The news of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law cutting ties with his family was reported by a number of media outlets in mainland China, and became at one time the most searched item on China’s search engine Baidu.
Law, who is wanted by the Hong Kong police, announced on Facebook on July 31 that he had officially cut ties with his relatives and no longer interacts with them.
Law is wanted by the Hong Kong authorities for “breaching” the national security law. On July 13, Law revealed that he had fled to London by plane overnight and vowed to continue his activist work abroad.
“Our crime may simply be that we love Hong Kong too much,” he said on Facebook on the night of July 31, adding that he was “disappointed, helpless and scared.” He ended saying that he had not contacted his relatives since leaving Hong Kong and had “officially severed ties with them and will no longer communicate with them.”
Born in China’s southeastern Shenzhen city in 1993, Law moved to Hong Kong with his family when he was six years old. While at university, he was the secretary general of Hong Kong Federation of Students, and later became the founding chairman of Demosisto, a new political party founded after the 2014 Umbrella Movement. He was once jailed and beaten by police for organizing and participating in the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.
On July 16, Law had posted a photo on Facebook of himself with Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong. Later, he met with British officials and asked that the UK government use the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to punish Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Hong Kong government officials for imposing the new national security law in Hong Kong.
In the afternoon of July 21, Law met with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in London and summed up the meeting in a statement on Facebook: “[I] frankly expressed some personal feelings and thoughts about being forced out of Hong Kong under the national security law, and the plight and state of those who stayed in Hong Kong or were forced to leave, hoping that Pompeo will have a better understanding of the hardships faced by Hong Kong’s youth.”
In response to Law’s announcement that he had cut ties with his relatives, Chinese state media launched a personal attack and called him a “little pinko” and “fifty cents army,” and said he “doesn’t love his father and mother” and is “a man who disdains to recognize his kinsmen.”
Some officials, including Chen Yong, a deputy to the National People’s Congress in Hong Kong, and Leung Chi-cheung, a legislator at the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), also spoke out against and threatened Law.
However, by shedding light on the background of this incident and on Law’s statement, I think everyone will immediately understand that Law’s “severing of relations” is entirely because of the implementation of the national security law by the CCP and the Hong Kong government.
Under the adverse circumstances of this new security law, Nathan Law announced his withdrawal from Demosisto on June 30. On July 13, he fled to London. On July 31, he was formally wanted by the Hong Kong police. And on the night of July 31, he announced on Facebook that he had officially severed ties with his family. These four timeline points clearly reveal the causal relationship between Law’s “severing ties,” the Hong Kong national security law, and the arrest warrant.
If the reason for Law’s decision to withdraw from and disband Demosisto was to protect its members from the CCP and the Hong Kong government, then his choice to “sever ties” with his family was far from having disdain for his kinsmen, but a righteous move to protect his loved ones.
The CCP’s History of Breaking Up Families
The CCP’s media accuses a good man of turning his back on his family when, in fact, it’s the CCP that has a long record of breaking up families and acting heartlessly and cold-bloodedly.
As we all know, the CCP advocates the supremacy of the Party over all human affairs. It does not attach importance to the family or family ties at all. Ultimately, a person is expected to swear allegiance to the Party to achieve the twisted concept that “parents are inferior to the CCP.”
In times of war and peace, examples abound of the CCP tearing families apart and depriving them of affection, especially during the Cultural Revolution. In that decade, cases of husbands and wives, fathers and sons fighting and denouncing each other at the dinner table were quite common.
Take the experience of Peng Dehuai, a Chinese communist military commander during Mao Zedong’s time, as an example how the CCP destroys people and the family.
In 1959, Peng was ousted from the inner political circle at Lushan Mountain, and the Marshal who once commanded thousands of troops became a miserable pauper.
Peng’s wife, Pu Anxiu, initially remained close to him. She was the deputy party secretary at Beijing Normal University at the time. But soon she was dogged and given the cold shoulder treatment which escalated into threats and curses, as well as growing political pressure. One day the university asked her to “draw a clear line.” Drawing a clear line means getting a divorce from an “anti-Party group leader.” Pu held out for a long time, but finally, she relented and divorced Peng.
Thus, Peng became what’s known as a “polished rod commander.” Without a wife and children, he lived out the rest of his life in bitter persecution and desperate loneliness.
More recent examples of how the CCP punishes people who go against the Party by threatening and implicating their family are retired soccer star Hao Haidong and virologist Yan Limeng.
After Hao Haidong declared his support for a “new federal state of China” in a video released on June 4 (the 31st anniversary of the Chinese regime’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square), his son was dismissed from his soccer team.
When Yan Limeng, the virologist from Hong Kong, recently fled to the United States to expose the CCP’s coverup of the coronavirus outbreak, her family in China was harassed and intimidated by national security agents.
Collective punishment for families is the CCP’s specialty.
On the one hand, the CCP forces people to divorce and shun a family member who is politically inconvenient; and on the other hand, it accuses someone of being coldhearted for cutting ties with their family in order to protect them from the CCP’s retribution.
Shan Fengchen is an independent scholar who specializes in studying the history of the Chinese Communist Party.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.