly a secret that foreign companies face a number of obstacles when operating in the PRC, and are also having to cope with new policies such as the cyber security law, the crackdown on virtual private networks or VPNs, and tightening Party control, So, just how welcoming is China for overseas companies?

      07/04/2018
    • Private recreational clubs, discussion with Tanya Chan & Felix Chung & eSports

      Private recreational clubs, discussion with Tanya Chan & Felix Chung & eSports

      During this long Easter holiday some people will be getting out and about for a bit of fresh air. Others will be driving parents and teachers to distraction because they’re hunched over computer screens in combat with other online gamers. But don’t scoff. Professional computer gaming can pay better than entry level professional athletics. More on that in part two.

      But first to the homes of some more traditional sports played in environments less egalitarian and accessible than home computer games. Hong Kong currently has 27 private recreational clubs operating on often large areas of government land. Many pay little or no rent. Meanwhile plenty of Hong Kong residents have nowhere decent to live, and there are increasing questions about why so much land is reserved for the recreation of so few. With us in the studio are legislators Tanya Chan of the Civic Party and Felix Chung of the Liberal Party to talk about this issue.

      Parents, teachers, girlfriends and boyfriends of video gamers, take heart. What might seem to be an antisocial hobby can turn into a lucrative career.
      Electronic sports or eSports take video games to a professional level. Most are team-based and can involve competing in leagues and tournaments. They include battlefield games, card games, strategy games, or sports simulations. Electronic games as a professional spectator sport have become a multi-billion dollar business that’s now projected to bring in more revenue than some traditional pastimes.

      Well that’s it from us. We’ll leave you with images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s surprise two-day visit to Beijing this week where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping. It’s been suggested that the trip to Beijing was a bit of a curveball ahead of Donald Trump’s planned but still unscheduled meeting with Kim.
      We however are scheduled to be back next week. So, for now goodbye. And enjoy the break.

      31/03/2018
    • China's

      China's "Two Sessions": discussion with Lee Cheuk-yan & Lawrence Ma & Foreign media in China

      On Tuesday, President Xi Jinping delivered his closing speech to the 16-day session of the National People’s Congress. Two big changes were endorsed at the “Two Sessions”. Term limits for the president and vice-president were deleted from the constitution and “Xi Jinping Thought” was written in. Xi also reshuffled the government and placed trusted aides in key positions. The party’s control is now stronger, as Xi reiterated in his closing speech: He said: “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all.”

      Last December, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China conducted its annual survey of its members. 40% of respondents felt that conditions for reporting on the mainland had deteriorated. 73% said it was increasingly difficult to report in many areas outside the capital, particularly Xinjiang. Then there are concerns about surveillance, invasion of privacy, and even their home news organisations being pressurised by overseas Chinese officials. Some visas have been either cancelled or not-renewed for reasons related to reporting. More than half said they had experienced interference, harassment and physical violence … as well as potential interviewees being afraid to even talk to them. Yvonne Tong spoke to a group of foreign correspondents in Beijing during the recently concluded.

      24/03/2018
    • 311 Legco by-election 2018

      311 Legco by-election 2018

      It’s all over bar the shouting … and a judicial review or two. Last Sunday’s Legco by-election to fill three district and one functional constituency seat ended up with two victories for pro-democrat candidates and two for the pro-government camp. The overall turnout in the three geographical constituencies wasn’t great at just 43%. In fact turnout at by-elections generally tends to be lower and there were complaints that the government played down publicity for this one. Our team was out on voting day and at the media centre for the vote count.

      So, what next for the democrats, and Indeed what’s next for Hong Kong’s political development? On the morning after the final count, Liz Yuen spoke to political analyst Ma Ngok at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. And Charles Mok, convenor of the pan-democratic camp later in the week.

      That’s all we have time for this week. We’re ending today’s programme with a tribute to the man who may have done more to open up the secrets of the origins of “life, the universe, and everything” than anyone since Albert Einstein. Stephen Hawking died in the early hours of Wednesday, aged 76. He had been told at the age of 22 that he had only a few more years to live, but instead, over the next half century, he went on to massively increase understanding of our origins. We'll see you next week. Goodbye.

      17/03/2018
    • Two meetings in Beijing & development of Chinese medicine

      Two meetings in Beijing & development of Chinese medicine

      It’s that time of the year for the “two sessions”, the meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress.
      There has been a little more controversy than usual this year, both inside and outside the country, because the party leadership has proposed removing the constitutional restriction on the president and vice president serving more than two consecutive terms. The Pulse’s Yvonne Tong is in Beijing.

