Australia & World

Did China break its promise to the people 25 years after the return of Hong Kong?

From 25 years ago to today, thousands of people gathered on a rainy night in Hong Kong to celebrate an important ceremony that will change the flow of the city forever.
Some Hong Kongers felt sad, but others saw a wealth of opportunities when Britain handed over Hong Kong to Chinese rule under the promise of a “one country, two systems” policy.

“Now the people of Hong Kong are supposed to run Hong Kong. It’s a promise, and it’s an unwavering fate,” said Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong.

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He said goodbye to Hong Kong in a solemn speech at the delivery ceremony on the eve of July 1, 1997, attended by thousands of people and broadcast worldwide.
The takeover came from a joint British-Chinese statement signed by the United Kingdom and China in 1984. This marked the end of more than 150 years of British colonial rule.
Under the declaration, Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to Chinese control. Chinese rule was first transferred in 1842 after the Opium War. In return, China has promised to maintain the principle of “one country, two systems.” This principle will be enforced for 50 years until 2047.

This means that there is one “one China”, but Hong Kong has its own economic, legal and administrative system separate from mainland China.

Chinese and British flags hung above politicians and leaders at podium ceremonies

The official procedure for the Hong Kong delivery ceremony took place on the eve of July 1, 1997. sauce: Getty / / Peter Turnley / Corbis / VCG

The “one country, two systems” promised a high degree of autonomy and independent judiciary as stipulated in the Basic Law, the Mini Constitution. Thereby, the city leader (Chief Executive Officer) will be appointed by Beijing on the basis of local elections or consultations.

“People want the’one country, two systems’ to help the people of Hong Kong achieve complete democracy and maintain the rule of law and judicial independence,” said Hong Kong Fellow, Georgetown University. Eric Lai told SBS News.

Under the Basic Law, the ultimate goal was to give Hong Kongers the right to vote to elect a chief executive officer, but this has not yet been achieved. This triggered an opposition to democratization of the umbrella movement in Hong Kong in late 2014.

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“Fear, doubt and uncertainty”

But as Hong Kong entered the middle of a 50-year contract, some believe Beijing instead instilled “fear, doubt and uncertainty in one prosperous city.”

It made a difficult decision for 20 years to leave what he called his hometown, according to Kevin Yam of Hong Kong and Australia.

Kevin wears glasses, a checkered blazer, and a scarf and smiles at the camera.

Kevin Yam was a lawyer and activist in Hong Kong, but recently returned to Australia and grew up there. If he stayed in Hong Kong, he was afraid of his safety in the future.

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Melbourne, Yam returned to his beloved city for 20 years and worked as a lawyer and human rights activist.

It was until the people he loved were gone.
“I was starting to see more and more friends in jail and asylum,” he said.
Now he is back in Australia. This is partly due to the strict restrictions on COVID-19 in Hong Kong and the fear of being victims of the broader National Security Act that came into force in 2020.

“I’m not in imminent risk, but as you know now, it may be my turn in a few years.”

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“Chilling effect” of the National Security Law

According to Lai, the law “actually allows authorities to do whatever they want.”
“”[The law allows authorities] We will crack down on civil society and crack down on democratic movements on legal terms. “
After passed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on June 30, 2020, National Security Act could lead people to be prosecuted for secession, destruction, terrorism, or conspiracy with foreign troops against Hong Kong and China. Meaning that.
Since then, thousands of democratic politicians, journalists, activists and citizens have been arrested under the law. today, .. They have been imprisoned, self-exiled, or disqualified from employment.
A view shot of the bird's eye of thousands of people on the street. There is a movement against democratization.

Millions of opposition to democratization embarked on the streets of Hong Kong in 2019-20, demanding that Beijing and the Hong Kong government withdraw the controversial fugitive ordinance. sauce: AAP / / AP / Kincheon

Lai said the law would cause “a strong atrophy effect on civil society and individuals,” with dozens of civil society organizations breaking up and reporting people suspected of endangering national security by Hong Kongers. He said 200,000 people were reported under the designed government hotline.

The enforcement of Beijing’s National Security Act has helped a new wave of Hong Kongers move away from the city and around the world, and is obsessed with Chinese rule, reflecting similar trends before the 1997 delivery. Inflated the diaspora with people who feel they are.

Police use batons and get posters from protesters.

