Claudia Mo Man-ching (born 18 January 1957) is a Hong Kong journalist and politician, a member of the pan-democracy camp. She represented the Kowloon West geographical constituency, until November 2020 when she resigned along other pro-democrats to protest against the disqualification of four of her colleagues by the government.[1]

Claudia Mo
Claudia Mo in 2013
Claudia Mo in 2013
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
1 October 2012 – 13 November 2020
Preceded byFrederick Fung
Succeeded byAbolished
ConstituencyKowloon West
Personal details
Mo Man-ching

(1957-01-18) 18 January 1957 (age 67)
British Hong Kong
Political partyCivic Party (2006–2016)
HK First (2013–present)
SpousePhilip Bowring
Residence(s)Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Island
Alma materCarleton University
OccupationJournalist, Columnist, Television presenter, Lecturer, Author
Claudia Mo
Traditional Chinese毛孟靜
Simplified Chinese毛孟静

Claudia Mo is one of 55 activists who were arrested in January 2021 under Hong Kong's new National Security Law.[2] On 28 February, she, together with 46 other defendants, were charged with the offence of conspiracy to commit subversion. They appeared in West Kowloon Magistracy on 1 March. After a four-day bail hearing, the court denied her bail and remanded her and 31 other co-defendants in jail custody for three months, pending further police investigation.[3] A court judgement released in late May 2021 evinced that WhatsApp messages to international media had been considered in the judgement to deny Mo bail earlier in April under the stringent bail conditions of the national security law.[4]

Personal life and education


Mo was born in Hong Kong, to where her parents had arrived as refugees from Ningbo, Zhejiang, in 1950. She is married to journalist Philip Bowring, former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, and they have two sons.[5]

She attended St. Paul's Secondary School in Hong Kong.[6] After graduating in 1975, she went to Toronto for pre-university qualifications and in 1979 she obtained a Bachelor's degree in journalism with English studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

After graduating and returning to Hong Kong in 1980[5] she worked at Agence France-Presse (AFP) translating French wires into Chinese. She was later promoted to chief Hong Kong correspondent for AFP, covering in this role the Tiananmen Square massacre, an event which she describes as a "watershed [...] that cemented my journalistic principles and political beliefs".[7]

She continued her work as a journalist at The Standard and TVB.[8] She also hosted a number of RTHK TV and radio programmes, including "Media Watch" and "City Forum".[9][10]

Mo wrote a book called We Want True Democracy, published in 2015, and has also authored English language learning books.[11][8]

47 UK MPs filed a letter calling for her release in March 2023 to allow her to spend time with her husband, who is in an ICU ward.[12]



Mo is a founding member of the Civic Party in 2006. She first ran in the Kowloon West geographical constituency in the 2008 Legislative Council election but was unsuccessful.[13]

In the 2012 election, she won one of the constituency's five available seats. She ran with the slogan "Against Mainlandisation" which led to controversy within the party, as the Civic Party used the slogan "Against Communistisation." After her election, she was considered more pro-localist within the party. She formed the "HK First" with Neo Democrats' Gary Fan to work on the localist agenda.

Mo took part in the 2014 Hong Kong protests. The following year, she told a journalist that she did not consider the protests a failure, due to the attention they seemed to have drawn by many to the "plight of the Hong Kong people". On the same occasion, she spoke of a "parental mentality" of the Chinese Central Government towards Hong Kong.[5]

In the 2016 election, she was re-elected with the slogan of "self-determination". She later quit the Civic Party on 14 November 2016, citing differences with the party on localism, filibuster and other issues. She said she would continue serving the legislature as an "independent democrat" under the label "HK First".[14]

On 6 January 2021, Mo was among 53 members of the pro-democratic camp who were arrested under the national security law, specifically its provision regarding alleged subversion. The group stood accused of the organisation of and participation in unofficial primary elections held by the camp in July 2020.[15] Mo was released on bail on 7 January.[16]

In late February 2021 after being charged with subversion, Mo was under custody again, and on 4 March, she was among only 15 of the 47 defendants in the case to be granted bail. However, she remained in custody pending an appeal by the Hong Kong government.[17] She was denied bail in mid-April, with a judgement releasing in late May considering the argument of the prosecution that her exchanges on WhatsApp with Western media were a "threat to national security".[4]

In August 2022, Mo admitted her guilt to a charge of "conspiracy to subvert state powers". She was one of 29 of 47 activists who pled guilty to the same charge: their sentencing was adjourned, pending trial of the 17 other co-defendants.[18]

Insult from Junius Ho


During a 2019 Legislative Council meeting, a Hong Kong lawyer and politician, Junius Ho made a remark directed toward Claudia Mo, stating that she is used to "eating foreign sausage." Mo, who is married to British journalist Philip Bowring, later told the council that the comment was "blatantly sexist, racist and it amounts to sexual harassment."[19] Ho refused to apologise and was expelled from the meeting.[20]

Television career


See also



  1. ^ "Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign after China ruling". BBC. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ Wong, Natalie (6 January 2021). "Hong Kong national security law: 53 former opposition lawmakers, activists arrested; authorities accuse them of plot to 'overthrow' government". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  3. ^ Wong, Brian (12 March 2021). "National security law: bail denied again for 11 of the 47 Hong Kong opposition figures charged with subversion; 10 others withdraw bids at last minute". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Social media messages from Hong Kong democrat Claudia Mo to int'l media 'a threat to national security'". Hong Kong Free Press. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Jordan, Primrose; Chan, Ho-him (23 June 2022). "She was loved for standing up to China. She may die in jail". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  6. ^ Whitehead, Kate (18 February 2020). "Hong Kong legislator Claudia Mo on Tiananmen Square, Junius Ho and why 'you have to take sides in life'". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  7. ^ Chan, Yannie (7 November 2013). "Claudia Mo". HK Magazine.
  8. ^ a b Kwok, Ben (17 June 2015). "Ms. Mo speaks up in English for true democracy". Hong Kong Economic Journal.
  9. ^ Executive Committee of Civic Party Archived 21 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Ms MO, Claudia Man Ching 毛孟靜". Chinese University. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  11. ^ Heung, Charis (16 July 2015). "Would you spend HK$50,000 on a set of English learning books?". Hong Kong Economic Journal.
  12. ^ "Hong Kong 47: UK MPs call for release of ex-lawmaker Claudia Mo". BBC News. 3 March 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  13. ^ 2008 Legislative Council Election Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Hong Kong lawmaker Claudia Mo resigns from Civic Party citing 'differences' over localism and other issues". South China Morning Post. 14 November 2016.
  15. ^ "National security law: Hong Kong rounds up 53 pro-democracy activists". BBC News. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  16. ^ Chau, Candice (8 January 2021). "'Hong Kong has entered a bitter winter,' says primaries organiser as 52 democrats in mass arrest bailed out". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  17. ^ Walker, Tommy (4 March 2021). "Hong Kong Court Orders 47 Pro-Democracy Activists Held". Voice of America. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  18. ^ Wang, Wallis (19 August 2022). "29 activists plead guilty to subversion charge". The Standard. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  19. ^ "'She eats foreign sausage': Junius Ho kicked out of LegCo meeting over sexist insult". 15 October 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Legco panel kicks out Junius Ho over crude remark". RTHK. 15 October 2019. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019.
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Kowloon West
Preceded by Convenor of pro-democracy camp
Succeeded by