      In last Wednesday’s Budget, the government announced that it’s planning to increase spending on public healthcare by 13.3% to $71.2 billion. Much of that money is going to public health facilities and services, drug treatment, manpower, and training, but the government is also allocating more resources to the development of Chinese medicine. It has set aside HK$500 million to promote applied research, knowledge exchange, cross-market co-operation and so on. But among those working in the field and training to do so, there’s concern over what they see as a serious imbalance in their profession.

      And that’s all we have time for this week. Don’t forget that Sunday is the day for voting in the by-elections to fill the three district seats and one functional constituency seat made vacant after pro-democracy lawmakers were disqualified last year. On Wednesday night, a banner was seen on Beacon Hill, protesting against the original disqualifications and urging people to cast their votes in these elections. Obviously it’s up to you whether you do so and it’s up to us to make sure we’re here next week. So goodbye for now.

      10/03/2018
    • Budget & interview with James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury

      Budget & interview with James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury

      How can a government spend a HK$138 billion surplus that’s burning a hole in its pocket this year? Give the people cash hand-outs? Or maybe a day at Ocean Park? Or with property prices at an all-time high, give tax deductions to renters? Financial Secretary Paul Chan may be injecting some of that cash into IT development but he still insists tax deductions for renters is problematic because it means upgrading the Inland Revenue Department’s computer system. Then there’s the matter of whether this budget violates Article 107 of the Basic Law which stipulates that the percentage increase of government expenditure should be commensurate with the level of economic growth. Jasper Tsang, the former Legco president is among those who have raised this as being a problem. Earlier I spoke to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, James Lau at the Central Government Complex.

      And that’s all we have time for right now. Meanwhile this week sees the start of meetings for lawmakers In Beijing – top of their agenda will be the proposal to end time limits on the length of Xi Jinping’s presidency. Internet commentators on the mainland who have directly or even very indirectly questioned this change have seen their comments and creative ways of getting around censorship quickly taken down. We’ll leave you with that and see you next week.

      03/03/2018
    • Overcrowding and manpower crisis at public hospitals & does food expiration dates matter

      Overcrowding and manpower crisis at public hospitals & does food expiration dates matter

      The flu season is upon us, and, not for the first time it’s led to overcrowding and a medical manpower crisis in public hospitals. According to the Hospital Authority, around 230 people have died since the start of the winter flu season in early January. Public hospitals are severely stretched. With us in the studio are legislator Kwok Ka-ki and Alex Lam Chairman of Hong Kong Patients' Voices.

      Food waste in Hong Kong is a big problem. It makes up the largest portion of municipal waste in local landfills. We dump more than 3,000 tonnes each day. Some of it is perfectly edible. And it’s not just cheap food. Many packaged food products, especially in supermarkets, are marked with “use by” or “best before” dates. Just before the Lunar New Year, there were reports on social media that 3,000 tins of abalone, which had passed their sell-by date had been dumped at one refuse collection point.
      It’s a situation that’s drawn attention worldwide, with many food retailers even arguing they are scared to give expired food to charities in case food poisoning leads to criminal liability. Much of it though is completely safe.

      We'll leave you with images of the Chinese New Year ritual last Saturday where there was confusion as a fortune stick picked by the Sha Tin rural committee vice-chairman was mixed up with the one drawn for Hong Kong by Heung Yee Kuk chairman Kenneth Lau. Both sticks had mixed messages. And there've been mixed reviews for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's new "Connect Hall", criticised for having a less than original design, being shoddily finished, and for including a wall with characters containing negative words such as "bribe", "thief", "defeat" and "poor".

      24/02/2018
    • CNY Special: Lai Chi Wo Hakka culture & welfare of dogs

      CNY Special: Lai Chi Wo Hakka culture & welfare of dogs

      Kung Hei Fat Choy! Hello and welcome to the first episode of The Pulse in the Year of the Dog.

      The some 300-year-old Lai Chi Wo village inside Plover Cove Country Park is one of Hong Kong’s best-preserved Hakka villages. Consisting of about 200 houses, three ancestral halls and two temples, it’s situated in a crescent of thick trees and shrubs that acts as a natural barrier. Pretty much abandoned for a long time, the village has undergone something of a revitalisation and now serves as a pilot example for nearby communities.

      It’s the Year of the Dog, and in Chinese iconography, dogs symbolise good luck, loyalty, obedience, prosperity, and a promise of friendship. But their relationship with humans isn’t always an easy one. Not only are they – often brutally - killed and eaten in some Asian countries, including China, commercial breeders and pet shops are known to confine them in particularly distressing conditions, and would-be owners are not even allowed to keep them in many Hong Kong housing estates. Things are looking up, as more people across Asia and locally are adopting dogs and looking out for their welfare. As anyone who lives with them knows, they often give back at least as much affection and trust as they receive.

      17/02/2018
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