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Most protestors in Venezuela ended up leaving the country (5million I think), and as a consequence things are relatively quiet over there (there is less opposition in numbers). This, according to what I have been told by Venezuelans living in Chile. Same thing may happen in Hong Kong.

Anyways, everybody should make their own decision, looking to what it's best for their country, family and themselves. Statements like "leaving is the easiest and the most selfish decision one could ever make" do not help.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Will you leave, @clearwaters?
Then one can have no right to complain about their country becoming oppressed. You either fight or stay silent. If brain drain happens full flow who will help the dissent elderly in the country? They will be tortured by the murderous Chinese regime.

also @clearwaters knows I mean well. We DM'ed loads in the past on life in HK, way before these protests started.
I have been thinking of starting new career abroad since some years ago already so that means I will consider leaving. Such political circumstances only exacerbated it. Nzam I'm sure you meant well and of course I wouldn't want to leave my home if the situation was ideal. However I feel my living very limited here in many aspects and hence I would want to explore other options. Tbh at this point I don't see the point of us remaining because there is nothing we could do to change it. The things we have done are futile and have only met with heavier forces. Many promising young people sacrificed their future and have been put behind bars. We will see law enforcement bodies using heavier forces in the future and it pains me to see many people who wish to live in a freer world getting treated as such and with unlawful violence from the police especially. Some sacrificed their lives. The spirit of Hongkongese lies in the people, not the land, and I hope they could rather "preserve" themselves. We all could build a new Hong Kong somewhere else on a freer land when the day we all have to flee comes.
 

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A harbour no more
China’s draconian security law for Hong Kong buries one country, two systems

The regime in Beijing would rather be feared than admired
July 2d, 2020
The Chinese government is spreading fear in Hong Kong. The first shock came in May, when it announced plans to impose a sweeping national-security law on the territory, without the say-so of its legislature. Then it drafted the bill behind closed doors, keeping details secret even from Hong Kong’s administration. After the law was passed on June 30th by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, hours passed before it was published at close to midnight. The 18-page bill, which took effect that day, was harsher than the gloomiest analysts had predicted. It is one of the biggest assaults on a liberal society since the second world war (see article).
Chinese officials argue that they are doing nothing wrong: national-security laws are common around the world, even in democracies. But that is disingenuous. This one allows China’s Communist Party to rip up its promise of one country, two systems and send its secret agents into Hong Kong to impose order as it pleases. Its spooks will not be subject to local law. Most national-security cases, supposedly, will be tried in Hong Kong’s own courts. But the judges will be government-appointed. They will be allowed to dispense with juries and try cases in secret. Most worrying is that “complex” or “serious” crimes may be tried on the mainland. The past year of unrest in Hong Kong was sparked by fears of just such a possibility—that a now-shelved extradition law might let dissidents be whisked away to face the mainland’s brutal justice. That is what the new law allows. Officials do not rule out that those convicted by mainland courts could be executed.

But wait, surely this law is about crimes that threaten China’s security? Lambasting its authoritarian politics or quixotically suggesting that Hong Kong should be independent would hardly cause the ground to shake in Beijing. The party, however, takes a different view. The bill’s definitions of sedition, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers could be applied even to petty, non-violent activity. The first arrest under the new law, on July 1st, was of a man who was merely carrying a banner calling for an independent Hong Kong. The bill could be invoked to arrest someone who uses “unlawful means” to undermine China’s communist system. Could that include taking part in a banned rally commemorating the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989? The party will be the judge. It errs on the side of severity.
The law also applies to activities abroad, by anyone. The wording of the bill suggests that a foreign firm which co-operated with, say, the American government in applying sanctions on China would have no defence if the party moved against it.

The world is entitled to be shocked by these developments, but not surprised. The crushing of the Tiananmen protests showed the party’s ruthless determination to destroy opposition no matter what the cost to its global reputation. The world’s horror at that bloodshed, and the sanctions the West imposed on China in 1989, did not change the party’s views. And China was a minnow back then, its economy smaller than Spain’s. It is even less likely to pay heed to foreign critics today.

But the West must respond. Britain was right to say on July 1st that it would make it easier for about 3m holders of “British national overseas” passports in Hong Kong to settle in Britain and eventually qualify for citizenship (see article). America should impose sanctions on Chinese officials who violate human rights in Hong Kong. It would be more effective if it abandoned its go-it-alone approach to foreign affairs and worked with other democracies to resist China’s efforts to subvert global human rights (see article).

