21 October 2016
Boston's historic Freedom Trail can offer food for thought for Hong Kong's embattled leader CY Leung. Photo:, HKEJ
Boston's historic Freedom Trail can offer food for thought for Hong Kong's embattled leader CY Leung. Photo:, HKEJ

Oh, the irony: CY Leung tours Boston, home of colonial uprising

As top lieutenants grovel for support as they push a controversial political reform package, Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, ironically, is in Boston, home of an iconic protest that escalated into the American Revolution.

CY Leung, according to an official statement, flew to Boston on Monday to attend a dinner reception there in celebration of the launch of Cathay Pacific’s direct flight services between Hong Kong and Boston.

During his trip, Leung’s schedule will be light—visits to MIT and Harvard, plus a luncheon—so it seems he’ll have some time to relax and simply be a tourist before making the return journey Thursday.

Now, let me offer some suggestions.

Hey, CY, why not take in the historic Freedom Trail tour?

It’ll take you less than two hours and will help you forget about all your troubles in Hong Kong.

At the site of the Boston Massacre, for example, your tour guide will take you back to 1768 when British troops were sent into Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials attempting to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation.

With all the Redcoats around trying to quell protests, angry confrontations were…

Oh, wait. Maybe that’s a little too familiar.

How about Bunker Hill?

The Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 was the first major battle of the Revolutionary War and predicted the character and outcome of the rest of the war.

It was in this battle that, “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” is said to have been uttered by Colonel William Prescott and has come to immortalize the determination of the ill-equipped Colonists.

While technically a British victory, the Battle of Bunker Hill proved that Colonial forces could fight effectively against an overwhelming force.


Let’s try the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. You like tea, right?

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest where demonstrators destroyed an entire shipment of tea in defiance of oppressive rule.

Oh, man.

CY, maybe you’re better off just catching a movie in your hotel room. Might I suggest “Made in Hong Kong?”


Leung’s trip comes as government ministers have been promoting the final version of the reform proposal for the 2017 chief executive election.

Officials, including Leung, have gone to local communities in the city to win support for the package since it was announced on April 29. The plan appears likely to be voted down by opposition legislators.

According to media reports, a bipartisan group of US congressmen will meet with Leung upon his return to Hong Kong to discuss the city’s constitutional reform.

US Democrats Eliot Engel and Brad Sherman and Republicans Edward Royce and Matt Salmon will be in Hong Kong from May 7 to 9.

Royce and Engel are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the congressional foreign affairs committee. Salmon chairs its subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, while Sherman is the ranking member.

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