Claudia Mo

Claudia Mo (born Mo Man-ching on 18 January 1957), also known as Claudia Bowring, is a Hong Kong journalist and politician, a member of the pan-democracy camp. She was a member of the Legislative Council, representing 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
毛孟靜
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 byVacant
ConstituencyKowloon West
Personal details
Born
Mo Man-ching

(1957-01-18) 18 January 1957 (age 64)
British Hong Kong
NationalityHong Kong
Political partyCivic Party (2006–2016)
HK First (2013–present)
Spouse(s)Philip Bowring
Children2
ResidenceRepulse 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. 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 gaol custody; the date of the court hearing was set in July as 23 September.

Personal life and educationEdit

Mo was born in Hong Kong and has family roots in Ningbo, Zhejiang. Mo is married to journalist Philip Bowring, former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, and they have two sons.[2]

She attended St. Paul's Secondary School in Hong Kong.[3] 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 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".[4]

She continued her work as a journalist at The Standard and TVB.[5] She also hosted a number of RTHK TV and radio programmes, including "Media Watch" and "City Forum".[6][7]

Mo wrote a book called We Want True Democracy, published in 2015, and has also authored English language learning books.[8][5]

PoliticsEdit

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.[9]

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.

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".[10]

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.[11] Mo was released on bail on 7 January.[12]

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.[13] On 29 March 2021, Mo's second bail application before the High Court was adjourned until 14 April after one-hour deliberation. If convicted under national security law offences, Mo faces a possible life sentence.[14] On 14 April 2021, the High Court denied her bail; she remained in prison until the beginning of proceedings in the case on 31 May.[15] According to a court judgment released on 28 May, the bail rejection had been based on WhatsApp correspondence and interviews of Mo with journalists from international media. The correspondence had been found on Mo's phone, which had been seized at her arrest. In her decision, the judge made reference to the higher threshold for bail in national security cases.[16] On 8 July, the chief magistrate adjourned the case to 23 September, complying with a request by prosecutors to give them more time to prepare their cases.[17]

Insult from Junius HoEdit

During a 2019 Legislative Council meeting, Pro-Beijing lawmaker 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."[2] Ho refused to apologise and was expelled from the meeting.[18]

Television careerEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign after China ruling". BBC. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b "'She eats foreign sausage': Junius Ho kicked out of LegCo meeting over sexist insult". Coconuts.co. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Chan, Yannie (7 November 2013). "Claudia Mo". HK Magazine.
  5. ^ a b Kwok, Ben (17 June 2015). "Ms. Mo speaks up in English for true democracy". Hong Kong Economic Journal.
  6. ^ Executive Committee of Civic Party Archived 21 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Ms MO, Claudia Man Ching 毛孟靜". Chinese University. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  8. ^ Heung, Charis (16 July 2015). "Would you spend HK$50,000 on a set of English learning books?". Hong Kong Economic Journal.
  9. ^ 2008 Legislative Council Election Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Hong Kong lawmaker Claudia Mo resigns from Civic Party citing 'differences' over localism and other issues". South China Morning Post. 14 November 2016.
  11. ^ "National security law: Hong Kong rounds up 53 pro-democracy activists". BBC News. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Walker, Tommy (4 March 2021). "Hong Kong Court Orders 47 Pro-Democracy Activists Held". Voice of America. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  14. ^ Chau, Candice (29 March 2021). "Hong Kong court denies bail to ex-lawmaker charged under national security law". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Claudia Mo denied bail in security law case". The Standard. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  16. ^ Kwan, Rhoda (28 May 2021). "Social media messages from Hong Kong democrat Claudia Mo to int'l media 'a threat to national security'". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  17. ^ Davidson, Helen (8 July 2021). "Hong Kong trial of 47 pro-democracy activists delayed for 11 weeks". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Legco panel kicks out Junius Ho over crude remark". RTHK. 15 October 2019.

External linksEdit

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Kowloon West
2012–2020
Vacant
Preceded by
Convenor of pro-democracy camp
2018–2019
Succeeded by