Hong Kong’s suffering holds a lesson for the world. China’s rulers cannot be trusted to keep their promises and they will stop at nothing to suppress dissent. This calls for heightened vigilance about China’s rise, especially as it affects Taiwan. The party has shown that it would rather be feared than admired. ■
 

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Getting off the fence
Britain gives 3m Hong Kongers the right to live and work

The offer will annoy China
Britain
Jul 2nd 2020 edition

At midnight on July 1st 1997 Hong Kong passed from British to Chinese hands, starting a new era under the “one country, two systems” policy. It allowed the territory to retain a high degree of autonomy from Beijing. The arrangement was meant to stay in place for 50 years.
On June 30th 2020, after less than half the agreed amount of time had passed, that era looked closer than ever to a premature end. China’s rubber-stamp parliament passed a sweeping new security law designed to chill dissent and stifle protests (see article).

The law had been widely anticipated. So had Britain’s response, announced on July 1st. The 3m-odd British Nationals (Overseas) (bno)—Hong Kongers born in the territory before 1997—as well as their dependents will gain the right to live and work in Britain for five years, after which they can apply for citizenship. The government indicates that those who take up the offer will not need a job before arriving, and will not be subject to a salary threshold. It is the most generous opening of British borders to foreign workers since new eu citizens were welcomed in 2004.
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, characterised the decision as a response to China’s failure to live up to its promises. “But we,” he said, “will not look the other way on Hong Kong, and we will not duck our historic responsibilities to its people.” Some of that may even be true. An official involved with cabinet meetings on the topic said he was struck by the vehemence with which ministers argued that this was a point of principle on which Britain had a moral obligation to act. Priti Patel, the home secretary, is no friend of migrants but she understands Britain’s responsibility to holders of its passports. Her family was among those who migrated to Britain from Uganda in the 1960s and 1970s.
Unlike the Ugandan Asians, who arrived in large numbers after a hard-fought battle, only a small number of eligible Hong Kongers are likely to turn up. Even if they leave Hong Kong, they may have other berths: Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on July 2nd that his country was “very actively” considering welcoming them. Nonetheless, the offer itself will have an impact both at home and abroad.
Domestically, it allows the Conservatives to argue that they are not the migrant-bashing party they are made out to be, and that Brexit truly is about a “global Britain”. At the grassroots of the party, Hong Kongers are seen—for better or worse—as the “good” kind of migrant: honest, hard-working and entrepreneurial. Most Brits who have heard of the plans approve of them, and Hong Kongers are unlikely to compete for fish-packing jobs in Grimsby.

But the bigger impact will be on Britain’s foreign relations. China had warned Britain against offering Hong Kongers any additional rights. This week, before the details of the offer were out, a Chinese official said that any such move was surely a “slap in the face” for his country. China is Britain’s third-biggest trading partner, after the eu and America. Its students flock to British universities. Huawei, a telecoms giant, recently announced plans for a £1bn ($1.2bn) research centre in Cambridge.
Yet the government is increasingly wary of Chinese investment and under pressure from America to kick out Huawei from its telecoms infrastructure. Hours after Mr Raab’s announcement it emerged that Britain had granted asylum to Simon Cheng, a bno who worked for the British consulate in Hong Kong. He said he had been tortured in China last year. The China Research Group, a caucus of Tories whose name is meant to echo the European Research Group that led the Eurosceptic movement in Parliament, is gaining adherents.

Downing Street still talks of “a strong and constructive relationship with China in many areas” but with the caveat that “this relationship does not come at any price”. Boris Johnson insists that “I’m not going to get drawn into Sinophobia because I’m not a Sinophobe.” That may well be so. But there is a dawning realisation in government that it can no longer sit on the fence in its approach to China.■
 

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The evening of its days
A new national-security bill to intimidate Hong Kong

It is harsher than the gloomiest predictions
China
Jul 2nd 2020 edition
HONG KONG

A senior Chinese official called it a “birthday gift” for Hong Kong. It was a chilling choice of words for the biggest blow to the territory’s freedoms since Britain handed it back to China in 1997. Close to midnight on June 30th, on the eve of official celebrations of the handover’s anniversary, China imposed a draconian national-security bill on Hong Kong. It gives the government in Beijing sweeping power to crush dissent in the territory using its own secret police and even its own courts.
The new law relates to crimes involving secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Hong Kong’s post-handover constitution, the Basic Law, had required the territory to pass its own legislation concerning such offences. But local opposition had stymied the government’s efforts to do so. Unrest during the past year, which Chinese officials call an attempted “colour revolution”, caused the Communist Party to lose patience. In May it announced it would do the job itself.

