The sinking of Hong Kong officially started with the enactment of the National Security Law (NSL) at 11:00 p.m. on June 30, 2020. Hong Kong has lost its glory, and the defenders of our old core values have either fled, have been detained or are in prison.
Hongkongers have mostly used peaceful ways to tell Beijing that the authorities should leave Hong Kong alone, and honor the former Chinese Leader Deng Xiaoping’s version 1.0 of “one country, two systems.”
For incoming CE John Lee, who still remains sanctioned by the former U.S. President Trump's administration, for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy, is one of the most controversial Hong Kong officials known for suppressing the city’s freedoms. Whether he can survive the top-job for Hong Kong over a five-year term remains to be seen.
The outgoing CE Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was also sanctioned by the U.S. for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. Both Lee and Lam were unsympathetic towards the 2019 social protests. They are perceived by many to be loyalists to Beijing, and they have followed the hard-line approach in dealing with the young people’s demands.
Before Lam, there was CY Leung. This former Chief Executive of Hong Kong has made famous the “Separatist” and “Pro-Independence” theory of Hong Kong. In his view, Hong Kong breeds a lot of dangerous people seeking “independence.” Maybe this is one way to prove to Beijing that, a former CE of Hong Kong can still “contribute” to the city, be a super watchdog for many, to keep the city “in order.”
Leung is now one of the many Vice-Chairmen of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference. Leung is still active on Facebook criticizing the pro-democracy activists in exile, in jail, or those awaiting trial. He even challenges the pro-establishment camp.
With less than three weeks to go before the half way point of the “one country, two systems,” we have all witnessed the deterioration of Hong Kong at ultrasonic speed.
From a commercial perspective, Hong Kong used to provide a fairly “level playing field” for people to run their business and try to succeed. Most people would survive in Hong Kong, and a few really prospered, making big money. Now, Beijing has clearly tightened the ropes, and has implemented the most extreme “hands on” approach to everything, literally choking the city to death.
The dark political atmosphere in Hong Kong gets worse by the day. The DNA of Hong Kong is now being changed forever, and my pro-establishment business circles of friends, surprisingly, tell me quite frankly that they don’t want to see their next generation grow up in a place where there are so many vague red lines and lack of free speech. Simply put, they don’t want to live under tyranny.
With the COVID restrictions as a false pretense to curb people’s freedoms, and with an escalated exodus of Hongkongers and capital outflow, there is no doubt that the glory of Hong Kong has come to an end. The repressive feeling comes in, on a daily basis.
Back to the case of incoming CE John Lee, a hard-liner who has spent most of his career in the police force. A so-called Election Committee of 1500 Beijing loyalists has already acted as a voting machine for Lee. He is cherry picked by Beijing, and was the only candidate in the CE “race,” thus guaranteeing victory.
Also, the 90 legislators inside the Legislative Council are screened and vetted to be bona fide “patriots.”