Since the commie cough started my posting about Hong Kong took a break. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been carefully following the HK Boogaloo. Protesting their continued as China tried to use the virus to not so subtly increase their grip. Well, it looks like the facade of HK being “free” is about to come to an end sooner than expected.
HONG KONG — Martin Lee has tangled with the Chinese Communist Party countless times in his decades-long fight to achieve free elections in Hong Kong and enlist Western support for the city’s democratic ambitions.
Last weekend, the police came knocking. Seven officers appeared at Lee’s home and arrested the 81-year-old for participating in an unauthorized protest last year that 1.7 million people attended. More than a dozen other democracy activists were detained the same day.
The arrests buttressed a week of coordinated actions by Beijing that experts say have redefined the status of Hong Kong. The effect was to demolish the “one country, two systems” framework that prohibits Beijing’s involvement in local affairs and is supposed to afford the financial center a high level of autonomy.
“The very important story is not my arrest,” Lee, who helped draft Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, said in an interview after being released on bail. “What really concerns me is that the basic promise of Hong Kong has been completely changed.”
In recent days, authorities have said for the first time that Beijing’s representative offices in the territory can “supervise” Hong Kong’s internal affairs — a step that legal experts say violates its constitutional firewall with the mainland.
Reporters that have been kicked out of the mainland now are unable to get visas for HK.
For many observers, a more concerning development came last week, when China’s top office in Hong Kong said it was effectively above the city’s mini-constitution and unbound by an article that bars the Chinese government from involving itself in the city’s local affairs. The Hong Kong government responded by issuing three conflicting statements within a few hours. Its final version agreed with the premise set down by the Chinese liaison office.
They chanted familiar protest slogans “Five demands, not one less,” “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolutions of our time,” and “Disband the police force, no delay.