Hong Kong Reels After One Year of National Security Law Imposed by China

As China exuberantly celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, the mood and atmosphere for many in Hong Kong was different, as the territory marked the one-year anniversary of a controversial national security law critics say has significantly curtailed democratic freedoms. Ted Hui, a former pro-democracy lawmaker who fled to Australia after facing nine charges in Hong Kong, told VOA the city is “unrecognizable.” “In the past year I think the intensity is getting stronger and stronger and level of enforcement. It’s no doubt to me now, a year after the introduction of the NSL, 100% it is the death of ‘one country, two systems,’ a total collapse of Hong Kong’s freedoms. Not any autonomy at all,” he said.  Hui, was one of the 19 lawmakers who resigned from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in November in protest of the government’s decision to disqualify members of his party. China enacted the security law in response to widespread protests in 2019 over the enactment of a controversial extradition bill. Major protests ensued for six months, often turning violent.Among other things, the security legislation prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. At least 117 people have been arrested and 64 have been charged under the law, according to a A protester holding a U.K. flag is arrested by police officers during the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong handover to China at a street in Hong Kong, July 1, 2021.However, Chow Hang-tung, vice-chair of the nonprofit Hong Kong Alliance, said the security law means Hong Kong is now governed under a “dictatorship,” making it a city “under fear.”  “Before, we feel we have freedom of expression, we still have our opposition, we still have people running for primaries, and planning on taking the Legislative Council,” she told VOA.   “I think they [now] want to target civil society organizations, NGO’s and all these political parties and groups. And it looks like ours,” she added. Chow, who is also a lawyer, Fung Wai-kong, managing editor and chief opinion writer for shuttered pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily’s English website, who wrote under the pen-name Lo Fung, enters a waiting vehicle after leaving the police headquarters in Hong Kong on June 29.Apple Daily, the pro-democracy newspaper Lai founded, was forced to close last month after authorities arrested five executives, also for alleged foreign collusion. Hong Kong’s Security Bureau Four protesters carry a banner marching to the flag raising handover ceremony area in Hong Kong, July 1, 2021.However, just in case, a large police presence occupied the district Causeway Bay. Police stated 19 people were arrested during the day, including youth activist Wong Yat Chin, the convener of the pro-democracy political group StudentPoliticism. Jonathan Fritz, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, East Asian Pacific Affairs told reporters Thursday, “In spite of the ongoing, systematic crackdown, we are inspired to see the resilience of Hong Kongers in their pursuit of what the PRC promised them: a Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy, universal suffrage and genuine protection of fundamental freedoms.  We hope Beijing will realize the truth: Hong Kongers aren’t the problem; they are its greatest strength.  To dissent is to show your patriotism, and Hong Kongers are showing that they want their government to be better.  If the PRC can have the confidence to tolerate dissent and welcome diverse points of view, Hong Kong will flourish.”   

your ad here

leave a reply