China Finalizes Hong Kong Police State By Installing Man Who Led Crackdown On Protests As Its Next Leader
from the Hong-Kong-finally-gets-its-own-Judge-Dredd dept
The country that promised to allow Hong Kong to choose its own leadership until at least 2047 is putting the finishing touches on its ahead-of-schedule oppression. Pro-democracy protests greeted China’s incursion into the area, alerting the world to the fact the ultra-profitable region was being invaded by forces indistinguishable from those that had turned China into a quasi-socialist nation by murdering millions of people who disagreed with the government’s means and methods.
Hong Kong never really had a chance. It takes a nation of millions to hold a nation of billions back, but the current Chinese government doesn’t really care what the rest of the world thinks about it or its actions. While pretending Hong Kong was still a democracy, the Chinese government not-so-quietly installed its own leaders and laws, criminalizing pro-democracy activity and bypassing what little was left of Hong Kong’s democracy to put its preferred representatives in charge.
Carrie Lam, a pro-China stooge, was given the reins to Hong Kong. She was very useful to the Chinese government, advancing its laws and efforts without questioning the damage to the electorate she no longer needed to be worried about. The Chinese government then made it clear “police state” wasn’t something theoretical and/or metaphorical by moving up former Secretary of Security John Lee to second-in-command. It also promoted a former police commissioner to fill Lee’s spot.
Lee’s pedigree had apparently impressed his Chinese handlers. Lee was instrumental in the crackdowns on pro-democracy protests, heading up police efforts to enforce Chinese laws written specifically to punish protesters, critics, and dissenters.
To further rig things in its favor, the Chinese government decided its version of “democracy” would only pertain to “patriots” who supported its premature takeover of Hong Kong. Instead of counting votes cast by unhappy Hong Kong residents, the “election” of new officials would be handled by a Chinese-appointed “committee” that would handpick 40 or 90 city legislators, including the most important position: Chief Executive of the region.
Carrie Lam, the useful stooge, approved this move away from anything lightly resembling democracy, claiming it was important that Hong Kong be led by “patriots.” Her period of usefulness appears to be over. Lam’s kowtowing to China managed to set off the region’s largest ever demonstration after she proposed rewriting extradition laws to make it easier for China to disappear Hong Kong residents opposed to its actions. Having failed to live up to the Chinese government’s oppressive standards, Lam is stepping down.
She will be replaced by her second-in-command, John Lee — an official best known for his overseeing of law enforcement brutality targeting pro-democracy protesters. Lee obtained his position thanks to the Chinese government’s recently installed “patriot” committee that allows the puppet government to appoint pro-China legislators and officials.
John Lee, who became the face of the national security law and who oversaw the arrests of dozens of activists and raids on newsrooms, is set to replace outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam when she finishes her five-year term at the end of June.
In what the government billed as an “open, just and honest” election, a largely government-appointed, pro-Beijing committee of 1,461 people appointed the next leader for the city’s 7.5 million residents on Sunday. Lee was the only person in the running, in contrast to previous years that saw run-offs between multiple candidates.
Engage in enough intimidation and violence and you can pretend to uphold democratic ideals while ensuring the election process is a forgone conclusion. Lee also supported the revamped extradition bill that would have given the Chinese government the ability to spirit away Hong Kong residents at will. While protests raged, Lee gave the Chinese government what it wants: more violence against protesters and more public proclamations that demonstrators were “radicals” and “terrorists.” For this show of loyalty in the face of widespread condemnation, Lee has been awarded the keys to the region.
The Chinese government will also see its oppressive stock rise with Lee’s appointment. It now has a true loyalists installed, rather than an interim loyalist (Carrie Lam) who failed to demonstrate she could secure the submission of Hong Kong residents.
At the unveiling of his policy manifesto on April 29, Lee emphasized the need to integrate Hong Kong with other economically important Chinese cities. There was no English translation provided, despite English being one of Hong Kong’s two official languages – in striking contrast to most government events to date.
He also vowed to bolster security legislation and introduce “national identity” education. Both proposals have long been controversial, with previous attempts to introduce legislation foiled by protests and pushback – much to Beijing’s frustration.
There will be no independence for Hong Kong. The Chinese government has amply demonstrated it won’t be deterred by mass protests or worldwide condemnation. All that’s left to determine is how much the government can profit from Hong Kong’s position as a center of world commerce… and how long it can retain this position once its pro-democracy proponents have exited the county, either through self-exile or at the hands of John Lee, its new, unelected, thoroughly compromised Chief Executive.
