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Latest for @dw_chinese - On Tuesday, #HK's DOJ informed @BrianLeungKP that they have added "riot to his list of charges, increasing his possible jail time. In this interview, he reflected on the changes that #HK and him have experienced since July 2019.…
"On June 9, I woke up in the middle of the night, and when I learned about the news, my heart sank. I know it was always a possibility that we would be charged with something more serious than entering the Legco chamber without permission, which carries a three-month sentence."
"I know that the Hong Kong government is taking advantage of the pandemic and know very well that it is the first anniversary of the whole anti-extradition bill movement. They want to do everything to stop the protesters from reigniting the fire again," Brian told me.
"I think the result is extremely devastating for me and I feel really sorry for all the co-defendants. I also feel the government is really pushing the boundary in terms of repressing the possibility of another new movement."
"The Hong Kong government is basically subsumed by the central government and it has no autonomy whatsoever. Even though two million people took to the streets to demand a serious political reform in Hong Kong, yet Carrie Lam is still in power," Brian said.
"They need her to remain in power to execute whatever order that comes from them. I think we should make no mistake about the fact that the Hong Kong government has no autonomy and is merely executing Beijing’ wills."
"Hong Kong’s education bureau has been purged, the business sector in Hong Kong is being purged and banks are asked to pledge their allegiance to the national security law. This reflects Beijing’s will to control every sector of Hong Kong."
"I think comprehensive control and political purging will be the main ways that Beijing is going to deal with Hong Kong over the next few years. This is the reality that we have to face."
"I think people will still come up with counter-strategies against the government. Given how much creativity and flexibility that #HK people have shown through the movement, I think they are still actively trying to find ways to counter the state power and continue the movement."
"I think people are looking for a moment to collectively mobilize anyone. I expect there will be another political upheaval this summer, when Beijing decides to impose the national security law."
"In the future, I think Hong Kong is going to look like Taiwan after the post-war era, from 1950s to 1980s. A lot of intellectuals and professionals have to flee to the US."
"They sought protection in the US but they have also built a lot of institutional foundation for Taiwanese freedom and international advocacy. There are lots of informal social networks built by Taiwanese in the US."
"I think Hong Kong is entering the same age where many people have to choose to flee and become political refugees. Even if they are not charged, they are very concerned about Hong Kong’s future, and they would seek citizenship elsewhere."
"On the bright side, I see a possibility for Hong Kong people to mobilize overseas Hong Kongers to become a tangible force."
"Over the past few years, local figures like @joshuawongcf and @SunnyCheungky have to take all the burdens of being domestic young political figures as well as international advocates for Hong Kong. I think when the national security law comes into effect,...
... I’m deeply worried about Joshua and Sunny, or people like them. They are very involved in the international advocacy for Hong Kong, but because of the national security law, they might be forced to engage less in international advocacy," Brian said.
"I would not deny that the solitude and the feeling of being in exile takes a lot of emotional toll on myself, and I think about some Hong Kong teenagers who were forced into exile in Taiwan."
"It hurts me when I think about them, and they have to shoulder so much at such a young age. I think these feelings are extremely tormenting and it demands so much from a person as it requires to be mentally and intellectually resilient," Brian told me.
"I want to encourage everyone who is in exile too to stay emotionally tough and intellectually sharp. They should keep thinking about what we can do. I’m still learning to cope with this life, and learning how to be a useful Hong Konger in exile."
"The days when we can stay politically naive are gone and we have to learn the hard truth that the battle for Hong Kong’s democracy is going to be decades long. I think Hong Kong people have to seek strength from this experience and learn from history."
"I would still do exactly the same thing, and I have no regret about the decision I’ve made. The way I look at it is that the movement was successful because a lot of people didn’t put consequences first. They think about the future of Hong Kong and what is right to them."
"I think that has a tremendous strength in terms of igniting people’s deepest intuition about what’s right and what they should do. I don’t regret my decisions even if there is a personal cost. I don’t look back and say I regret certain decisions."
"To me, it’s really about building a better community, letting all the trauma, grief, and toughness help us grow. I think Hong Kong as a community will also grow from all those experiences.
I think that’s the positive side of all the sacrifices that we’ve made, as we grow stronger, tougher and more resilient in the future."
Mandarin version of the interview translated by me -…
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