The law was drafted in secret by legislators in Beijing—not even Hong Kong’s government was shown its contents until it was passed by China’s rubber-stamp parliament. Mercifully, it cannot be used to charge people for things they did before June 30th, or so officials say. But otherwise it is even more intimidating than most people in Hong Kong had expected.
The bill could result in far more serious charges being laid against protesters should they engage in activities that were common during the recent upheaval. Vandalising public transport could now be treated as terrorism. Breaking into the legislature or throwing eggs at the central government’s liaison office, as demonstrators did last year, could be considered subversive. Calling for Hong Kong’s independence, as some protesters have, could invoke a charge of secession. Encouraging foreign countries to impose sanctions on China could result in prosecution for collusion. The maximum sentence for all four of these categories of crime is life in prison.
To oversee the clampdown, the central government will open a new “Office for Safeguarding National Security”. It will be the first open operation in Hong Kong involving the mainland’s civilian security forces. A separate policymaking “Committee for Safeguarding National Security” will also be set up, led by the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam. It will include an “adviser” appointed by the central government. Trials involving the new law will be presided over by judges hand-picked by the government. The justice secretary may allow them to dispense with juries and hear cases in secret.
Ms Lam said the new law would target only “an extremely small minority of people”. To many Hong Kongers, that is no comfort. In “complex” or “serious” cases the bill allows the mainland’s security agencies to take charge. They will not be subject to Hong Kong law. They may even take suspects to the mainland for trial. There they could face execution.

It is not only the large numbers of young black-clad protesters at the forefront of the recent unrest who need worry. The law could be applied to a wide range of peaceful activity. For example, taking part in anything “unlawful” aimed at undermining China’s communist system could be considered subversive. That could be construed to mean any anti-government rally that goes ahead without police permission. A person who “conspires” with anyone abroad to provoke “hatred” in Hong Kong towards the local or central government could be accused of collusion. The power to interpret these terms will rest with China’s legislature. The law may affect a wide range of other freedoms. It calls for stronger “regulation” of schools, universities, social organisations, the media and the internet.
It will also apply to people abroad. That may mean that if considered suspects in any of these crimes they could face arrest, should they visit Hong Kong. The bill implies that foreign firms in Hong Kong could be punished should they help a country apply sanctions against China. America is mulling some. On July 1st its House of Representatives passed a bill calling for sanctions against banks that do business with Chinese officials deemed responsible for human-rights abuses in Hong Kong. The legislation is likely to be submitted to the Senate in a few days.

Hong Kong is already feeling the chill. Just before the law was passed, Joshua Wong disbanded his party, Demosisto, which had supported self-determination for Hong Kong. “Yellow” cafés favoured by protesters began removing pro-democracy messages from their windows. Some activists closed their Twitter accounts.
Despite a police ban on protests on July 1st, and the risk of breaking the new law, thousands of people still gathered to protest. Elderly women handed out posters saying “Heaven will destroy” the Communist Party. But the number of demonstrators was far smaller than at many of last year’s protests. The police arrested 370 participants. At least ten were accused of violating the security bill, including a man caught with a pro-independence flag.

China will try to make sure that Hong Kong continues to prosper, not least by pumping up its stockmarket. Shut out of American stockmarkets amid Sino-American tensions, Chinese firms are increasingly turning to Hong Kong’s exchange to list. The share index rose by more than 2.8% on July 2nd, the first day of trading after the law was published. But the territory’s political future is bleak. The local government says it has spent $6.29m to retain a public-relations company to help a “Relaunch Hong Kong” campaign. Its choice was Consulum, a firm that has tried to help Saudi Arabia improve its authoritarian image. It will have its work cut out in Hong Kong. ■
 

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Discussion Starter #169
Just a few days after the national security law comes into effect, it has predictably become a tool for all kinds of arrests.
It's very outrageous that a silent protest with people displaying blank paper required interference of the riot police, and even a few were arrested for "threatening national security". I wonder what sovereign power is so weak that even a blank paper could threaten its legitimacy.


And no freedom of speech whatsoever again in Hong Kong as books are getting reviewed by the government and putting off the shelved of libraries.
 

