In Hong Kong, the effects of China’s “security law” are becoming increasingly apparent. With Nathan Law, one of the most prominent activists left the city. Many people are unsettled.
By Steffen Wurzel, ARD Studio Shanghai
China’s “Hong Kong Security Law” has a far greater impact than many initially thought. Renowned Hong Kong law professor Eric Cheung said the law outweighs worst fears. Freedom of expression is an example. Three days after the law came into force, many people in Hong Kong are unsure what to say and what not to say – and which slogans can still appear on posters or on T-shirts and leaflets.
Hong Kong police have declared numerous slogans and catchphrases of the democracy movement illegal, such as “Liberate Hong Kong” and “I am for an end to single-party rule in China”. All of this with reference to the “Security Act”, which punishes, among other things, undermining state power and separatism.
Hong Kong police even confiscated stickers with a Bible verse yesterday: “But the law should be revealed like water and justice like a strong current.”
Activists flee Hong Kong
In the meantime, several democracy activists have left Hong Kong. The most prominent is Nathan Law. The 26-year-old former student leader and MP said he wanted to continue working for democracy in the Special Administrative Region from abroad.
Law had that about three years ago ARD radio said: “In the short term, I am pessimistic about the future of Hong Kong. In the long term, however, I am very confident, because any autocratic system will collapse at some point. At least I believe that.”
In the past few days, the UK, Taiwan and Australia, among others, have announced that they will accept Hong Kong people. China’s communist leadership has strongly condemned this and threatened the states with retaliation.
China’s decision divides
Internationally, the reactions of the Chinese state and party leadership are quite divided: While almost all western democracies sharply criticized China’s state and party leadership, support comes from dozens of dictatorships and autocratically governed states worldwide. In the completely state-controlled Chinese media, there have been repeated reports of this over the past few days.
Hong Kongers who praise the “Security Act” also have their say in the Chinese state media. Sze Wai Pan, head of a garbage disposal company in Hong Kong, told CCTV: “Without a doubt, everyone in Hong Kong is very happy that the security law has come into force – in keeping with the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the homeland. On both sides, in Hong Kong and in the rest of the country, the law ensures better development, stability and growth. ”
China’s ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, also defended the “Security Act for Hong Kong”: the majority of law-abiding residents and foreigners in Hong Kong were not affected by the security law. Ambassador Wu Ken published his statement on Twitter in the evening. In his home country of China, the message cannot be read by the 1.4 billion inhabitants, where Twitter has been blocked by state censorship for more than ten years.