A China-Born Hong Kong Youth to Be Sentenced Under National Security Law

A China-Born Hong Kong Youth to Be Sentenced Under National Security Law
Wong Yat-chin, former convener of "Student Politicism" in Hong Kong in an undated photo on his Instagram account (Wong Yat-chin/Instagram)
9/23/2022
Updated:
10/1/2022

Wong Yat-chin, the former convener of the student political group “Student Politicism,” was accused of “conspiring to incite others to subvert state power” under the National Security Law (NSL). He will plead for leniency and could be sentenced when in court on Sept. 24. He wrote earlier, “ Although I have no expectations for the outcome, I have neither complaints nor regrets.”

The 21-year-old, who was born in Suining, Sichuan Province, in mainland China, went to Hong Kong when he was a grade 5 school pupil. He participated in a parade for the first time on June 9, 2019, and began to join the subsequent social movement. He had been arrested many times for placing street stands and other activities organized by Student Politicism and had also been followed many times.

On Jan. 23, 2021, Wong’s mainland relatives and friends were interviewed by the police at their homes, and Wong himself was also followed in Hong Kong by unknown persons. To provide peace of mind and safety to his relatives, he issued a public statement declaring he had cut his ties with all his mainland relatives and friends.

On Sept. 20, 2021, officers from the National Security Division of the HK police force arrested Wong for “conspiracy to incite subversion of state power.” Wong twice applied for bail but was refused at both attempts. As a result, he was detained for more than a year before the latest court verdict.

While in prison, Wong wrote an article on Sept. 10, released on Sept. 20, on his Instagram account managed by his friends and relatives. He published an article of around 600 words titled “The 365th day of remand in custody.”

He started by first sharing his daily routines in prison. This includes reading, exercises, listening to songs, and writing letters during his spare time. For the sake of maintaining peace of mind, he had also developed the habit of practicing meditation. He also thanked those who have subscribed to his Patreon account, which “helps alleviate some financial pressure off my family members.”

He said that the case will be concluded soon. Although he has no expectations for the result, he also has no complaints or regrets. “At least I tried to pursue that seemingly unreachable but beautiful ideal, and I am willing to suffer all the pain from it.”

He also expressed his gratitude to the relatives and friends who have worked tirelessly to encourage him during his time in prison. “Whether it was you who wrote me the letters, or were present at the court hearings, or saw me off in the prison car, you deserve all my heartfelt gratitude.” “All of you provided me the kindness and courage to move on through all the long dark nights.”

He shared that when he found out he was going to be remanded at Mid-Autumn Festival 2021, he was able to face it calmly. But when he saw the many lights shining from peoples’ mobile phones through the window of the prison car on its way out of the courthouse, “The scene outside the car window simply made me cry, and that is the scene I will live with, and remember forever.”

Feel Fortunate to be Born in These Turbulent Times

Wong also said that he was fortunate to be born in this turbulent era, “to have an excellent opportunity, a wonderful opportunity to effect change.” He said that there may be some people who think that everything is now in vain, but no one can be sure of the final outcome. “History is written by those who will not give up,” he said.

He said that he understands that those who love Hong Kong deeply will feel helpless when they see “such a declining state” now, “but if you really look around, you will find there are many brave and kind people who are still working hard in their respective fields. So, everyone, please don’t underestimate the power of individuals. How we choose to live will affect how the world will become.”

Wong continued, “Actually, perceived fear itself is far more terrifying than reality. Reality is not just despair but also has hope on the reverse side. If we can embrace hope and move on, even if we live in hardship, for now, we can still find purpose in our perseverance.”

In conclusion, he wrote: “Please remember everything you have experienced, breathe well, think well, live well, continue to speak out and do the right thing, and walk the unfinished road together with your head held high.” He ended with two hashtags, “# Please remember the feeling while traversing the sea of ​​people” and “#I remember the passion in full bloom,” both lyrics from a popular song written by Terrence Lam “Remember.”

Wong Yat-chin and other organizers of Student Politicism set up street booths and distributed leaflets in Mong Kok to ask the public to remember the Hong Kong Protest demonstration and to stand for continuous resistance, on June 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)
Wong Yat-chin and other organizers of Student Politicism set up street booths and distributed leaflets in Mong Kok to ask the public to remember the Hong Kong Protest demonstration and to stand for continuous resistance, on June 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)
Wong Yat-chin was questioned by the police for his activities on June 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)
Wong Yat-chin was questioned by the police for his activities on June 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)
Wong Yat-chin and organizers of Student Politicism set up a street booth in Mong Kok and urged the public not to use the LeaveHomeSafe app, in Hong Kong on Feb. 21, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)
Wong Yat-chin and organizers of Student Politicism set up a street booth in Mong Kok and urged the public not to use the LeaveHomeSafe app, in Hong Kong on Feb. 21, 2021. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)

Wong Yat-chin, 21, and four former members of “Student Politicism,” including former secretary Chan Chi-sum, 20, former spokesperson Alice Wong, 19, and Jessica Chu, 18, were charged, on dates from Oct. 25, 2020, to June 16, 2021, for “conspiring with others in Hong Kong to incite others to organize, plan, carry out or participate in the implementation with force, or threat to use force, or other illegal means to achieve the aim of subverting state power.” As indicated in the particulars of the case, the defendants had, on many occasions, called on the public to rise up in arms and fight bravely until the regime is overthrown. At the same time, they had set up street stations to chant slogans such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times.”

The four pleaded guilty in District Court in July and will plead for leniency at the hearing on Sept. 24 and could be sentenced on the same day.

Ying Cheung is a contributor to The Epoch Times with a focus on Hong Kong/China-related topics.
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