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In 25 years, China nullifies Hong Kong's freedoms

Twenty-five year ago, after China had occupied Hong Kong for a century, the Communist Party government pledged to uphold capitalism and provide greater freedoms for the country's citizens for at least 50 more years.

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In 25 years, China nullifies Hong Kong's freedoms

Twenty-five year ago, after China had occupied Hong Kong for a century, the Communist Party government pledged to uphold capitalism and provide greater freedoms for the country's citizens for at least 50 more years. This was until 2047. Many of these freedoms disappeared in the middle of this period. Beijing has imposed a harsh National Security Law in 2020, which criminalizes almost all opposition. Numerous politicians from the Democratic side have been placed in prison or exile. Civil organizations have been dismantled, and media outlets such as 'Apple' were forced to close. Hong Kong, once Asia's most liberal, open and cosmopolitan capital, is becoming more like mainland China.

This was made evident by President Xi Jinping's brief visit on Friday to commemorate the transfer of sovereignty, and to attend the inauguration ceremony of John Lee, his new chief executive. Although Xi was in Hong Kong for only two days, he spent only ten hours there as he crossed the border to go to Shenzhen on Thursday night. It is a clear sign that Hong Kong is not trusted and is afraid of being attacked or protests following the 2019 uprising. Covid has made the Chinese president extremely cautious. He has been forced to quarantine the 1,300 people who were present at John Lee's inauguration at the Congress and Exhibition Center.

Ceremony of military honors on the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China / afp

"The Government should be in the hands and control of patriots. In his 22-minute speech, President Xi Jinping stated that there is no country in the world that allows people who aren't patriots or traitors to hold political power. This was reported by the South China Morning Post newspaper. John Lee was to be more efficient in government and to feel more national. He also instructed him to integrate the New Silk Roads and Greater Bay Area development plans, to solve social problems using effective measures, and to maintain harmony and stability.

"After the rain and wind, the city cannot afford chaos," Xi warned. He was referring to massive protests calling for democracy in 2019, which led to a violent rebellion. The Police searched the homes of democratic activists and closed areas where the delegation had passed.

Official speeches were very much present in the daily lives of the former colony/afp

The Chinese president insists on the "one nation, two systems" principle and the "high level autonomy" promises made during the handover of July 1, 1997. He also stressed that Hong Kong and Macao are based on the capitalist model, but that people must adhere to the socialist model in China. "Everything the central governments does is for Hong Kong and Macao's good, as well its compatriots," Xi stated, calling for "pragmatism” from the new city officials.

The West expressed discontent with China's alliance with Russia during the conflict in Ukraine. This was evident at the NATO summit in Madrid. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, assured that "we don't turn our backs upon Hong Kong." Johnson stated that 25 years ago, we made a promise for the territory and its people. We intend to keep it, doing all we can to ensure China honors its commitments, and Hong Kong is run by and for its citizens." Johnson was quoted as saying. .

Faced with the rising authoritarianism in Beijing and the increasing number of Hong Kongers considering emigrating, including over half a million who requested to renew their passports of British Nationals Overseas, Xi Jinping promised that the future would be bright for these young people. Xi stated that no matter what kind of career or ideas a resident may have, so long as they support the one country, two system' principle, love Hong Kong and abide by its Basic Law and are a positive force for its development, Xi supported it. In case of an emergency, Xi visited the People's Liberation Army garrison next to the parliament and government before he returned to China.

John Lee replaces Carrie Lam as Hong Kong's chief executive. The Chinese regime last year amended the Election Law to give greater control over Hong Kong's chief executive officer and its parliament. Instead of implementing universal voting as promised, Lee, the only candidate, was appointed by a pro Beijing committee in May. The Democratic side is concerned about Lee's experience as a head of security and a police officer, which has made them fear a stronger hand.

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