Asia Society blames local unit for Joshua Wong ban

Asia Society blames the Hong Kong staff for banning Joshua Wong. File photo: RTHK

Asia Society blames the Hong Kong staff for banning Joshua Wong. File photo: RTHK

The US-based Asia Society on Friday said the decision to bar student leader Joshua Wong from an event was a “an error in judgement made at the staff level” in Hong Kong.

A statement from the organisation’s headquarters in New York said it takes this issue seriously, but did not specify what action, if any, it will take over this. 

Demosisto leader Wong was to appear last week at the launch of a book published by the local chapter of writers group Pen to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover. The objection by the Asia Society prompted the organisers of the event to relocate it to the Foreign Correspondents Club.

After the reason for the shift was revealed, many people including a US Congressman had criticised the society and demanded an explanation.

The Asia Society statement said it had hosted events at all of its global locations with speakers representing all sides of major Asia-related issues. “This has been one of our core principles since our founding in 1956; it’s still our policy today,” it said. 

It also recalled that in May, Joshua Wong spoke at the Asia Society in New York along with other speakers from Hong Kong.

The local unit of the Asia Society is headed by Ronnie Chan, a property tycoon and a vocal supporter of the former Chief Executive, CY Leung.

In a statement, Demosisto said it was disappointed that the leadership of Asia Society had not taken any measures to remedy the situation. It also pointed out that it was not the first time the society has done such a thing, recalling the cancellation of a movie linked to the 2014 Occupy protests.

Last updated: 2017-07-07 HKT 13:24