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  • [Siren wailing]

  • -The purpose of this piece of legislation

  • is not just to punish.

  • It is also to deter.

  • -This is basically the end of one judicial system.

  • -To deter people from committing such serious offenses

  • as secession,

  • subverting of state power, terrorist utilities,

  • and so on and on.

  • -There is no more justice system,

  • no more firewall between the system

  • in Hong Kong and in China.

  • -Free Hong Kong was one of the world's most stable,

  • prosperous, and dynamic cities.

  • Now -- Now we're just another communist-run city

  • where people subject to the party elite's whims.

  • -Probably in the future,

  • we may never see a million people on the street again,

  • just because we are now living in fear.

  • -Most people thought Hong Kong had more time.

  • More time to exercise freedom of speech in the press

  • and live under a legal system of due process.

  • Hong Kong's special status as a city

  • separated from the authoritarian rule of mainland China

  • should have lasted until 2047.

  • Sure, Beijing had been chipping away large

  • and small at the city's civil liberties

  • since Britain handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997.

  • In fact, last year's massive protests were in response

  • to an extradition bill

  • that would have allowed criminal cases

  • to be tried on the mainland.

  • But in 2020,

  • it seems the patience of China's President Xi Jinping ran out.

  • -On July 1st, Hong Kong's 7.

  • 5 million residents woke up to find themselves

  • effectively under the same speech restrictions

  • as in the mainland.

  • This meant possible life imprisonment

  • for crimes like subversion

  • and colluding with foreign forces,

  • which are crimes that had long been used in the mainland

  • for detaining political dissidents

  • and human rights activists.

  • Despite the harsh new laws,

  • thousands of Hong Kongers took to the streets July 1st.

  • Hundreds were arrested,

  • including at least 10 suspected of violating the new law.

  • One man was arrested for simply holding a sign

  • that read "Hong Kong Independence".

  • The news of the arrest was tweeted out

  • on the official account of the Hong Kong Police Force.

  • Countries like Taiwan, the US, Australia, and Britain

  • said they would open their doors to millions

  • of Hong Kong refugees ready to flee their home,

  • in some cases offering a path to citizenship.

  • -The fact that Britain and a number

  • of other Western governments,

  • including the United States, is considering giving Hong Kong

  • some kind of safe haven or sanctuary

  • or asylum really demonstrates

  • the gravity of the political crisis right now.

  • -China continued down this path, we would introduce a new route

  • for those with British national oversea status

  • to enter the UK,

  • granting them limited leave to remain with the ability

  • to live and work in the UK

  • and thereafter, to apply for citizenship,

  • and that is precisely what we will do now.

  • -They see this new national security law

  • that Beijing essentially rammed through Hong Kong

  • as a potential marker in the city's political evolution,

  • a pretty grim one, that may mean the end

  • of Hong Kong's special status, both in terms of business,

  • but also just in the Western political imagination.

  • -But if Hong Kong had until 2047,

  • why did Beijing act now?

  • -Beijing saw its opportunity this year,

  • with the coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter protests

  • taking up a lot of the attention and bandwidth

  • of other countries.

  • It was a time that they could move quickly on this.

  • That being said, it is something that Beijing

  • has been wanting to do for quite a while.

  • Since last year, when the protests broke out,

  • Beijing has been looking for a way that it can exert

  • more control in Hong Kong while still being able to say

  • that it's following the letter of the law

  • and that it isn't just, you know, a forcible takeover.

  • -Hong Kong activists have pledged to continue

  • their fight for civil liberties,

  • even if it means they'll have to do so outside the city.

  • But to many observers,

  • the law marks the definitive end to a democratic Hong Kong,

  • even if Hong Kong's chief executive sees it differently.

  • -This law will not undermined human rights and freedoms.

  • This law will restore stability to Hong Kong.

  • This law will ensure that this very important principle

  • of one country, two systems can continue,

  • and Hong Kong can enjoy longtime stability and prosperity.

[Siren wailing]

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Why China chose now to crack down on Hong Kong

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    erikayokoyama posted on 2020/09/09
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