Beijing Tightens Grip On Hong Kong With Arrest Of Pro-Democracy Lawmakers

from the seeing-red dept

Literally everyone saw this coming. On the heels of a rushed through resolution out of mainland China that ousted four pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers, leading to the resignation of every other pro-democracy lawmaker as well, the question was when, not if, Beijing would continue to tighten its communist grip. The answer to that question appears to be "almost immediately", with China announcing the arrest of three pro-democracy former lawmakers, likely a signal to any other opposition forces who might want to make any noise.

Posts on the Facebook accounts of Ted Hui, Eddie Chu and Raymond Chan said they were arrested in relation to the incidents in the legislature’s main chamber. The trio separately disrupted legislative meetings by splashing pungent liquids and other items on two occasions.

Hong Kong police said in a statement that they arrested three former lawmakers on charges of contempt in the legislature and intent to cause harm to others. Police did not identify them by name.

The information offered up by Beijing is made to make all of this sound like it is arresting lawmakers for putting other legislators in danger. Given the source, that accusation should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, Chi-Fung (Ted) Hui's antics in disrupting the legislature were very much about the disruption and nothing to do with putting anyone in danger. For Christ's sake, the "weapon" for his intent to cause harm to others appears to be some rotted plant material.

On 28 May 2020, Hui disrupted the second reading of the National Anthem Bill in the Legislative Council by dropping a container containing rotten plant matter inside the chamber. A fellow lawmaker was taken to hospital after being exposed to the smell. On 4 June 2020, Hui and two other lawmakers, Eddie Chu and Raymond Chan, were alleged with hindering the business of the Legislative Council and violating the Powers and Privileges Ordinance, with Hui having dropped foul smelling liquid during the LegCo session on that day.

For this, apparently, Hui is under arrest. But what should really be striking you about all of this is the complete absence of international pushback generally and the dereliction of American leadership in promoting democracy specifically. Our government is all but absent on the international stage at the moment, with the gears of government mostly churning out a plan for COVID-19 vaccination while senior leadership is focused on promoting nonsense conspiracy theories over an election it lost and otherwise sulking.

It appears that China views the remaining few weeks of the current administration as its window for the takeover of Hong Kong. And, given the absence of leadership at the present, it's not hard to see why. The only remaining question is just what the state of affairs in Hong Kong will be when Joe Biden is sworn in as President.

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Filed Under: arrests, china, democracy, eddie chu, free speech, hong kong, protests, raymond chan, ted hui


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Wong Wei, 19 Nov 2020 @ 8:51pm

    Childish tactics: rotten plant matter and foul smelling liquid.

    That's not going to stop the Party which murdered 70 million people.

    Evidently three ineffective weenies as mistaken about the true nature and scope of communism as Timmy. -- Oh, Timmy snarks at the commies, but not enough to even suggest cutting off trade. Bet Timmy has a Chinese-made telephone too, probably Apple.

    Then Timmy goes on -- indirectly since I chastised him previously for his rants -- to blame this on Trump. -- NO, Timmy, the Chinese Communists are solely to blame. The West has almost no influence on them in large part because weenies like you shift the blame from them to use for attacking domestic political foes.

    And you're wrong that Biden will ever be President.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      AC Unknown (profile), 19 Nov 2020 @ 9:59pm

      Re: Childish tactics: rotten plant matter and foul smelling liqu

      To quote idiots like you from 2016: Your guy lost. Get the fuck over it. 306 electoral votes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Nov 2020 @ 11:25pm

        Re: Re: Childish tactics: rotten plant matter and foul smelling

        It is funny isn't it:

        2016: 306 Trump, Clinton 232, with Clinton +2.8 million popular votes - "it's a landslide victory"

        2020: Biden 306, Trump 232 with Biden +6 million popular votes - "it's too close to call / it must be fraud!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        B. Einder Twine proud graduate of Baler University, 20 Nov 2020 @ 12:48pm

        Another of Geigner's Zombie sock-puppets, just to attack me.

        First note that resurrected in 2020 after 43 months dormant.

        AC Unknown: 127 (17), resume 2020 after 43 mo gap; 15 mo gap; 24 Jun 2013 https://www.techdirt.com/user/acunkown

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          B. Einder Twine proud graduate of Baler University, 20 Nov 2020 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Another of Geigner's Zombie sock-puppets, just to attack me.