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I have been thinking of starting new career abroad since some years ago already so that means I will consider leaving. Such political circumstances only exacerbated it. Nzam I'm sure you meant well and of course I wouldn't want to leave my home if the situation was ideal. However I feel my living very limited here in many aspects and hence I would want to explore other options. Tbh at this point I don't see the point of us remaining because there is nothing we could do to change it. The things we have done are futile and have only met with heavier forces. Many promising young people sacrificed their future and have been put behind bars. We will see law enforcement bodies using heavier forces in the future and it pains me to see many people who wish to live in a freer world getting treated as such and with unlawful violence from the police especially. Some sacrificed their lives. The spirit of Hongkongese lies in the people, not the land, and I hope they could rather "preserve" themselves. We all could build a new Hong Kong somewhere else on a freer land when the day we all have to flee comes.
Germany sounds nice
 
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[...] You can’t justify China’s actions the past months as it’s threatening the state of the Special Administrative Region, they’re Taiwanising their next victim, inducing another failed ‘state’ and there are still people cheering for it. All I can say is they have absolutely no interest or empathy for the younger generations.
I'm not sure if this is entirely correct..? Taiwanising wouldn't be that bad actually. Perhaps Taiwan was even more free than HK simply due to being separated from the mainland (as well as due to fostering ROC's legacy; i.e. that of PRC's adversary)? PRC's grasp over HK at least after the passing of this law seems (sadly) stronger than their grasp over Taiwan.
 

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Another country swallowed by a Nazi country who treats Muslims from West like Jews were by Hitler. And the world looks there and will see how this regiment will still destroy people lifes. Ffs get a grip Western world
Western world needs cheap stuff and corporations (who control western world) rely on the the chinese middle class for selling more of their shit
 

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I'm not sure if this is entirely correct..? Taiwanising wouldn't be that bad actually. Perhaps Taiwan was even more free than HK simply due to being separated from the mainland (as well as due to fostering ROC's legacy; i.e. that of PRC's adversary)? PRC's grasp over HK at least after the passing of this law seems (sadly) stronger than their grasp over Taiwan.
Recent history reveals that the international system is vulnerable to this kind of creeping irredentism. When Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea in 2014, he was drawing on lessons from his 2008 invasion of Georgia. The latter created a permissive environment for the former: the Georgia invasion cost Russia little and drew only weak international condemnation. Taiwan and Ukraine occupy very different geopolitical contexts, but just as Putin factored the U.S. response to Russian actions in Georgia into his decision to invade Ukraine, China’s leaders will factor the U.S. response to the Hong Kong security law into their decisions about future aggression in Asia.
Given how little Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong has cost it to date, we are concerned that Beijing will draw the wrong conclusions about the costs of future coercion against Taiwan.

Hong Kong and Taiwan have more in common than many analysts appreciate, both in the view of Beijing and in the sentiments of their citizens. The protests that have raged in Hong Kong for the last year resonated deeply with the people and the leadership in Taiwan.
Taiwanese citizens sent protective gear to the protesters in Hong Kong, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen won reelection in January in part because she voiced support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. In a rare bipartisan move, her ruling Democratic Progressive Party, the opposition Kuomintang, and other parties jointly expressed “regret and severe condemnation” of Beijing’s national security law.
Taiwanese officials have also pledged to provide refuge to Hong Kong residents fleeing Chinese repression, and some Hong Kongers appear to have taken them up on the offer. According to news reports, the number of Hong Kong residents who moved to Taiwan in the first four months of 2020 was up 150 percent from the same period last year.
There is little Tsai can do to convince China to dial back the diplomatic and military pressure short of accepting its unilateral definition of “one China” and its “one country, two systems” model, both of which are now wholly discredited by what has happened in Hong Kong. In the worldview of China’s leaders, Tsai’s commitment to Taiwanese independence, her perceived efforts at “de-Sinification” on the island, and the growing connections between Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the democratic world more broadly all legitimize China’s saber rattling—and perhaps, eventually, its use of force.
Xi appears to have made up his mind about Tsai—wrongly but perhaps conclusively. He and other Chinese leaders are still weighing the costs and benefits of a harder line on Taiwan as they take the measure of U.S. and international willpower—which is why the U.S. response to the Hong Kong law matters so much.
To deter Beijing from further aggression, the United States must make clear that there will be consequences for the national security law, particularly if Beijing uses it to justify the arrest or rendition of journalists, peaceful activists, or political candidates in Hong Kong.
The Trump administration will need to start by improving its coordination with European and Asian allies.
The United States and its European and Asian allies should also consider offering Hong Kong citizens residency and a path to citizenship, just as the United Kingdom has done. And if the situation in Hong Kong deteriorates—owing to arrests of candidates in the September elections, for instance—the United States should consider sanctioning the Chinese officials responsible. Such measures won’t restore Hong Kong’s autonomy in the near term, but they could discourage overt acts of repression and help shape Beijing’s thinking about Taiwan.
Staving off Chinese aggression, whether in Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia, however, will also require the United States to get serious about military deterrence in the western Pacific.
But even shrewd diplomatic and military preparations won’t guarantee Taiwan’s security unless the United States communicates its intentions, policies, and concerns about cross-strait relations clearly and consistently to Beijing. Doing that will require senior national security officials in China and the United States to resume the kind of candid strategic dialogue that took place during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations but that essentially ended after Trump took office.
 

