Death of a Party and China’s vicious crackdown

Hong Kong is just another example of Beijing’s suppression of civil liberties and human rights

Freedom and democracy have become just fleeting dreams for the people of Hong Kong.

Now, they are nothing more than hostages to the control freaks in charge of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. 

Autocracy has outlawed democracy in what was once an oasis of hope for the rest of China under the CCP yoke.

If there was any doubt about Hong Kong’s political future, it disappeared on Saturday with the news that the influential Civic Party was folding after 23 years. 

It became another victim of the catch-all National Security Law imposed on the city by Beijing in 2020.

“Today, the Civic Party is bidding Hong Kong farewell,” Alan Leong, one of the Party’s founding members and chairman, told a media briefing

“We hope Hong Kong people will live in the moment with a hopeful and not too heavy heart. Live in truth and believe in tomorrow,” he added.

Death of democracy:

  • The Civic Party was popular with professionals in the city, such as lawyers, accountants, and scholars, as well as middle-class voters. 
  • But that did not stop China from ordering the arrests of a number of its members, including former lawmakers Alvin Yeung and Jeremy Tam.
  • They have languished in jail for more than two years after being denied bail.
  • Margaret Ng, another senior member, has been convicted of unlawful assembly.
  • At its peak, the Civic Party was the second-largest political group in Hong Kong’s semi-elected legislature in 2012.

The only way out for the Civic Party was to abandon [its] position.

Lau Siu-kai, consultant from the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies

Delve deeper: “Many people were mobilized and social capital was amassed during the process, which would be meaningful for the next chapter of Hong Kong,” Albert Lai, a founding member of the Civic Party, told the Agence-France Presse news agency.

Big Picture: More than 10,000 people have been arrested in connection with the massive pro-democracy protests since the 2019 summer of discontent, effectively crushing the movement. 

Between the lines: Beijing’s ruthless suppression of the Hong Kong population and the right to peaceful protest has killed the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. 

What was it? The semi-autonomous model was a crucial part of the Joint Declaration agreement between the United Kingdom and China before the city’s 1997 handover of power.

Alternative view: “The only way out for the Civic Party was to abandon [its] position of confronting the central government,” Lau Siu-kai, a consultant from the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told China’s state-run Global Times on Sunday. 

China Factor comment: Hong Kong is just another example of Beijing’s crackdown on civil liberties, human rights, and the underlining principle of the people deciding their government at the ballot box.