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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Chance Meetings

  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. EXT. MTR TRAIN CAR - 12:30


  4. PETER is having screen time.


  5. PETER (V.O.): It's a pleasant surprise that I'm going to a lunch appointment.


  6. Recalling.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having settled the "buy" and "sell" orders on stocks earlier, I meant to go swimming.


  8. Recalling.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, I got a lunch invitation, either today or tomorrow, as a common friend is arriving town.


  10. Recalling.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I can't make it tomorrow as my wife and I will travel to Macau.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I can be flexible to my routines.


  14. Act 2


  15. INT. ISLAND SHANGRILA - 13:00


  16. Led to a table, Peter greets the FRIEND and a GENTLEMAN warmly.

  17. PETER: It's been three years. The last time we met was in Beijing in 2019.


  18. Having done the orders, they chat and chat.


  19. PETER (V.O.): There're so many topics we can talk about.


  20. Eating.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We share common goals and are entrepreneurial in our special ways.


  22. As desserts are served, the gentleman makes a suggestion.


  23. GENTLEMAN: Would both of you care to visit my office?


  24. Pausing.


  25. GENTLEMAN (Cont'd): I'm now with the Hong Kong Regional Arbitration Centre of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO).


  26. PETER: Tell me more about AALCO.


  27. GENTLEMAN: It's an intergovernmental organization established in 1956 to promote legal cooperation and exchange between countries in Asia and Africa.


  28. PETER & FRIEND: Yes, we'd like to check it out.


  29. EXT. ADMIRALTY - CENTRAL VIA HONG KONG PARK - 14:15


  30. Walking past a red-brick classical building on a podium, the friend asks a question.


  31. FRIEND: What's this building?


  32. PETER: It's the former French Mission building.


  33. GENTLEMAN: It now houses the Asian Academy of International Law.


  34. PETER (V.O.): In the 1980s, International Law was my pet subject. My two LLMs are in International Law.


  35. Pausing.


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I've come to the conclusion that International Law is just power politics.


  37. INT. HONG KONG REGIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRE, AALCO - 14:30


  38. After visiting the offices, the Gentleman does a presentation. We see on slides the photos of China's former Premiers of Zhou Enlai and Li Keqiang.


  39. GENTLEMAN: The former Premiers attached great importance to AALCO.


  40. FRIEND: Quite.


  41. GENTLEMAN: Now AALCO's arbitration service has a Regional Centre in Hong Kong.


  42. PETER: Is the arbitration service confined to disputes between States?


  43. GENTLEMAN: No, the Centre resolves all kinds of disputes including those between private individuals, anywhere.


  44. PETER (V.O.): Largely due to difference of opinions, conflicts are inevitable. Peace is the ability to cope with them.


  45. Pausing.


  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But no one can comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable.


  47. Later, the Gentleman lets the friend and Peter discuss between themselves.


  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're discussing dispute prevention options on trade marks and copyright, not just in Hong Kong or mainland China, but worldwide.


  49. Pausing.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Needless to say, it's easier said than done.


  51. Act 3


  52. EXT. MTR TRAIN CAR - 18:00


  53. Peter is having screen time.


  54. PETER (V.O.): I feel that chance meetings often lead to more positive outcomes than ones planned in advance.


  55. Thinking.


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Actually, we didn't meet by chance. We optimized our window of opportunity to engage willingly.


  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's always good to be open to new opportunities and unexpected outcomes.


  59. FADE OUT


  60. THE END






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