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Discussion Starter #178
I'm not sure if this is entirely correct..? Taiwanising wouldn't be that bad actually. Perhaps Taiwan was even more free than HK simply due to being separated from the mainland (as well as due to fostering ROC's legacy; i.e. that of PRC's adversary)? PRC's grasp over HK at least after the passing of this law seems (sadly) stronger than their grasp over Taiwan.
Taiwan is getting bullied on an international level due to the One China policy. It does not have representation at the UN, it has no formal diplomatic relations with most countries. Substantially it is a country with its own government elected by people so its situation is way better than Hong Kong, which is technically a special administrative region, but as a country it is still under the constant threat and military intimidation from China.
 

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Taiwan is getting bullied on an international level due to the One China policy. It does not have representation at the UN, it has no formal diplomatic relations with most countries. Substantially it is a country with its own government elected by people so its situation is way better than Hong Kong, which is technically a special administrative region, but as a country it is still under the constant threat and military intimidation from China.
Yeah, I was just commenting on the point/wording of HK being 'Taiwanized', which I reckoned was not accurate as Taiwan even before the law may have been more free than HK (?; thinking about the developments in recent years; China meddling with HK elections? edit. the '31 August Decision' and the electoral process by committee), but certainly after. Taiwan has a democratically elected government (as you stated), own army etc. But their predicament as well has worsened over the years. More and more pressure in many ways. As per the article above: "In addition to hardening its rhetoric against Taiwan, China has sought to isolate the island diplomatically. In the last five years, Beijing has poached seven of Taipei’s formal allies, leaving only 15 countries that recognize Taiwan as an independent country."

Only 15 left that recognize Taiwan (and maintain official diplomatic relations). I recall the situation for long being that Taiwan is rather free to operate economically, but not so politically. E.g. they are part of the World Trade Organization, but not UN (as you noted). But still maintain political freedom within the country.
 

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Morrison announced on Thursday that Australia would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and allow the 10,000 Hong Kong students and "temporary skilled workers" currently living in Australia to apply for five-year visa extensions, after which they can apply for permanent residency.

Many Hongkongers have sought refuge abroad following the implementation of Hong Kong's new national security law, which criminalized a broad range of behavior including secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion. Critics say that the law, backed by the Communist Party of China, has had a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the city. A day after the law was imposed, police arrested hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators.
[...]

Morrison clarified that the government is not offering refugee status but seeks to attract "serious talent." Hongkongers "will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency," Morrison says, but there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has said current visa holders from Hong Kong will "almost certainly" be granted permanent residency if they pass character and national security exams. Unlike the Tiananmen TPVs, these visas do not offer recipients access to welfare benefits or help with finding a job in Australia.
Many Australian political leaders have suggested that the country's measures don't go far enough. Greens Party leader Adam Bandt suggested that Australia should rethink its trade arrangements: "Even if you agree with free trade agreements in general, it's time for a rethink about whether entering into a [free trade] agreement with Hong Kong is giving a tacit stamp of approval to the crackdown."

The national security exam requirement for Australian permanent residency attracted criticism from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who accused the Australian government of "undisguised hypocrisy and blatant double standards" for lambasting Hong Kong's national security law while prioritizing their own.
Morrison's proposal is one of many global responses to Hong Kong's plight. A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators introduced the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act in June. If passed, the bill would fast-track visa applications by Hongkongers and remove lots of red tape around the admission process. A companion bill in the House would expedite skill immigration from the island.

Meanwhile, Japan is helping firms relocate outside the territory and Taiwan has already set up a government department to facilitate relocations. A sweeping offer by the United Kingdom earlier this month would offer up to 3 million Hongkongers not just visas but also permanent residency and a path to citizenship.
 
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