Latest: A top Chinese official gave a speech today that outlined #Beijing's plan to launch an electoral reform in #HongKong, which emphasized that the city should be run by "patriots." I talked to experts about this and other recent developments in…
“The most vital and pressing task to enforce rules by patriots is to improve the relevant systems, particularly the relevant electoral system,” Xia said in the speech. “Being patriotic means loving the People’s Republic of China.”
He also said authorities must close loopholes that allow “anti-China troublemakers” into politics. “Improving the relevant electoral system must be led by the central government,” he added.
Xia laid out the criteria for what makes a “real patriot,” including love for the People’s Republic of China, its constitution, and the Communist Party of China. He said members of the judiciary should also be patriots.
Ivan Choy, the senior lecturer at the department of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the main message from Xia’s speech is that Beijing will initiate electoral reform in Hong Kong and...
... the reform will likely be carried out by the National People’s Congress. “Beijing will exclude political forces regarded as non-patriotic through electoral reform,” Choy said. “They will be excluded from participating in elections and public institutions.”
Even though Xia emphasized in the speech that “One Country Two Systems” is still the foundation of how China manages Hong Kong, Choy thinks that Beijing definitely puts a lot more emphasis on the “one country” than the “two systems.”
As for what kind of people will be deemed as “non-patriots,” Choy thinks politicians who have clear anti-CCP or pro-Hong Kong independence stances or those who are accused of colluding with foreign power could be easily considered as “non-patriots.”
“As details of the electoral reform and how Beijing will execute the reform still haven’t been laid out, it’s not very clear how many people in the pro-democracy camp might be impacted by the electoral reform,” Choy explained.
“Beijing only tried to lay out the principles and direction of the electoral reform.”
Previously, China’s state-run media Xinhua News Agency published several interviews with pro-Beijing scholars on the topic of “patriots rule Hong Kong,” which triggered widespread suspicion that the Chinese government might have plans to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral system.
Apart from the revelation of Beijing’s plan to launch electoral reform in Hong Kong, last week, nine prominent pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong appeared in court for the trial of the protest on August 18, 2019.
While two of them pleaded guilty to charges against them, seven of them didn’t plead guilty to charges of participating and organizing illegal assembly. Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was one of the defendants in the case.
He has been detained since December 2020 for charges of colluding with fraud. Apart from appearing in court for the trial, Hong Kong police also pressed new charges under the national security law against him.
They claimed that Lai tried to help one of the 12 Hong Kong youths detained in Shenzhen to flee to Taiwan. He was re-arrested in his jail cell on February 16.
The deputy of Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Chung Kim-wah said the series of legal actions against prominent pro-democracy figures reflect Beijing’s intention to take full control over Hong Kong.
“The Chinese government is willing to sacrifice One Country, Two Systems and they don’t care about the promises they made before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997,” he said.
“They want to use all kinds of legal actions to increase their control over Hong Kong, and they want to damage Hong Kong’s civil society.”
Chung said over the last year, the Hong Kong government has used different kinds of legal actions to arrest influential individuals in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
“On the one hand, they want to wipe out the pro-democracy forces in HK, and on the other hand, they also want to create a chilling effect in society. "These methods are not what we will usually see in a society that claims to uphold rule of law. This is political persecution.”
Since 2021, at least three prominent pro-democracy figures, including Joshua Wong, Tam Tak-chi and Jimmy Lai, have been re-arrested while they were already in detention.
Kenneth Chan, a professor at the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, said the Hong Kong government wants to keep these prominent pro-democracy figures out of the public’s sight for as long as they can while creating fear in society.
“The whole point is to make sure these activists will be kept out of the public’s sight and to show the rest of the society that the government is not going to be gentle on the ‘troublemakers,’” Chan said.
“ I think this is only going to raise the level of anxiety and uncertainty and undermine Hong Kong people’s trust in both the government and the judicial system.”