Filed Under: carrie lam, china, democracy, hong kong, john lee, oppression, protests
Comments on “China Finalizes Hong Kong Police State By Installing Man Who Led Crackdown On Protests As Its Next Leader”
Hong Kong is china
It always has been except when the Brits took it so they could deal opium.
I’m not defending China in general, but Hong Kong is part of China. They have no obligation to keep it the way it was. The USA never kept any of their treaties with Native Americans, I’m sure the British empire broke plenty too.
But stop with this “China isn’t treating Hong Kong properly” nonsense.
Do you want us to Invade China? Otherwise what do you expect us to do?
Hong Kong is part of China. They have no obligation to keep it the way it was.
Oh yeah? The people of Hong Kong would beg to differ.
Re: Re: And how is that working out for them?
Who is enforcing this law? The British? They literally stole the land so they could once again, deal drugs…it wasn’t altruistic.
So you’re fine with it if China revokes their special status, because then it’s not a “law”? What’s your point?
Re: Re: Re:
But stop with this “China isn’t treating Hong Kong properly” nonsense.
Your own words above, making you the one that’s obviously fine with it if China revokes Hong Kong’s special status. I triple dog dare you to prove otherwise.
Re: Re: Re:2
Why does it matter what I am fine or not fine with? Does China care about how I vote? What can I do with my “caring”? I recognize there is literally NOTHING I can do about it.
Re: Re: Re:3
Finally, you admit the truth. You feel powerless and impotent, and so you’re lashing out in the comments section on Techdirt. I won’t bother asking you to point out where I’m wrong in that assessment, because I’m not.
Re: Re: Re:4 King of Ad Homn
You’re the King of Ad Hom and literally have added nothing to the discussion. Have a good one
Re: Re: Re:5
Projection much? Have a bad one.
Re: That's all...
…. what-about-ism, and it doesn’t fly.
I’ve got no less than three generations of free Hong Kong citizens that aren’t at all happy about being sold down the river. And you think that because there’s nothing you can personally do about it, the rest of us should follow in your footsteps and just ignore the CCP’s antics as well?
Let me remind you of Martin Niemoller’s quote about “When they came….” Look it up, it might prove educational for you.
The writing was on the wall the day the treaty was signed in the 90s. As many people in Hong Kong should’ve gotten out while they could. Like… what was your hope? That China would bide its time and play nice until 2047? That China would ‘see the light’ and let this island of theirs that the drug-lord British Empire stole from them stay independent and go fully free and sovereign?
Re: Re: Re:
You wanna travel back in time and tell them that? Piss off, Jordan.
Re: Re: Re:
In return for promising to “play nice” with Hong Kong until 2047, China gained privileged access to Western investment and Western markets (especially the American one) — a true “great leap forward” rather than a deranged famine that killed 30 million Chinese. China obviously has the power to repudiate that promise, but it is causing Americans to reevaluate other promises from the Chinese government.
Why? Is Techdirt not allowed to criticize the Chinese government for being dictatorial douchebags?
There is literally nothing and no country that can stop China doing whatever it wants now.
I’m glad I’m so old that by the time the United States disintegrates into two or three constantly warring countries, and Russia becomes a Chinese state along with all the countries which currently border China, I will be dead or too senile to care.
Watching it start to happen is painful enough. Just so glad I didn’t have kids who’d have to live with the mess we’ve made.
China - Hong Kong War
I’ll bet China and Hong Kong will engage in a war similar to one between Russia and Ukraine.
Re: Makes no sense
The Hong Kong army is the Chinese army…they are not an independent nation.
And now we have the best man in the top spot, we can close the borders and make sure our most troublesome citizens follow the Party line. *strokes long-haired white Persian cat*
Civil wars are a thing, dingus.
… when “Made In Hong Kong” was a guarantee of junk quality, and was the laughing stock of value-priced materials.
Now, I’m seeing those very same articles command collector’s prices, pretty much as mementos of days gone by, when they were made in a country that no longer exists.
To be honest, Hong Kong was always pàrt of China even when it was a British colony (the fact that it should be able to follow its own laws under the current treaty notwithstanding). Perhaps you meant ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Hong Kong’?
“… when “Made In Hong Kong” was a guarantee of junk quality”
Well, unless you were a movie fan, in which case they set high standards that are still imitated to this day.
This will work out well for China in the long run. You know, because shitty people in charge never make for long term problems for a country. We should prepare them a cake.
Totalitarian State. Not Police State.
This does come hot off the heels of China installing their puppets in the Philippines, mind.