Hong Kong is running out of opposition. Three high-profile democracy activists were jailed Wednesday, others have already fled the city, while still more face prosecution. Their cases involve a host of charges, both serious and petty, with one of those jailed this week, Agnes Chow, convicted in large part for shouting slogans through a megaphone.
The city's parliament no longer has any pro-democratic members, while the media and judiciary are coming under increasing pressure. Protests, once a symbol of Hong Kong, have been stifled by a new national security law and sporadically-applied coronavirus restrictions.
Invisible red lines are spreading out through a host of fields, with journalists facing arrest for accessing public records, or legislators accused of colluding with foreign powers for attending certain meetings. All the while, as members of the opposition are picked off one-by-one, the likelihood of them being replaced by new blood is shrinking, as the spaces for cultivating new talent shrink and the cost of getting involved in politics rises ever higher.