In John Carpenter’s classic horror sci-fi movie The Thing, a dormant extraterrestrial parasite thaws out in Antarctica.
Spreading like a virus, it absorbs other life forms, including members of an American research team, holed up during a blizzard.
The scientific scenario fictionalized in The Thing now resembles the political pathogens unleashed by China’s Communist Party-state in assimilating Hong Kong into the “motherland.”
Included in this viral backlash is the erosion of civil rights along with the oppression of pro-democracy activists.
“Over the last year, the PRC has continued its assault on Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom, and cracking down on freedom of the Press,” US President Joe Biden said in a memo to the Department of Homeland Security after the White House offered a temporary “safe haven” to the city’s residents in the United States.
Absorbing Hong Kong:
- The “One Country Two Systems” model devised for the city has effectively been destroyed by President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian regime.
- It was the pillar of an agreement hammered out by the United Kingdom and China before the handover of the former British colony in 1997.
- The blueprint was designed to guarantee a high degree of autonomy for the city from Beijing.
- Wide-ranging civil rights would be protected for at least 50 years, according to the Joint Declaration.
- Since then, those “freedoms” have gradually been eroded, culminating in mass pro-democracy protests during the summer of discontent in 2019.
- Last year, Beijing forced through a draconian National Security Law to suppress dissent in Hong Kong.
Altered image: “The PRC has fundamentally altered the bedrock of Hong Kong’s institutions,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement earlier this week.
The purge: Blinken went on to point out that Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities have arbitrarily shelved scheduled elections, ostracized opposition politicians, undermined Press freedom and arrested more than 10,000 people under the draconian National Security Law.
Police state: “In one year, the National Security Law has put Hong Kong on a rapid path to becoming a police state and created a human rights emergency for the people living there,” Yamini Mishra, the Asia-Pacific regional director at Amnesty International, said in June.
Propaganda goes viral: “Washington has once again chosen to stand against righteousness, morality and the general interest of the Hong Kong people,” Xinhua, the official news agency of the Communist Party of China, said in a commentary on Thursday.
Smear campaign: “In the latest move of its China-smear campaign, the White House [has] attempted to demonize the National Security Law in Hong Kong,” Xinhua stressed.
Social unrest: “For quite some time, US lawmakers have been colluding with and even abetting rioters in Hong Kong, disregarding all the miseries Hong Kongers suffered during [the summer of] social unrest [in 2019],” Xinhua insisted.
China Factor comment: The Party is still absorbing Hong Kong and reworking its DNA … just like John Carpenter’s The Thing.