Reproduced from Radio Free Asia: A private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable.
At least five mainland Chinese are known to have been detained by police for making statements on social media in support of the protests in Hong Kong. After being released, one man said Chinese authorities are terrified that the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong will spread to mainland China and trigger a chain reaction.
Hong Kong has been embroiled in mass protests since June as Hongkongers express their disapproval of an extradition bill that would allow any country, including mainland China, to seek extradition of criminal suspects. Many fear that, once passed, the bill would allow the Chinese regime to put individuals on trial in Chinese courts where rule of law is not observed.
The most recent detention of a mainland supporter occurred in Chongqing City, after a resident named Huang Yang posted a group chat message on WeChat, a Facebook like platform, asking, “Do you have the courage to join me in the streets to show support for the Pearl of the Orient?”
“Pearl of the Orient” is commonly used among Chinese when referring to Hong Kong.
The following day, Aug. 1, Huang got a phone call from local police, asking him to come to the police station for questioning and to provide a written statement, he told Radio Free Asia in an interview after his release.
Huang said the subpoena from the police indicated he was “suspected to have made inappropriate comments online that disturb public order.” However, he was not afraid to tell the police that he had figured out from Chinese state media reports that Hongkongers are fighting against an atrocity, and the mainlanders should therefore support their cause.
In his written statement at the police station, Huang urged internet censors not to make a fuss over trivial things, as it creates troubles for law-abiding citizens and is a waste of taxpayers’ time and money.
Huang told Radio Free Asia that police inspected his cell phone without providing a search warrant and forced him to remain seated on a chair in the interrogation room for more than 20 hours. Moreover, the only food he was given was a bowl of porridge, he said.
“Hong Kong Gives Us Hope”
Huang said he had made the comments in support of Hong Kong because he hoped China would one day become a better place.
“We feel intensely that China is like a big prison. Many people say that Chinese people are uncultivated and not well-educated, and therefore democracy is not a suitable system for China. However, if you look at Hong Kong and Taiwan—both with a healthy and democratic system—you know that they are good lessons for us to learn from,” Huang said.
“Hong Kong gives us hope. If Hong Kong were to lose this battle, we would feel truly hopeless,” he added.
“Chinese Communist Regime Is Terrified”
Chinese rights activist Wei Xiaobing was detained two months ago for supporting the demonstrations in Hong Kong. He posted reports on Facebook and Twitter and added comments such as: “The current situation is excellent!” and “Fight on, Hong Kong!”
Wei was taken away by National Security police on “suspicion of stirring up trouble” and was detained for 15 days.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia on Aug. 6, Wei said the recent detention of mainland Chinese who support the Hong Kong protests indicated that “the Chinese communist regime is terrified.”
“They are afraid that the mass movements in Hong Kong will spread to mainland China and trigger a chain reaction,” he said.
He commended the young protesters in Hong Kong, saying, “The courage and spirit of resistance shown by Hong Kong’s young generation deserve our respect and admiration.”
Besides Huang and Wei, three employees at a free legal consultation organization in central China’s Hunan Province were also taken away by police for supporting the Hong Kong protests. They were detained on “suspicion of subverting state power.”