torsdag 23. april 2020

'What better time than now?' Fears China will use crises to cement grip on Hong Kong

“Thus we left Hong Kong to her fate and the hope that Martin Lee, the leader of the Democrats, would not be arrested,” wrote Prince Charles in his journal after Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. Twenty-three years later, his premonitions unfortunately came true. Lee, the 81-year-old founder of the Democratic party and a senior barrister, was among 15 veteran pro-democracy activists arrested by Hong Kong police on Saturday on charges of illegal assembly, accused of being involved in unapproved protests last year.

Just the night before, China’s liaison office in Hong Kong declared it was not bound by a clause in the city’s post-handover mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which bars the Chinese government from interfering in local affairs. Amid accusations of overreach by Beijing into the city’s legislative council and judiciary escalate, the liaison office’s chief, Luo Huining, also called for national security legislation to be urgently passed.