Chung Kim-wah said since the National Security Law came into effect, it has become harder for Hong Kong people to express their dissatisfaction against the government publicly.
Several opinion polls published over the last few months showed that Hong Kong people’s perceptions of Beijing and the Hong Kong government have become more and more negative.
“I think Hong Kong’s civil society is still using some passive ways to resist the government’s encroachment, and it will not be easy for Beijing to completely destroy Hong Kong’s civil society in a short period of time,” Chung said.
“I think the adversity facing Hong Kong will last for a long time, and whether the situation will change or not depends on many factors.”
Chan from Hong Kong Baptist University said opinion polls show that there is still a strong layer of dissent in Hong Kong’s society. “While civil society groups have scaled down their operations due to restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak,...
... I think the civil society organizations and activists will still remain connected,” he said. “I think everyone is reading the situation and adapting to the new environment.
I don’t think anyone that I’ve come to know in Hong Kong would just simply quit. This is really a precarious situation as far as Beijing and Hong Kong authorities’ concern.”
Mandarin version of the piece for @dw_chinese:…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with William Yang

William Yang Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @WilliamYang120

22 Feb
Some initial analysis about Xia Baolong's speech regarding "electoral political reform" in #HongKong from electoral politics scholar Ivan Choy: "The major message is that some kind of political force will be excluded from participating not only in elections but ...
... also in some public institutions. It means that there will be electoral reforms in the future to exclude some political forces regarded as non-patriotic by Beijing."
"The second one to do that, there must be an electoral system reform and in the speech, I think there is one provision that this kind of reform will be initiated by Beijing and they will have the dominating power in the electoral system reform."
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
The Director of #China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Xia Baolong delivered a speech on Monday at a seminar and he specifically said that the development of #HongKong's democratic system shouldn't…
.. deviate from the principle of "patriots to rule #HongKong." He emphasized that the most critical and urgent task is to "strengthen relevant systems and mechanisms, and strengthening #HongKong's electoral system needs to be under the central government's guidance.
Xia laid out five principles for fulfilling the principle of letting "patriots to rule #HongKong." They are 1. Strictly follow the Chinese constitution and Hong Kong Basic Law to execute relevant regulations.
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech on Monday morning, calling on U.S. President @JoeBiden's administration to "reopen dialogue" between Washington and #Beijing and restore bilateral relationships.…
Wang said the Trump administration’s actions to suppress and contain China inflicted immeasurable harm, and called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector.
He urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
On Monday, the UK will call for the @UN to be given "urgent and unfettered” access to #China's #Xinjiang to investigate reports of abuses against ethnic minorities in the region.…
"British Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab will also mark Britain’s return to the U.N. Human Rights Council as a voting member by condemning the rights record of fellow council members China and Russia and will raise concerns about Myanmar and Belarus, his office said."
On China, Raab will refer to reports of abuses in Xinjiang, including torture, forced labour and forced sterilisation of women. “They are taking place on an industrial scale,” he will say, according to his office.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
According to @FT, after the UK revoked its license, #China's state-run broadcaster @CGTNOfficiale has turned to French authorities in an attempt to regain its right to broadcast in Europe.…
"The French media watchdog confirmed that it was approached by the broadcaster in December. But it declined to say when it would be able to establish whether CGTN transmits to satellite from a ground station in France and falls under the country’s jurisdiction."
"The watchdog said “additional analysis” would be necessary after the ruling by UK media regulator Ofcom, which stripped the network of its license to air after concluding that it was editorially controlled by the Chinese Communist Party."
Read 9 tweets
21 Feb
White House national security advisor @jakejsullivan said in an interview on @CBSNews that the U.S. has concerns over the data #China has provided to the @WHO regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.…
"I also believe that we need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization. And they're about to come out with a report about the origins of the pandemic in Wuhan, China, that we have questions about,...
... because we do not believe that China has made available sufficient original data into how this pandemic began to spread both in China and then eventually around the world."
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!