China cracks down on political dissidents, the West condemns, and Chinese state media compares the Hong Kong protests to last week’s siege on the Capitol. Hong Kong’s longstanding autonomy is effectively over.
As Hong Kong police arrested dozens who participated in or ran for office last year, the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong continues.
- The arrests come as the Trump Administration steps up the tech war against Chinese owned companies with a new executive order that prevents Americans from investing in two financial services tech companies with ties to the Chinese military.
- 55 former candidates and activists were arrested, though not charged, and all but 3 have been released on bail.
- They were reportedly suspected of wanting to “overthrow” the government, which the city’s security secretary called a “subversive” act.
- American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is threatening sanctions against those involved in the arrests.
- Pompeo joined the foreign ministers of Britain, Australia, and Canada in a statement condemning the arrests, which the Hong Kong government responded to by saying: “We are appalled by remarks made by some overseas government officials that seemed to suggest that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions.”
- The Guardian framed their coverage around the responses by the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, saying the law is being used as a political weapon to “eliminate dissent.”
- An op-ed at The Nation warns of how precious and fleeting political freedom can be, and compares the legal and constitutional challenges to the 2020 presidential election to the mass round-up of political dissidents.
- The New York Times’ reporting takes the story a step further, detailing efforts by China to revoke the law licenses of attorneys representing those arrested for political activities.
- The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board heavily criticized the arrests, including the detaining of an American citizen, and noted Beijing barely batted an eye at any criticism, calling the episode an early test for the incoming Biden administration.
- An opinion piece in National Review argues President Biden should issue emergency visas to those arrested and to Uighur Muslims as a first step in confronting China.
- Fox News’ coverage centered on Secretary Pompeo’s response, who called the arrests “an outrage” and his efforts to stop any prosecution of American lawyer John Clancey.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021