          Not odd, eh? Well, it's consistent with theory that the zombies are to provide a supportive background AND inflate number of comments here. Except when the fanboys have an ad hom target -- which I'm happy to provide as shows Techdirt clearly and stops anyone reasonable from lingering here -- the site is a tenth of former, single-digits of comments.

          MANY ad hom one-liners at me, looks to be its main purpose in 2013 and of late; and another that familiarly calls me "Blue" as Geigner started.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            AC Unknown (profile), 20 Nov 2020 @ 1:06pm

            Re: Re: Another of Geigner's Zombie sock-puppets, just to attack

            Your assertion is quite incorrect. Maybe I just haven't had the time to post here until more recently due to the fact that I have a job?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Nov 2020 @ 2:46am

      Donald Trump is literally ratifying the Biden victory over and over again with every one of his failed lawsuits and every one of his failed attempts to invalidate/delay the certification of votes. Biden receives that much more legal certification of his electoral win with each passing day.

      Keep saying “Biden will never be POTUS”. That only makes clearer your support for a fascist takeover of the United States federal government by the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2020 @ 6:51am

      Re: Childish tactics: rotten plant matter and foul smelling liqu

      Please explain how the country of China employs the type of government defined as Communism. Use of examples are beneficial.
      Thx

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Madd the Sane (profile), 19 Nov 2020 @ 10:54pm

    Beijing Biden?

    And people are complaining about Biden being pro-PRC. Through inaction, Trump has given Hong Kong to China. Xi will be calling his buddy Trump after this is over and congratulating him on distracting the world so that Communist China could take over Hong Kong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2020 @ 11:22pm

    Under any other administration, the President and the State Department would have been loudly condemning this action by China... Now, crickets.

    On the other hand, if the USA had tried to issue a protest note or statement like this:
    We strongly condemn China's actions in removing the lawfully elected lawmakers. China must respect the vote of the people and not attempt to circumvent the democratic process.

    China response: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You serious? Look at your President and elections! BWAHAHAHAHA!

    The US diplomats would be laughed right out of the room now....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 20 Nov 2020 @ 1:02am

    I'm sure the GOP are watching to see how well the whole 'disqualifying and arresting the opposition' thing works so they can work out how to apply it there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2020 @ 3:27am

    Not striking at all, sadly

    "But what should really be striking you about all of this is the complete absence of international pushback generally and the dereliction of American leadership in promoting democracy specifically."

    Is American leadership really derelict in promoting democracy when both parties don't even seem to be able to tolerate democracy in their own country? Democrats can't tolerate it in the primaries and Republicans can't tolerate it in the general election.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2020 @ 4:17am

      Re: Not striking at all, sadly

      " promoting democracy"

      LOL, is that what they call it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Roketsune, 24 Nov 2020 @ 6:53am

      Re: Not striking at all, sadly

      You are awesome and I salute your scathing indictment of our farcical, detestable, and risible clusterfuck of an electoral system that we have the unmitigated audacity to call the greatest democracy on Earth (which technically is incorrect, anyway, as we're a shitty constitutional republic rather than a shitty constitutional democracy).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2020 @ 10:11am

    anyone care to comment on where Beijing got the ideas from that it's now carrying out? dont have to look far away for the answers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2020 @ 8:34pm

    A fellow lawmaker was taken to hospital after being exposed to the smell.

    If this isn't a game of "hide the non-sequitur", then lolwut, or possibly the question could be asked: Did they actually want to go?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roketsune, 24 Nov 2020 @ 6:48am

    They SHOULD be arrested and expelled from the legislature if they persist in these puerile antics. The fact it's taking place under a horrifyingly pervasive and efficient dictatorship and censorship regime doesn't change this. These so-called pro-democracy activists who have won elections have played disruptive and fucking stupid games for a while now, from this to mispronouncing China deliberately while reciting the compulsory oath of office that wasn't even an oath to Beijing (and then breaking into the legislature to properly recite the oath at the podium after they got figuratively bitch-slapped and Beijing refused to recognize them as lawmakers, as if that stunt would have corrected the matter and invalidate the edict). I have no sympathy for those buffoons, and this moronic behavior calls into question and disrepute the entire protest period and movement which seemed to be as much a legitimate grievance as a violent and riotous clusterfuck that they made into a weekly sporting event.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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