08/20/2019, 16.02
HONG KONG - CHINA
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The Beijing war: a former Cathay Pacific pilot resigns

by Paul Wang

In 2016 Jeremy Tam-Man-Ho was elected to the Legco in the pro-democracy party.  Beijing forces Cathay Pacific to set aside or fire all those who participated in the anti-extradition demonstrations because they pose a "security" risk.

 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a former Cathay Pacific pilot and democratic parliamentarian, has resigned today, hoping to put an end to the "political storm" that hit the airline.

In the past few days, Cathay has been under pressure from Beijing to exclude all its employees who actively participated in the anti-extradition demonstrations in Hong Kong from its flights in China and to dismiss them.  According to Beijing, allowing these people to continue would constitute an attack on "security".

Following this, CEO Rupert Hogg and his deputy Paul Loo Kar-pui resigned and the company had to obey the demands of the Beijing Civil Aviation.

In a post on Facebook, Tam explains that he loves his job, but that he had to resign after 18 years of employment due to the harsh criticism of Cathay Pacific and him by pro-Beijing personalities, such as former Governor Leung  Chun-ying.  Already a pilot, he was elected to the Legco in 2016. Since then he could not fly, but was retained as an "expert" and to maintain the level of exercise, every three months he participated in flight simulations.

China's war against Hong Kong demonstrations has also become a trade war: on 7 August, Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Office, along with Wang Zhimin, head of the Hong Kong Liaison Office, held a closed-door summit in Shenzhen, to which 500 business personalities and pro-Beijing parliamentarians were invited.  Zhang asked all of them to support the Hong Kong government and police.

Asked if the Cathay Pacific episode did not point to the weakening of Hong Kong as a "free economy", executive chief Carrie Lam replied: "I cannot respond for the commercial decisions of specific companies."

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