Many protests during the 2019-20 democratic movement became violent after authorities clashed with civilians. sauce: Getty / / Anadolu Agency

Yamuimo is one of the thousands of Hong Kongers in this bracket.

“Hong Kong has long been one of the places where people are self-reliant, leaving it to their own devices. They are diligent, entrepreneurial and motivated,” he says. To tell.

“But Beijing could somehow fill it all, and instead planted fear, suspicion and uncertainty in one prosperous city.”

Succession so far: Success or betrayal?

In the early years after delivery, Yam believes, “it wouldn’t have been unfair to say successful,” except for a few challenges.
But after the National Security Act came into force, everything he believed in Hong Kong’s autonomy was decimated.

“I think it’s really sad that Beijing was able to pack a place that was very difficult to pack.”

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Lai said the National Security Act disguised itself as a vague legal term to curb democratization and betray the values ​​that underpinned the “one country, two systems” policy promised 25 years ago.
He states that it is a “dramatic change” from the way people expected to live 25 years ago, and under the control of the CCP, these freedoms could become even more severe in the future. increase.
“We can foresee the many rights and freedoms people have enjoyed since the decline of deliveries,” Lai said.
However, Leung Chun-ying, a former city leader, said Hong Kongers retain the same rights as they did 25 years ago.

“We are a liberal and multidimensional society. People are free to express their views and strive for personal and sectoral interests,” he told the South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong “Reborn from Fire”: Xi Jinping

China’s President Xi Jinping took a different view, boasting of the success of his “one country, two systems” policy when he arrived in Hong Kong with his wife, Peng Ling, on Thursday. It was his first visit to the city in five years, and after a crackdown by the authorities, he launched a democratic movement.

Xi Jinping stands on the podium with a small smile, wearing a suit and a blue tie.

China’s President Xi Jinping said in a speech from Britain’s return of Hong Kong to China to the 25th anniversary that Hong Kong was “reborn.” sauce: AAP, AP / / Selim Chattyty

“Over the past period, Hong Kong has undergone multiple serious tests and has overcome multiple risks and challenges,” said Xi after arriving at the high-speed rail station connecting Hong Kong and mainland China.

“After the storm, Hong Kong was reborn from the fire and emerged with vigorous vitality.”
He quoted the challenges overcome in Hong Kong, but did not explicitly mention the authoritarian crackdown on the 2019-20 protests.

Xi will reportedly stay in the Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday night, 15 minutes by high-speed train from Hong Kong, and return to the city on Friday morning to attend the July 1st event. This includes an oath to John Lee, the city’s new leader.

Did Britain fail in its former colony?

Twenty-five years ago, Patten, the 28th and last British governor, was cautious about the future of his city.

“For Hong Kong as a whole, today is not a sadness but a celebration,” he said in a delivery speech.

Former British Governor Chris Patten wipes his eyes

Former British Governor Chris Patten wiped his eyes at the inaugural ceremony in Hong Kong on June 29, 1997. This is the last days in Hong Kong before the colony was handed over to China. sauce: AAP / / AP / Vincent You

Now he laments the declaration agreed by Britain and China all those years ago.

“China is trying to revenge and comprehensively remove Hong Kong’s freedom, as it breaks the Joint Declaration and sees Hong Kong’s freedom as a threat to the Chinese Communist Party’s ability to take power, not to China’s security.” Said recently.

And Mr. Yam believes that Britain also “definitely failed in Hong Kong.”

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“When the Hong Kong return negotiations were underway, both London and Beijing excluded Hongkongers from the negotiations,” Yam said.
Patten claimed that his country did not betray Hong Kong.

“What we did before 1997 is unlikely to affect the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party after Xi Jinping got the best job,” he said.

The army performs ritual procedures in the rain

During the heavy rain, a ceremony to return Hong Kong to China was held. sauce: Getty / / Mirrorpix

As of May, the British government revealed that it had received more than 120,000 applications from Hongkongers seeking migration to a country that helped build Hong Kong into its current vibrant economic center. did.

These “escapes” are recognized by Mr. Yamuimo, but they are not comparable to living safely and freely in your own hometown.
“After all, it’s the next best choice for Hong Kong,” he said.
“Most of our Hong Kongers wanted to stay in Hong Kong, have a family there, live there, and continue to build a wonderful city.”

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Did China break its promise to the people 25 years after the return of Hong Kong?

Source link Did China break its promise to the people 25 years after the return of Hong Kong?

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